The standards are intended to emphasize the need and obligation to serve and advocate for racial and ethnically diverse constituencies.

As such­­­, they are intended to apply to all libraries supporting academic programs at institutions of higher education.

Diversity is an essential component of any civil society.

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That requires competency in matters of cultural pluralism that are not intuitive and must be learned, like any other essential skill (Smith 2008, 143).

To this end, these 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 standards may also serve as a starting point from which libraries can develop local approaches and goals in the context of their organizations’ mission and situation.

A congruent set of behaviors, attitudes, and policies that enable a person or group to work effectively in cross-cultural situations; the process by which individuals and systems respond respectfully and effectively to people of all cultures, languages, classes, races, ethnic backgrounds, religions, and other diversity factors in a manner that recognizes, affirms, and values the worth of individuals, families, and communities and protects and preserves the dignity of each (National Association of Social Workers, 2001). Cultural awareness of self and others Librarians and library staff shall develop an understanding of their own personal and cultural values and beliefs as a first step in appreciating the importance of multicultural identities in the lives of the people they work with and serve. Cross-cultural knowledge and skills Librarians and library staff shall have and continue to develop specialized knowledge and understanding about the history, traditions, values, and artistic expressions of colleagues, co-workers, and major constituencies served. Organizational and professional values Librarians and library staff shall develop and support organizational and professional values dedicated to culturally competent service. Development of collections, programs, and services Librarians and library staff shall develop collections and provide programs and services that are inclusive of the needs of all persons in the community the library serves. Service delivery Librarians and library staff shall be knowledgeable about and skillful in the use and provision of information services available in the community and broader society, and shall be able to make appropriate referrals for their diverse constituencies. Language diversity Librarians and library staff shall support the preservation and promotion of linguistic diversity, and work to foster a climate of inclusion aimed at eliminating discrimination and oppression based on linguistic or other diversities. Workforce diversity Librarians and library staff shall support and advocate for recruitment, admissions, hiring, and retention efforts in libraries, library associations, and LIS programs to increase diversity and ensure continued diversity in the profession. Organizational dynamics Librarians and library staff shall participate in and facilitate the development of organizational dynamics that enable individuals, groups, and organizations to continually develop and exercise cultural competence. Cross-cultural leadership Library leaders shall influence, support, and encourage the creation of proactive processes that increase diversity skills; empower colleagues, co-workers, and constituents from diverse backgrounds; share information about diverse populations; and advocate for their concerns. Professional education and continuous learning Librarians and library staff shall advocate for and participate in educational and training programs that help advance cultural competence within the profession. Research Research shall be inclusive and respectful of non-Western thought and traditional knowledge reflecting the value of cultural ways of knowing. Cultural awareness of self and others Librarians and library staff shall develop an understanding of their own personal and cultural values and beliefs as a first step in appreciating the importance of multicultural identities in the lives of the people they work with and serve.

Everyone can benefit from diversity, and diverse populations need to be supported so they can reach their full potential for themselves and their communities.

As visionary leaders open to change, new ideas, and global perspectives, ACRL is committed to diversity of people and ideas, as noted in its 2007 White Papers.

With that regard, ACRL 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.

To achieve diversity in substance as well as in form, libraries have to open their arms to all perspectives and experiences.

Customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group; a set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization. Interpretation Cultural competence requires that librarians and library staff examine their own cultural backgrounds and identities to increase awareness of personal assumptions, values, and biases.