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ACRL's Diversity Standards Toolkit

Organizational and Professional Values

Librarians and library staff shall develop and support organizational and professional values dedicated to
culturally competent service.

ACRL's Interpretation of Standard 3

Organizational and professional values are the norms and guidelines that shape expectations for acceptable behavior and provide standards for both individual and group action. Establishing organizational and professional values that reflect cultural competence is an essential step in putting those values into practice. 

Cultural competency can thrive within an organization only if a guiding framework for its development is thoroughly developed and clearly communicated to organization members. Because cultural competence is a critical component of user-focused service in particular, it is essential that its importance within the profession is evident across all organizational levels of a library. Thus cultural competency standards must be incorporated into each area of library infrastructure, from public service to policymaking, administration, and managerial practice. 

For administrators, developing such framework entails multiple strategies, including, but not limited to:

  • Defining and prioritizing a set of core values and principles demonstrating a multifaceted commitment to diversity-minded service for employees to follow.
  • Creating and maintaining services that are guided by an awareness of current and emerging demographic and sociocultural trends in the constituencies served by the library.
  • Creating and maintaining a workplace climate that demonstrates commitment to cultural pluralism.
  • Including cultural competency requirements in employee performance review and assessment procedures.
  • Implementing recruitment, hiring, and retention efforts that ensure diversity within the profession.
  • Creating or providing access to employee educational and training programs that advance cultural competency within the organization.
  • Creating and providing services responsive to people of varying ethnic, racial, religious, or social backgrounds.

Regular assessment of cultural competence goals, moreover, is an essential factor in their ongoing relevancy and effectiveness. Informed decisions regarding culturally sensitive services can be made through consistent review of competence standards within the context of organizational values as a whole. Because cultural competency standards are only as good as their effects can be measured, it is important that the profession put into place opportunities for training in diversity recognition and outcomes-based evaluation of culturally sensitive practice.

The library profession should be encouraged to take steps to ensure that cultural competence is a fundamental organizational value, and to foster research and scholarship on culturally competent practices among library professionals as a means of commitment to one another and the diverse communities served.

ACRL's Standards Selection of Sites Disclosure

To the extent that it is possible, we have selected several national and state resources.  Note that the UAF libraries are not responsible for the content of external websites.  These news feeds are simply a starting point to your implementing of these standards.

Ice Breakers

Department managers should meet to discuss how to address cultual awareness in their department policies. Policies should address how service to constituents and diversity among staff will be demonstrated.

Cultural Competence: Managing Your Prejudices

This video was made for healthcare professionals. However, we can use this to think about ourselves and our patrons within our profession.