Leadership, Management and Organizational Development
How do libraries value cultural competencies and how do we actually practice these competencies? In 2012, the Diversity Committee of ACRL published the first draft of "Diversity Standards: Cultural Competency for Academic Libraries," which exists now as the only document sanctioning the advocacy for “cultural competencies” on behalf of the Association of Research and College Libraries. Since the publication of these Diversity Standards, the extent to which academic libraries are utilizing the document to guide their diversity-related efforts has been unclear.
How do you measure how well you are serving a diverse user population? Keeping in mind that the diversity of our users is multi-layered and intersectional, we decided to focus on the Latino populations which are prevalent in California campuses. Out of the national percentage, California contains 34% of Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) in the United States. Simply put, HSIs are defined by having at least a 25% FTE of Hispanic undergraduate students. Having identified the campuses with an HSI designation, our team of librarians created a list of the Library Heads (Directors, Deans, Chairs) for each corresponding library at an HSI campus in California. We then developed a survey with questions aimed to discover what cultural competencies look like in these libraries within the context of HSI responsibilities.
This poster, we will summarize the general trends, challenges, and best practices from our survey responses.