THE CULTURALLY RELEVANT
REFERENCE INTERVIEW
Nataly Blas and Emily Mann
Reference and Instruction Services, Jackson Library...
What is cross-cultural communication?
Why is it important in a reference interview?
Definitions
• Communication Barrier: Obstacle in a workplace that prevents
exchange of ideas or thoughts. (i.e. cultural d...
The Culturally Relevant Reference
Interview
Cross Cultural
Communication
ACRL
Diversity
Standards
RUSA
Guidelines
ACRL Diversity Standards
Standard 1: Cultural awareness of self and others
Standard 2: Cross-cultural knowledge and skills...
Cross-Cultural Communication Barriers
Cultural
• Different non-verbal communications
• Different role relationships
• Lack...
Reference Interview
Approachability
Interest
Listening/InquiringSearching
Follow Up
Culturally Relevant Reference Interview
Approachability
• Friendly greeting; smiling
• Speaking in a relaxed tone, perhaps...
Culturally Relevant Reference Interview
Interest
• Providing your full attention
• Non-verbal cues, nodding to display
und...
Culturally Relevant Reference Interview
Listening/Inquiring
• Watch for non-verbal communication cues
• Speak slowly and a...
Culturally Relevant Reference Interview
Searching
• Ask and encourage questions
• Keep the process clear and simple
• Take...
Culturally Relevant Reference Interview
Follow Up
• Ask if the question was completely answered
• Refer to subject special...
Tips for Communicating Across Cultures
• Be patient, don’t be afraid to ask for clarifications, and follow up
• Don’t make...
Beyond the Reference Desk
• Library tours in various languages
• Diversity in the library’s collection
• Multilingual serv...
Questions?
languagemagazine.com
References
• ACRL Diversity Standards, http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/diversity
• Brothen, E. & Bennet, E. (2013). The ...
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The culturally relevant reference interview

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The culturally relevant reference interview

  1. 1. THE CULTURALLY RELEVANT REFERENCE INTERVIEW Nataly Blas and Emily Mann Reference and Instruction Services, Jackson Library April 6, 2013
  2. 2. What is cross-cultural communication? Why is it important in a reference interview?
  3. 3. Definitions • Communication Barrier: Obstacle in a workplace that prevents exchange of ideas or thoughts. (i.e. cultural differences) • Cross-Cultural Communication: A process of exchanging, negotiating, and mediating one's cultural differences through language, non-verbal gestures, and space relationships. • Cultural competence: A congruent set of behaviors, attitudes, and policies that enable a person or group to work effectively in cross- cultural situations. (ACRL, National Association of Social Workers, 2001) • Diversity: State or fact of being diverse; different characteristics and experiences that define individuals. • Reference Interview: Approachability –> Interest –> Listening/Inquiring –> Searching –> Follow Up
  4. 4. The Culturally Relevant Reference Interview Cross Cultural Communication ACRL Diversity Standards RUSA Guidelines
  5. 5. ACRL Diversity Standards Standard 1: Cultural awareness of self and others Standard 2: Cross-cultural knowledge and skills Standard 5: Service Delivery Standard 6: Language Diversity Standard 10: Professional education and continuous learning
  6. 6. Cross-Cultural Communication Barriers Cultural • Different non-verbal communications • Different role relationships • Lack of cultural awareness Functional • Different experiences with libraries • Different research skills • Different experience with technology Language • Non-native English speakers • Accents, slang, jargon
  7. 7. Reference Interview Approachability Interest Listening/InquiringSearching Follow Up
  8. 8. Culturally Relevant Reference Interview Approachability • Friendly greeting; smiling • Speaking in a relaxed tone, perhaps slower than usual • Assure patron you are there to help
  9. 9. Culturally Relevant Reference Interview Interest • Providing your full attention • Non-verbal cues, nodding to display understanding • Be aware of cross-cultural rules, such as personal space lifeinthefastlane.com
  10. 10. Culturally Relevant Reference Interview Listening/Inquiring • Watch for non-verbal communication cues • Speak slowly and avoid jargon • Paraphrase to check mutual understanding • You may ask the patron to write something down for clarification
  11. 11. Culturally Relevant Reference Interview Searching • Ask and encourage questions • Keep the process clear and simple • Take the time to explain library jargon, such as database or catalog • Be enthusiastic about the topic
  12. 12. Culturally Relevant Reference Interview Follow Up • Ask if the question was completely answered • Refer to subject specialist if necessary, make sure to explain the process • Be flexible and try different ways of communicating
  13. 13. Tips for Communicating Across Cultures • Be patient, don’t be afraid to ask for clarifications, and follow up • Don’t make assumptions, (blurb about one size does not fit all) • Avoid jargon, idioms, and jokes (this includes library jargon) • Be aware of language differences, such as accents • Be aware of your body language, such as personal space and eye contact • Speak slower, but not necessarily louder • Try different ways of communication • Be open, flexible, and willing to increase your multicultural awareness
  14. 14. Beyond the Reference Desk • Library tours in various languages • Diversity in the library’s collection • Multilingual services, such as tutors or translation services • Library materials in other languages • Cross-cultural Communication training for library staff
  15. 15. Questions? languagemagazine.com
  16. 16. References • ACRL Diversity Standards, http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/diversity • Brothen, E. & Bennet, E. (2013). The Culturally Relevant Reference Interview: How to Enhance Reference Transactions in a Era of Diversity. In Library Sources for Multicultural Patrons, 35, 297-302 • Garner, S. (2003). Bridging the Intercultural Communication Gap at the Reference Desk. Legal Services Quarterly. 22(2), 7-33. • Osa, J. O., Nyana, S. A., & Ogbaa, C. A. (2006). Effective Cross-Cultural Communication to Enhance Reference Transactions: Training Guidelines and Tips. Knowledge Quest, 35(2), 22-24. • RUSA Guidelines, http://www.ala.org/rusa/resources/guidelines/guidelinesbehavioral

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