To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Can we talk? Perceptions of diversity issues by students with diverse backgrounds, and a rumination on personal roads to systemic change

Nadia Caidi (University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada)
Keren Dali (Western University, London, Canada)

New Library World

ISSN: 0307-4803

Article publication date: 9 November 2015

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the attractiveness of Library and Information Science (LIS) professions and programs to culturally and linguistically diverse individuals.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Originality/value

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.

Keywords

Citation

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

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited