Planning Team

Medical Library Association 2006: Transformations A-Z

Every day, libraries worldwide strive to provide services, resources, and collections that reflect the changing demographics of the communities they serve. This goal becomes even more important as the population becomes more culturally diverse. For the library profession, this means transforming our services and collections to meet the health information needs of individuals from a variety of ethnic and racial backgrounds. In order to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate health information, collections and services should reflect the ever-changing face of today's communities. Additionally, librarians should strive to become more aware of the cultural differences that impact the information seeking behavior of the increasingly diverse communities that they serve. This will require librarians to employ strategies that transcend barriers of culture, ethnicity, religion, and language. Cultural competency is defined as a set of values, behaviors, attitudes, and practices that enable people to work effectively across racial/ethnic and cultural lines. This four-hour symposium focuses on the importance of delivering culturally competent library services, resources, and collections.


  • Nancy Press, Board of Directors, African Americans Reach and Teach Health Ministry, Seattle, WA
  • Annabelle V. Nunez, Assistant Librarian, Information Services, Arizona Health Sciences Library, University of Arizona-Tucson
  • Mary Diggs-Hobson, Executive Director, African Americans Reach and Teach Health Ministry, Seattle, WA
  • Tom Foye, Planning and Development Director, Papa Olla Lökahi, Honolulu, HI
  • Amy E. Lavertu, Information Services Librarian, Hirsh Health Sciences Library, Tufts University, Boston, MA
  • Teresa Hartman, Head of Education/Assistant Professor, McGoogan Library of Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center-Omaha
Participant Benefits

The symposium will give participants the opportunity to:
  • Gain an understanding of the key concepts related to cultural competence
  • Participate in discussions relating to the characteristics of culturally competent librarians
  • Obtain a better understanding of the important role librarians can play in disseminating health information by listening to community needs, developing cultural competence, and working with community partners
  • Learn about strategies that librarians may use to uncover the information needs of individuals from a variety of ethnic backgrounds
  • Hear about exemplary projects that demonstrate how librarians are using cultural competence to more effectively serve users from diverse communities
  • Learn about tools and resources available for developing culturally relevant resources for the communities they serve


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Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Medical Library Association
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Serving Diverse Users: Cultural Compentencies for Health Science Librarians
2006 Annual Meeting of the Medical Library Association
Comments to: Shannon Jones
Last Updated: May 1, 2006