Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
0
Librarianship as a Cultural Profession
Librarianship as a Cultural Profession
Librarianship as a Cultural Profession
Librarianship as a Cultural Profession
Librarianship as a Cultural Profession
Librarianship as a Cultural Profession
Librarianship as a Cultural Profession
Librarianship as a Cultural Profession
Librarianship as a Cultural Profession
Librarianship as a Cultural Profession
Librarianship as a Cultural Profession
Librarianship as a Cultural Profession
Librarianship as a Cultural Profession
Librarianship as a Cultural Profession
Librarianship as a Cultural Profession
Librarianship as a Cultural Profession
Librarianship as a Cultural Profession
Librarianship as a Cultural Profession
Librarianship as a Cultural Profession
Librarianship as a Cultural Profession
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Thanks for flagging this SlideShare!

Oops! An error has occurred.

×
Saving this for later? Get the SlideShare app to save on your phone or tablet. Read anywhere, anytime – even offline.
Text the download link to your phone
Standard text messaging rates apply

Librarianship as a Cultural Profession

1,026

Published on

Published in: Education, Technology
0 Comments
2 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
1,026
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
8
Comments
0
Likes
2
Embeds 0
No embeds

Report content
Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
No notes for slide

Transcript

  • 1. “Librarianship As A Cultural Profession”
    © 2005 – 2011. Vanessa Irvin Morris. All rights reserved.
    Contact: vanirvinmorris@gmail.com
    Librarianship as a Cultural Profession by Vanessa Irvin Morris is licensed
    under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.Based on a work at www.slideshare.net.
  • 2. Defining Multiculturalism
    According to the Journal of Counseling & Development, the terms race,
    culture and ethnicity tend to be used interchangeably. This is highly
    problematic because they are all very different concepts.
    Race - this term has been used to group people by physical appearance; to imply a common
    descent or heredity. In 1942, Ashley Montagu wrote: “Race is the witchcraft of our time …
    is a contemporary myth … man’s most dangerous myth.”
    Culture - represents thebehaviors and beliefs that characterize a certain group. Culture can
    manifest physically in terms of buildings, tools, etc. Subjective culture involves a group’s
    Social structure, systems and organizations … beliefs, values and norms (paradigms).
    Ethnicity - is embedded within culture. Characteristics that make up smaller groups within a
    larger cultural group or society. Examples: The many tribes of the American Indian family;
    different ethnicities of the Mexican/Latino cultural family; even different ethnicities within
    The European cultural family. Ethnicity is played out in terms of how we speak, eat, work,
    and celebrate life stages.
  • 3. Defining Multiculturalism
    Other terms I’d like to incorporate into our discussion:
    Class - term used to define groups of people of similar economic and/or
    social empowerment and accessibility.
    Disabled/Handicapped/Challenged - terms used to denote persons who are
    physically, mentally or emotionally suffering from a loss of 100% normal function of any
    part of the human body and/or experience.
    Underserved - a newer term that can include persons who are disenfranchised via class,
    societal positioning (e.g. prisoners), gender, sexual orientation, disability, and/or AGE. Misunderstanding of the underserved occurs when those challenges manifest themselves in a lack of basic survival needs as in a home, vehicle, education, relationships, etc.
  • 4. Defining Multiculturalism
    WHAT IS AMERICA’S NATIONAL IDENTITY?
    It is a cornucopia of peoples and cultures
    A diverse identity; a cultural identity
    A multicultural identity rooted in democratic principles
    Those democratic principles are most commonly displayed in terms of
    intellectual freedom, thought and expression
    Intellectual freedom, thought and expression are afforded on
    an equal basis where?
    AT YOUR SCHOOL’S LIBRARY; AT YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD LIBRARY
  • 5. Defining Multiculturalism Source: Gae Broadwater, 2001.
    Gae Broadwater (2001) talks about the differences between the standards of
    mainstream American cultural norms and various sub-cultural norms.
    Mainstream America: who is this? How do we know “mainstream” American
    Cultural values when we see them?
    Basically, mainstream values are those “across the board” criteria and standards
    that create an overall national identity.
    Broadwater illustrates how mainstream American norms are often at odds with
    common ethnic and/or even community-based norms. (see next slide)
  • 6. Defining Multiculturalism Source: Gae Broadwater, 2001.
    Aspects of Culture
    Dominant American
    Sub Cultures
    Sense of Self
    and Space
    - Formal -
    Hugs, bows, handshakes
    - Informal -
    Handshake
    Implicit, Indirect
    Emphasis on Context;
    Meaning Found Around Words
    Explicit, Direct
    Emphasis on content;
    Meaning Found in Words
    Communication
    and Language
    “Dress for Success”
    Wide range of
    accepted dress
    Dress seen as a sign of
    position, wealth, prestige,
    religious rules
    Dress and
    Appearance
    Food and
    Eating Habits
    Eating as necessity
    “Fast Food”
    Dining as a social
    experience; religious rules
    Linear and Exact Time
    Value on Promptness
    “Time Equals Money”
    Elastic and Relative Time
    Time spent on enjoyment
    of relationships
    Time and
    Time Consciousness
    Focus on nuclear family
    Responsibility for self
    Value on youth; age a handicap
    Focus on extended family
    Loyal, responsible to family;
    Age given status and respect
    Relationships,
    Family, Friends
    Individual Orientation
    Independence
    Prefer direct conflict resolution
    Group Orientation
    Conformity
    Preference for harmony
    Values and
    Norms
  • 7. Defining Multiculturalism Source: Gae Broadwater, 2001.
    Aspects of Culture
    Dominant American
    Sub Cultures
    Egalitarian
    Challenging of Authority
    Individuals control their destiny
    Gender Equity
    Hierarchical
    Respect for authority and
    social order
    Individuals accept their destiny
    Distinct Gender Roles
    Beliefs
    and Attitudes
    Mental Processes
    and Learning Styles
    Linear, Logical, Sequential
    Problem-Solving Focus
    Lateral, wholistic, simultaneous
    Accepting of life’s difficulties
    Emphasis on the task
    Reward based
    on individual achievement
    Work has intrinsic value
    Emphasis on relationships
    Rewards based on seniority,
    relationships
    Work is a necessity of life
    Work Habits
    and Practices
  • 8. Defining Multiculturalism
    ALL institutions engage in a culture, and within that institutional culture,
    community subcultures are expressed.
    Academic Libraries
    Dominant Culture Subcultures
    = University = Faculty, Students
    = Student Activities/Organizations
    Special Libraries
    Dominant Culture Subcultures
    = Corporations, = Management, Employees,
    Museums, Courts, = Groups within employee pop.
    Hospitals, etc.
    School Libraries
    Dominant Culture Subcultures
    = Institution = Faculty, Students,
    = School District = Student Activity Groups
    = Municipality
    Public Libraries
    Dominant Culture Subcultures
    = Municipality = Library Staff, Neighborhoods,
    = Library Admin. Groups within neighborhood community
    “Members of community-based
    audiences often do not belong to
    the dominant groups represented
    in an institution.”
    - Broadwater, 2001.
  • 9. Librarianship As A Cultural Profession
    Community or Association
    Institution
    Accepts that things
    can and will go wrong
    Orderly perfection to things;
    institutions are designed to create order
    Only the best, the strongest
    will survive and dominate
    Inclusive rather than exclusive;
    there is room for people w/diff. abilities
    Contributions can be controlled
    and predicted
    Consensual contribution is a
    primary value
    Nonhierarchical; Responds Quickly
    Hierarchical; Bureaucratic processes
    promotes slow response
    Has great difficulty recognizing
    individuals and values
    Recognizes individual characteristics
    Cares for people; but has difficulty
    producing goods and services
    Can provide good and services but
    has difficulty caring for people
    Many rights of citizenship are forgone
    for employment
    A place to express citizenship
    Because of differences reflected in cultural backgrounds,
    educational levels, economic status and positional-professional
    affiliation, misunderstandings can occur based on erroneous assumptions.
    This is often done unintentionally.
    Table adapted from Broadwater, 2001.
  • 10. Defining Multiculturalism
    It is important to realize that each and every person has a philosophical
    orientation that is rooted in a cultural base. We are all multicultural.
    Culture is NECESSARY because it provides a way for people to define themselves,
    respond to, and influence people, events and their environment. Culture is a cornerstone
    of motivation for all people.
    Thus, as librarians, to carry the banner for multiculturalism we must:
    Know Thyself. You must know who you are multi-culturally (again, none of us are
    monolithic. You must know what works for you in terms of respect, communication and trust.
    You must also know what does not work for you.
    2) Be a Lifelong Learner. Learn more about communication patterns, social roles, taboos
    and norms, holidays and special occasions of various cultural families. Read genres beyond
    your normal reading diet; read what you patrons read so that you understand their interests.
    3) Accept What You Know and What You Don’t Know. You can’t know everyone and
    everything. TRUST your heart, and your sense of sincerity and integrity. “There are no
    substitutes for sincerity and integrity.” (Broadwater, 2001.)
  • 11. Defining Multiculturalism
    American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights
    The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information
    and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.
    I. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information,
    and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not
    be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
    II. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical
    issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
    III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information
    and enlightenment.
    IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free
    expression and free access to ideas.
    V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background,
    or views.
    VI. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should
    make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals
    or groups requesting their use.
    Adopted June 18, 1948, by the ALA Council; amended February 2, 1961; January 23, 1980; inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996.
  • 12. Multiculturalism Defined
    Therefore, let us propose a definition for Multiculturalism for
    Librarians and Educators.
    With these points in mind:
    Librarians and educators are keepers and promoters of the American culture.
    As such, librarians and educators are endowed to:
    • Promote library materials
    • 13. Provide curricular support
    • 14. Ensure high quality reference services and programs
    All within the context of materials and services that are applicable, supportive and edifying
    to all cultures within the diverse American society.
  • 15. Multiculturalism Defined
    Therefore, I propose the following definition for multiculturalism in Librarianship:
    “Multiculturalism in library service is the process
    of engaging librarians, staff and
    patron communities in materials that reflect their
    own personal cultural acceptances,
    as well the promotion and acknowledgement,
    acceptance and appreciation of all
    cultures in a global society that illustrate the
    historical and progressive diversity of humanity.”
    - Vanessa Irvin Morris
  • 16. Librarianship As A Cultural Profession
    All together, we make up the American culture, the American national identity.
    One group (i.e. cultural, gender-based, socio-economic, etc.) cannot do without the
    other; we are all connected; thus all responsible to one another.
    What kind of librarian are you?
    - book librarian?
    - people librarian?
    - activist librarian?
    We preserve the cultural information of our society.
    We support and protect all citizens’ right to freedom of information and equity of access.
    We promote self-education, and lifelong learning via our clarity of providing materials
    that answers the information wants and needs of all members of society.
  • 17. Librarianship As A Cultural Profession
    LIBRARIANS ARE THE CULTURE KEEPERS OF AMERICA.
    AS SUCH, WE CANNOT BE PASSIVE, AFRAID OR UNSURE OF WHO WE ARE,
    OR WHAT OUR PURPOSE IS.
    WE MUST APPROACH OUR PROFESSION WITH
    CLARITY OF INTENT, ACTIVISM, INTEGRITY
    AND AN OPEN HEART.
    NOTHING LESS IS ACCEPTABLE.
  • 18. Librarianship As A Cultural Profession
    As culture keepers, it is our duty to ensure that diverse materials, programming and services are
    accessible to all people. These materials can be inside the library or in the community. Either way,
    librarians are responsible for connecting the community with its cultural information. In order to live out
    this mission, we must be culturally competent in interacting with diverse groups of people.
    2 Types of Cultural Competence (adapted from Broadwater, 2001):
    Individuals become culturally competent in the following ways:
    1) They are comfortable with their own cultural heritage and are able to engage
    self-assessment in order to maximize their own sense of multiculturalism.
    2) They develop an awareness and acceptance of differences along with their own cultural knowledge.
    3) They understand the dynamics of difference.
    4) They have a willingness and ability to adapt their practice to the cultural context of the community.
    Organizations become culturally competent when the organization and its
    personnel have the capacity to:
    1) value diversity,
    2) conduct self-assessment,
    3) manage the dynamics of difference,
    4) acquire and institutionalize cultural knowledge, and
    5) adapt to the diversity and cultural contexts if individuals and communities served.
  • 19. Librarianship As A Cultural Profession
    The key to servicing diverse communities in a library setting is: ENGAGEMENT
    According to the Oxford American College Dictionary the act of “engaging”
    means to:
    1) occupy, attract, or involve someone’s interest or attention,
    2) to cause someone to become involved in a conversation or discussion,
    3) arrange to employ or hire someone,
    4) establish a meaningful contact or connection (as in communities).
    How do we as librarians and educators, engage our patrons and communities?
    1) Readers Advisory / Reference Interview / Customer Service
    2) Collection Development and Management
    3) Library Programming
    4) Community Outreach: person-to-person, promotional materials, social media
    Another process in which communities develop via engagement is by interacting
    in a two-way exchange that supports the community.
    Libraries do this via COMMUNICATION and COLLABORATION.
    1) We build partnerships and coalitions.
    2) We mobilize resources.
    3) We coordinate activities.
  • 20. Librarianship As A Cultural Profession
    Wholistic approaches to institutions and communities interacting successfully would include
    communicating on the basis of mutual respect, inclusivity, patience and trust.
    This communication can only productively occur when there is
    knowledge, acknowledgement and appreciation of self and of others.
    For the front-line librarian that means
    KNOWING YOUR COMMUNITY.
    Underserved
    GLBTQ
    Homeless
    Physically Challenged
    Mentally Challenged
    Emotionally Challenged
    Ageism
    Gender
    Societal Communities
    Urban
    Suburban
    Rural
    Religious
    Cultural Communities
    Latino/Mexican
    African/Caribbean/African-American
    European American
    Immigrants and Refugees
    Asian American
    American and Asian Indian
    Melungeon/Appalachian
    9 times out of 10, there will be a cross-cultural overlap
    in your library’s community.
  • 21. “Out of Many, One People” - Jamaica’s National Slogan
    SERVICING OUR CULTURAL FAMILIES
    AS LIBRARIANS, THERE ARE SOME TRUTHS WE MUST ACCEPT:
    1. ALL PEOPLE ARE DIVINE, IMPORTANT, AND NEEDED ON THIS EARTH.
    2. WE ALL CARRY GIFTS AND TALENTS THAT WE CONTRIBUTE TO THE WORLD.
    3. EVERYONE IS VALUABLE.
    Our profession’s adage:
    “Never judge a book by its cover,”
    applies to people, too.
  • 22. Selected Bibliography
    Broadwater, Gae. Engaging New Audiences in Community Development. Paper
    presented at the 2001 South Region Community Development Institute,
    New Braunfels, Texas.
    Cameron, Susan Chavez, and Susan Macias Wycoff. “The Destructive Nature of the Term
    Race: Growing Beyond A False Paradigm.” Journal of Counseling & Development
    76, 3 (Summer 1998): 277 - 286.
    Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development. The National Center for
    Cultural Competence [website]. Available at: http://gucchd.georgetown.edu/nccc/;
    accessed 15 June 2009.
    McGill Equity Subcommittee On Queer People. [webpage]
    Available at: / http://www.mcgill.ca/queerequity/; accessed 29 September 2010.
    Trace Research and Development Center. “A Brief Introduction to Disabilities.” [webpage]
    WI: College of Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Available at:
    http://trace.wisc.edu/docs/population/populat.htm; accessed 23 June 2009.
    Weaver, Hilary N. Explorations in Cultural Competence: Journeys to the Four Directions.
    Belmont, CA: Thomson Brooks/Cole, 2005.

×