Cultivating Cultural Humility at the Hamilton Public Library

How can Hamilton Public Library staff cultivate cultural humility to meaningfully impact service and program provision to our diverse population?

Project Description: This project comes from the lead in the Inclusion and Diversity Adult Programming team that develops system-wide programs, collections and services. Cultural humility can be defined as a humble and respectful attitude toward others that pushes one to challenge their own privilege and cultural biases, realize they cannot possibly know everything about other cultures, and approach learning about other cultures as a lifelong goal and process.

The challenge is to assess Hamilton Public Library's current cultural competencies, and develop a Cultural Humility Toolkit and training for staff. This could potentially be used in other city departments as well. This would help create a more welcoming environment for all customers, would allow front line staff to better communicate with and assist customers, and help us to continue to develop truly meaningful and useful programs and services for the residents of the City of Hamilton.

HPL strives to be an inclusive and respectful organization, and staff are doing their best with the knowledge that they have and training that they have received. I believe that further education and training for HPL staff around Cultural Humility would be meaningful and impactful to our ongoing strategic priority of being an inclusive and respectful organization, and more widely to the City’s goal of being a place where diversity and inclusivity are embraced and celebrated.

City Staff:  Kathleen Shannon, Community Librarian

Instructor(s): David Goutor, McMaster University

Department: Labour Studies - Research and Field Experience

Students: 1 thesis student

Course: TBA

Deliverable(s): Report on best practices and recommendations for new programs to encourage cultural humility that can be used at the library, and then also potentially in wider city departments.

Location: City wide

City Strategy Priority:  Community Engagement and Participation, Culture and Diversity, Our People and Performance