Cultural Competency Guidelines for Academic Libraries

FYI – Robin Paynter (Communications Coordinator)
Over the last two years ACRL’s Racial and Ethnic Diversity Committee has been working to develop Cultural Competency Guidelines for Academic Libraries. These guidelines may be used by libraries to foster internal development as well as help articulate the library’s role in higher education in incorporating cultural competencies into learning, scholarship and service.

The committee is working to complete the necessary steps, as outlined by ACRL’s Standards & Accreditation Committee, in order for the association to adopt these guidelines. The distribution of the attached working paper is one of those steps.  The working paper outlines the sections we plan to include in the final document. Your feedback and input will help us create a relevant and effective guide for academic libraries.

The Racial and Ethnic Diversity Committee looks forward to your comments and feedback by May 14, 2010; e-mails can be sent to:

The guidelines will address the following areas (in no particular order):

  • Cultural awareness of self and others
  • Building of cross-cultural knowledge and skills
  • Language diversity
  • Professional education and continuous learning
  • Development of collections, programs and services
  • Service delivery
  • Organizational change, strategy, planning, structure, policies and practices
  • Workforce diversity
  • Workplace climate
  • Cross-cultural leadership
  • Professional and organizational values
  • Research

The National Association of Social Workers has kindly allowed us to adapt their Standards for Cultural Competence in Social Work Practice for our purpose.

If libraries are to continue to be indispensable organizations in their campus communities, they must reflect those communities and be able to provide quality services to their diverse constituencies. Therefore, it is imperative that they attract and retain new and diverse talent. In order to do so, libraries must create an inclusive and respectful work environment, which necessitates supporting the development of cultural competencies among library faculty, staff, and student workers.

Thank you,

Melanee Vicedo, Chair
ACRL’s Racial & Ethnic Diversity Committee

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