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ACRL's Diversity Standards Toolkit

Professional Education and Continuous Learning

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

ACRL's Interpretation of Standard 10

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.

Sample Applications of Standard 10

  • Librarians can attend diversity focused events at professional conferences like ACRL, ALA, and LOEX.
  • Librarians can seek out, support, and attend diversity related events led by students and faculty outside of the library at their institution.
  • Librarians can invite faculty and students who teach and organize about diversity, and specific marginalized populations, to lead workshops at their library.
  • Librarians can plan diversity workshops and trainings within their libraries for all library staff members.

ACRL's Standards Selection of Site 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

Diversity Report-Outs Ask librarians to attend diversity workshops, events, posters, and panels at professional conferences and schedule informal gatherings after the conferences to report out to colleagues about what they learned.  Over time, this will help to build capacity within an organization, and to raise awareness about what professional development about diversity needs to be sought out, and funded, in the future.


Cultures Connecting Free Resources for EducatorsThis includes tools to begin assessing your organization's need for increased awareness about diversity. Although it is not library specific, there are useful professional development tools for teachers that would be particularly useful for librarians who teach information literacy.

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack- A widey used article to help white people begin to recognize white privilege, and how they perpetuate it.

“Whose Table?”: On Libraries and Race | ALA 2013- An introduction to the excellent work of Tod Honma and essential ideas and theories to help us transform libraries into diverse communities.

Cultural Awareness Trends

Institutions Implementing this Standard and Contact Information

University of Washington Libraries - UW Bothell/ Cascadia Community College Campus Library

Althea Eannace Lazzaro, MA, MLIS

Research & Instruction / Psychology Librarian

Members of our Diversity Team attended a "Train-the-Trainers" workshop through Cultures Connecting to learn strategies for facilitiating conversations about race, privilege, and discrimination.  This has lead us to make different decisions about what to cover, and how to lead, the diversity trainings that we do with our whole library staff.  Overall, we have become more empowered as a team to delve into difficult discussions about sensitive issues, because we feel as if we have more tools to draw upon when the discussion (inevitably) moves into uncomfortable territory.