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New Diversity Standards: Cultural Competency for Academic Libraries

October 31st, 2012 by David Free in Diversity, Standards and Guidelines No Comments

The ACRL Board of Directors has approved new “Diversity Standards: Cultural Competency for Academic Libraries.” Developed by the ACRL Racial and Ethnic Diversity Committee, the standards emphasize the need and obligation for academic and research libraries to serve, and advocate for, racial and ethnically diverse constituencies.

“Higher education institutions thrive when the campus community is racially and ethnically diverse,” said ACRL President Steven J. Bell of Temple University. “These new standards will enable academic librarians to excel in helping their college or university to achieve excellence in serving multicultural constituencies. ”

As visionary leaders open to change, new ideas and global perspectives, ACRL is committed to diversity of people and ideas. The association understands that if libraries are to continue being indispensable organizations in their campus communities, they must reflect the communities they serve and provide quality services to their increasingly diverse constituencies. The new standards provide a framework to support libraries in engaging the complexities of providing services to diverse populations, and recruiting and maintaining a diverse library workforce.

“The ACRL Diversity Standards speak to the importance of recognizing and meeting the needs of our varied academic and research communities, including library professionals and those we serve,” added ACRL Diversity Committee Chair Rayette Starling of Eastern Washington University. “The standards are a tool to help academic and research libraries achieve cultural competencies and are designed to be a living document which can adapt to different cultural climates – including gender diversity. It is our hope that these standards will give libraries a place to start the conversation about inclusion and best practice.”

The full “Diversity Standards: Cultural Competency for Academic Libraries” are freely available on the ACRL website and in the October 2012 issue of C&RL News.

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