Can we talk? Perceptions of diversity issues by students with diverse backgrounds, and a rumination on personal roads to systemic change
Article publication date: 9 November 2015
This paper aims to examine the attractiveness of Library and Information Science (LIS) professions and programs to culturally and linguistically diverse individuals.
Between September and December 2014, current students and alumni from 57 North American LIS programs were surveyed regarding their learning experiences and perceptions of the state of diversity in LIS.
The findings point to deep, emotive reflections on diversity in LIS. Noting the general societal turn toward values-based, integral diversity, this paper proposes looking beyond the quantitative measures and paying attention to the volume of negative emotion surrounding the diversity debate in our field. Making both philosophical and practical arguments, a three-tiered approach is advocated, which can contribute to nurturing the climate of diversity: outreach and promotion; recruitment and retention; and interpersonal and intercultural dialog that will not only sustain diversity but also transform diverse environments into healthy and vibrant places with transparent communication channels.
This paper departs from the focus on increasing diversity and emphasizes sustaining diversity in both academia and workplaces. The improvement of interpersonal relationships, human understanding and interpersonal communication is seen as a way to systemic change.
Caidi, N. and Dali, K. (2015), "Can we talk? Perceptions of diversity issues by students with diverse backgrounds, and a rumination on personal roads to systemic change", New Library World, Vol. 116 No. 11/12, pp. 748-780. https://doi.org/10.1108/NLW-08-2015-0056
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