Three faculty members from the College of University Libraries and Learning Sciences recently published an ALA Editions Special Report that looks at cultural humility as a practice to support diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in libraries and other institutions.
Cultural Humility by David A. Hurley, Sarah R. Kostelecky, and Lori Townsend introduces the concept of cultural humility 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.
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.
The faculty members are also collaborators on the forthcoming book, Hopeful Visions, Practical Actions: Cultural Humility in Library Work, which is due to be published by ALA Editions in late 2022.
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.
Sarah R. Kostelecky (Zuni Pueblo) is the Director of Digital Initiatives and Scholarly Communication (DISC) for University Libraries. Her research focuses on outreach efforts to underrepresented communities, diversity in academic libraries and library collections, and Native American language resources. Previously at UNM, Sarah has served as the Education Librarian and Access Services Librarian in the Indigenous Nations Library Program (INLP). She earned both her MA in Information Resources and Library Science and BA in Sociology from the University of Arizona. Prior to working at UNM Libraries, Sarah was the Library Director at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, NM, the premiere educational institution for contemporary Native American arts and cultures. Along with David A. Hurley and Paulita Aguilar, she 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. Sarah has enjoyed working in a variety of libraries including university, public, tribal college, and museum.
Lori Townsend (Shoshone-Paiute) is the Learning Services Coordinator and a social sciences librarian for the University of New Mexico Libraries. Her research interests include genre theory and information literacy, source evaluation, and cultural humility. Lori holds a BA in history from the University of New Mexico and an MLIS from San Jose State University. She is coauthor, along with Amy R. Hofer and Silvia Lin Hanick, of the book Transforming Information Literacy Instruction: Threshold Concepts in Theory and Practice (Libraries Unlimited, 2018); she and Silvia Lin Hanick are series editors for the just-launched Libraries Unlimited Series, Teaching Information Literacy Today.