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Cultural Competency for Academic Libraries: Research

Critical Pedagogy and Cultural Competency for Academic Libraries

Research shall be inclusive and respectful of non-Western thought and traditional knowledge reflecting the value of cultural ways of knowing.

Cultural competence requires acknowledgment of Western cultural bias, and respectful inquiry of other systems of thought, including sources of traditional knowledge.

Categories of traditional knowledge could include: agricultural knowledge; scientific knowledge; technical knowledge; ecological knowledge; medicinal knowledge, including related medicines and remedies; biodiversity-related knowledge; “expressions of folklore” in the form of music, dance, song, handicrafts, designs, stories and artwork; elements of languages, such as names, geographical indications and symbols; and, movable cultural properties (ALA Traditional Cultural Expression Taskforce 2010).

Culturally competent researchers shall:

  • Reflect on and acknowledge their ethnocentrisms and biases.
  • Recognize others’ ethnocentric tendencies and biases.
  • Foster sensitivity, openness, and a spirit of inquiry to others’ world views and cultural orientations.

Culturally competent organizations shall:

  • Support and encourage research opportunities to explore the gaps in critical knowledge in the profession.
  • Assist librarians and library staff in identifying and applying for funding, including providing time, resources, and supportive recommendations.
  • Provide funding when possible.
  • Assist in establishing and maintaining networks of professionals that will encourage idea development.
  • Ensure that research on cultural competency, diversity issues, and related topics is valued in retention, promotion, and tenure processes.

Standard 11 Readings