Researching the Design of a Culturally Sensitive Library Science Course

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The overriding objective of this study was to conduct an exploratory participatory action research (Dudgeon, Scrine, Cox, & Walker, 2017; MacDonald, 2012; Reason & Bradbury, 2008) within a Third Space (Bhabha, 2009; Pitts & Brooks, 2017), to probe the viability of collaboratively developing the curriculum of a culturally sensitive library science course for un-credentialed library staff. This research is critical to the development of libraries and library staff in the English-speaking Eastern Caribbean, as most library staff in this sub-region have received no formal training, and many lack the qualifications required to pursue the undergraduate degree in library sciences. As a result, there is no opportunity for upward mobility in the workplace and no chance for increased remuneration. Data were collected using in-depth open-ended individual interviews, focus group discussions, personal reflective journals, and documents (Cohen, Manion, & Morrison, 2013; Creswell, 2012; Hiemstra, 2001, p. 19; Moore, 2015; Morgan, 1996; Schwartz-Shea, 2014). Analysis of the data revealed participants’ perceptions of the impact of their participation in the research and the benefits of the research, their perceived barriers to training, their commitments and investments in the process, their perceptions of the criticality of training, the values that emerged during the research and that impacted the design, the considerations for the course being designed, the criticality of participatory action research methodology to support this type of research, and the importance of allowing space for stakeholders to engage dialogically in course design and for the meeting of the global and the local, those at the margins and the centre.
course design, Third Space, participatory action research, curriculum, library science, Eastern Caribbean
Nelson, D. (2020). Researching the Design of a Culturally Sensitive Library Science Course (Doctoral thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from