Diversity in the workplace benefits the library’s constituents and the community, the library organization, and the community. In a diverse library workforce, library users can find someone to relate to, and get services that are sensitive to their needs and preferences. Diversity also improves staff performance and overall library success.
Diversity also benefits library and information schools, improving the quality of learning as students explore different perspectives and reduce prejudice, and fostering deeper thinking (Kim and Sin 2008).
Diversity is one of ALA’s five key action areas to ensure high-quality library services to all constituents. Within that mission is the need to recruit underrepresented groups and individuals with disabilities to the profession.
It is this diversity that contributes a deeper level of understanding and competence to our daily work. The American Library Association envisions a richly, diverse workforce providing a high level of service to the membership in an environment where respect, appreciation, equity and inclusion are core values (ALA 2003, 1).
The culturally competent organization shall: