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Transcending Cultural Barriers to Efffective Customer Service

Transcending Cultural Barriers to Efffective Customer Service






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    Transcending Cultural Barriers to Efffective Customer Service Transcending Cultural Barriers to Efffective Customer Service Presentation Transcript

    • Transcending Cultural Barriers to Effective Customer Service NYLA 2009 Sponsors: PLS, ESRT Edana McCaffery Cichanowicz [email_address] This presentation has been posted on LINKED IN
    • Demographics
      • American Factfinder US Census Bureau
      • Brookings Institution The Rise of New Immigrant Gateways
      • MLA Language Map
      • National Center for Educational Statistics
      • US Citizenship Information Service Formerly known as the “INS”
      • TRACImmigration Syracuse University
    • Anti-Immigrant Sentiment
      • 9/11
      • National Media Lou Dobbs on CNN
      • Local regional media Newsday “comments”
        • Suburban immigrant gateways (Brookings)
        • Suburban Lifestyle=perfect storm of demand for service and lack of infrastructure or support
      • Harassment, Attacks, Assaults
      • Murder of Marcelo Lucero on Long Island
      • Southern Poverty Law Center
        • Climate of Fear
        • Kansas Church
    • Immigrant Tide Quote
      • …“ The arrivals are of the classes which in later years have come to be considered undesirable citizens. Italians from both North and South, Russian and Polish immigrants….Germans, English and Scandinavian poor….[yet] It is hard to say how our subways would be dug, or our railways would be built, without the coarse labor which Americans despise, but demand to be done…”
    • History Repeats Itself
      • New York Times, June 11, 1914, pg. 10
    • What is Culture?
      • Culture is the deposit of knowledge, experience, beliefs, values, attitudes, meanings, social hierarchies, religion, notions of time, roles, spatial relationships, concepts of the universe and material objects and possessions acquired by a group of people in the course of generations through individual and group learning.
      • Culture exists in “layers” of related identity. Diversity within diversity. For example
        • I am an Irish-American Catholic Librarian College Professor.
        • I am a Bi-racial African-American Republican Lawyer.
        • I am a Secular Jewish-American Gay Doctor.
        • I am a Scotch-Irish Protestant Farmer
        • Outsider doe not discern above distinctions, and vice versa.
      • Point of Service: Patron’s Culture + Librarian’s Culture + Institutional Culture
      • Progress: Clinical  Neutral  Postive Outlook
      • Awareness that understanding another culture is not rejecting your own
      • Avoidance of stereotypes while acknowledging cultural differences
      • Staying in the customer service transaction, i.e., not attempting to solve or address global issues at the desk!
      • Working through, around, behind, above anti-immigrant sentiment, cross cultural communication issues, language differences, negative aspects of traditional library institutional culture, and other barriers to success.
    • Cultural Intelligence
      • Knowledge of culture
        • What it is, how it varies, how it influences behavior. Simple steps: food & music!
      • Mindfulness
        • Practice paying attention in a creative way to cues in cross-cultural situations. Good morning, sister.
      • Behavioral Skills
        • Based on knowledge & mindfulness, the CI person develops competence in cross-cultural situations.
    • Selected Cultural Elements
      • Notions of TIME
      • Attitudes re Personal Space and Social Hierarchies
      • Fundamental Values and Traditional Library Culture
      • Language! Obvious and Complex!
    • Time
      • Loose in many other cultures
      • Project in mutual education
      • Impact on library service levels
      • Case Study Examples
        • Job Fair Resume & Back-planning
        • Statistics and Counting Attendance
    • Social Hierarchies & Personal Space
      • Assuming library is for scholars, not regular folks
      • Reluctance to enter or approach
      • Case study examples
        • “Unattended Children”
        • “Car repair information”
    • Fundamental Values
      • What is fair?
        • Universalism: Individual is basis of social structure; Fair means same for all; Uniformity and consistency are “Right.” “I treat everyone the same.”
        • Particularism: Different outcomes expected. Family and/or Group is basis of social structure.
      • Case Study Examples
        • Friendly Conversation Group Survey
          • Languages spoken
          • Linguistic isolation and pragmatism
        • Evolution of FECs
    • Library Culture
      • Professional vs. Bureaucratic Models
        • Solve the problem?
        • What’s the rule? Do you feel stuck in the middle?
      • Case Study Examples
        • Civil Service Model—Who “points”?
        • Pages—Urdu speaker in children’s room
        • Custodians
    • Language
      • Low English Proficiency
            • Signage SOL Spanish in Our Libraries
            • Translations of forms & documents
            • Translation of newsletter, flyers, and pr materials
      • Translation ≠ Comprehension
        • Library Jargon
            • Circulation “Can I take this book?”
            • Claimed Returned “One Year Later”
      • Case Study Examples
            • LEP is obvious, but may occur in combination
            • LEP & “E-Government”
    • Stress Realities
      • I am not here to judge, but rather to VALIDATE your feelings.
      • It is NORMAL to feel stress.
      • It is NORMAL to feel anxiety.
      • It is NORMAL to feel irritation.
      • It is NORMAL to feel anger….
      • …if left without the tools to deal with your environment!
    • Stress Relievers—Collaborative Plan
      • Cultural issues must be managed holistically, across all library depts.
      • Cultural issues must be integrated into all decision-making.
      • Cultural issues must have clear buy-in from library managers and supervisors.
      • Diversity must be articulated as a clear and important organizational value.
      • ALA Guidelines on Multicultural Service
    • Stress Relievers—Community Support
      • You can’t go it alone
      • You need to work with
        • Churches & Places of Worship
        • ESL Programs
        • Advocacy Groups
        • Other libraries
        • Other agencies
        • Each other—Formal or Informal Multicultural Service Cmte within Library
    • Stress Relievers—Community Groups
      • Seek out local businesses and cmty groups for publicity, help with programming, ideas
      • Ask them what they need, don’t assume that you know. Collaborate!
      • Offer meeting space for their meetings
      • Meet with them on and off-site
      • Welcome them into library
      • Include them in planning
    • Where to Find Help
      • ALA EMIERT
      • NYLA Ethnic Services Roundtable
      • Local Prof Orgs, e.g.,SCLA/RASD MOSAIC
      • WebJunction
      • SOL Spanish in Our Libraries
    • TO-DO List for Managers
      • Understand Local Immigration Dynamics
      • Bring Cultural Sensitivity to Service
      • Provide Workforce Support
      • Build English Language Capacity
      • Create Linkages to Mainstream Institutions
      • Encourage Civic Engagement
    • Questions
      • Questions?
      • My contact information:
        • Edana McCaffery Cichanowicz
        • Brentwood Public Library 631-273-7883
        • [email_address]