Culturally Responsive Librarians: Shifting Perspectives Toward Racial Empathy
Libraries are charged with being inclusive spaces for all patrons. Library (library and information science [LIS]) preparation programs, by extension, must prepare the next generation of librarians to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse population. It is imperative that today’s librarians are equipped to infuse diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) theory with best practice when establishing policy and procedure for the library environment, staff, and programing. With little research and no established protocol in LIS education, it is unclear how pre-service librarians are trained in DEI to meet the needs of all users. This exploratory study used a participatory action research model to examine how a library educator-researcher might begin to develop a framework centered on cultural competence and implement it with one class of emerging librarians to explore issues impacting racial DEI in library services. Findings suggest that the framework provided a structure by which the LIS students could interrogate their own bias, gain greater empathy toward understanding DEI and racial issues, and begin to shift their beliefs toward creating a culturally responsive library setting.
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This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Article states: In the interest of protecting the confidentiality of the participants of this study, full data sources are not shared.
Original Publication Citation
Burns, E. A. (2023). Culturally responsive librarians: Shifting perspectives toward racial empathy. Open Information Science, 7(1), 1-16, Article 20220140 https://doi.org/10.1515/opis-2022-0140
Burns, Elizabeth A., "Culturally Responsive Librarians: Shifting Perspectives Toward Racial Empathy" (2023). STEMPS Faculty Publications. 314.