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Cultural Competency for Academic Libraries: Professional education and continuous learning

Critical Pedagogy and Cultural Competency for Academic Libraries

Librarians and library staff shall advocate for and participate in educational and training programs that help advance cultural competence within the profession.

Cultural competence is a vital link between the theoretical and practical knowledge base that defines librarianship. The practicing librarian should stay abreast of current educational trends and training methods needed to stay ahead of changes in professional practice, which includes the evolving needs of diverse populations. Diversity needs to be addressed in library education curricula and needs to be viewed as central to faculty and staff appointments and research agendas.

Several entities need to address educational and training programs:

  • The library profession should take steps to ensure cultural competence as an integral part of LIS education, training and practice, and to increase research and scholarship on culturally competent practice among library professionals. Relevant venues include master’s and doctoral programs in library and information science as well as post-master’s training, continuing education, and meetings of the profession. 
  • Academic library administrators should be encouraged to provide culturally competent in-service training and opportunities for continuing education for library faculty and staff. 
  • ACRL should contribute to the ongoing education and training needs for all librarians and library staff, with particular emphasis on promoting culturally competent practice in continuing education offerings in terms of content, faculty, and auspice.