David A. Hurley is the Web and Discovery Librarian for the University Libraries. In addition to cultural humility, he writes and presents on search, reference services, and information literacy. He was previously the director of the Diné College libraries on the Navajo Nation, chief of the library development bureau at the New Mexico State Library, and branch and digital services manager for the public library of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County. With Sarah R. Kostelecky and Paulita Aguilar, David co-edited “Sharing Knowledge and Smashing Stereotypes: Representing Native American, First Nation, and Indigenous Realities in Library Collections,” a special double issue of the journal Collection Management.
- About the Authors
This accessible and compelling Special Report introduces cultural humility, a lifelong practice that can guide library workers in their day-to-day interactions by helping them recognize and address structural inequities in library services.
Cultural humility is emerging as a preferred approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts within librarianship. At a time when library workers are critically examining their professional practices, cultural humility offers a potentially transformative framework of compassionate accountability; it asks us to recognize the limits to our knowledge, reckon with our ongoing fallibility, educate ourselves about the power imbalances in our organizations, and commit to making change. This Special Report introduces the concept and outlines its core tenets. As relevant to those currently studying librarianship as it is to long-time professionals, and applicable across multiple settings including archives and museums, from this book readers will
- learn why cultural humility offers an ideal approach for navigating the spontaneous interpersonal interactions in libraries, whether between patrons and staff or amongst staff members themselves;
- understand how it intersects with cultural competence models and critical race theory;
- see the ways in which cultural humility’s awareness of and commitment to challenging inequitable structures of power can act as a powerful catalyst for community engagement;
- come to recognize how a culturally humble approach supports DEI work by acknowledging the need for mindfulness in day-to-day interactions;
- reflect upon cultural humility’s limitations and the criticisms that some have leveled against it; and
- take away concrete tools for undertaking and continuing such work with patience and hope.
Examination copies are available for instructors who are interested in adopting this title for course use.