Review of Literature Understanding Diversity Essay

2536 Words Mar 7th, 2013 11 Pages
Understanding Diversity to Create Successful Libraries

A Review of Literature

Veronica Espinoza

SLIS 5000

Dr. O’Connor

University of North Texas

August 5, 2012

Abstract

Within our country, the diverse users who visit libraries and seek information services from their librarians are many. Within the 21st century dynamic demographics are creating diverse communities which bring significant challenges in our library systems. In order to target the needs of diverse users, librarians and information professionals are taking on a multifaceted approach. This approach requires librarians to provide a variety of quality information services to diverse users while
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Gender and age are also factors that determine diverse population groups who may require particular literacy skills. Another group which constitutes a large diverse population of users is those who are recognized as disabled. These disabilities may be mental or physical and consequentially determine the level of assistance or unique services that they are entitled to. The challenges that come with understanding and employing diversity in libraries are directly connected to the degree of effort that librarians use when addressing diverse groups. Today it is imperative for librarians to recognize, understand, and implement the necessary criteria in order to properly serve the needs of diverse users within their communities.

Engaging Diverse Multicultural Users with Programs and Well Balanced Collections

Public libraries must serve as information facilities to a variety of users. The availability of information and access to it is an ideal environment which library professionals aspire to create for their users. However, not all communities function in ideal environments. Frostick (2009) describes “the neighborhoods surrounding the library housed some of the poorest people in the city, including many of the immigrants”, an unfortunate situation which is plausible even today (p. 33). Furthermore, “the difficulty of providing equal access and equal service to such a

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