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Title: Developing the culturally competent public librarian : an investigation of diversity training for public libraries to support empathic service provision to Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities
Author: Syed, Mostafa
ISNI:       0000 0004 5358 0854
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2014
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Public libraries in Britain serve a wide range of people in today’s multicultural Britain, including those from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities. In order to be able to do so in an effective and empathic manner, many library staff participate in training that comes under terms such as ‘Diversity Training’ or ‘Cultural Awareness Courses.’ At the same time, libraries have a unique role as a neutral meeting ground that can facilitate the bringing together of many diverse communities. This thesis seeks to establish whether such training does lead to empathic BME provision and whether the training allows for staff to fulfil the library's unique role. Further, it proposes recommendations and a training model that will facilitate this, allowing library staff to become culturally competent. The literature review highlighted the multiple criticisms levelled against Diversity Training - its focus on prejudice reduction as opposed to cultural understanding; its short and infrequent nature, for example - and also provided insights from other disciplines into how empathy and true cultural understanding could take place. A qualitative approach was adopted with observational data coupled multiple survey-based case studies with both library staff and library users. Individual data-sets were coded, and themes identified, both within each data-set and across the whole range of the data. This led to the development of a Culturally Competency Training Model that is multi-tiered, aims to be cost-effective, and provides both skills-based and knowledge-based training, with repeated inter-cultural contact at its theoretical base. It can be used as a part of an induction programme and as part of ongoing training for current public library staff. In closing, the thesis looks at recommendations aimed at public library staff and fellow researchers.
Supervisor: Birdi, Briony Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available