Come and Get Yours: Culturally Responsive Library Services and Current LIS Education Response


  • Stan Trembach Emporia State University



Multiculturalism in library services, culturally responsive librarianship, LIS education


With the continued internationalization of the U.S. population in recent decades, much of the focus of contemporary public library work has been on helping patrons with foreign backgrounds overcome numerous barriers to acculturation ranging from limited command of English, resulting difficulties securing employment, accessibility of education and healthcare opportunities, racial or ethnic discrimination, and the pressure to immerse into culturally different environment of the host country. This poster details the progress of a two-stage research project that positions the historical development of culturally responsive library services as a key factor in facilitating the integration of foreign-born library users into the mainstream of American society. Stage I presents the results of a thematic review of professional literature to elucidate the crucial role that the funds of knowledge/funds of identity paradigm plays in the experiences these patrons tend to have with library resources and personnel. The poster then uses an adapted library-community convergence framework (Mehra & Srinivasan, 2007) to categorize selected library community-strengthening efforts aimed to change the disempowered status of Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, Italian Americans, and other multicultural populations. The author brings to the foreground their compelling tales of perseverance and courage, a successful rise to the challenge of adjusting to a new country and a new culture--ultimately making it their own. Stage II, document analysis, will use the terminology developed for the literature review, to explore to what extent LIS curricular offerings are reflective of the current societal push for more diversity and cultural competence in library education.


Mehra, B. & Srinivasan, R. (2007). The Library-Community Convergence Framework for Community Action: Libraries as Catalysts of Social Change. Libri, 57(3), 123-139.






Works in Progress Posters