Do Languages Represent?: A Pilot Study on Linguistic Diversity and Library Staff

Ean Henninger


This paper aims to add to conversations on access, diversity, and representation in libraries by addressing the importance of language as a factor in library service and providing some of the first data on library workers’ language skills. Much of the literature on language in libraries focuses on issues of multilingual access and collection development, and there is less emphasis on the roles of staff and language skills in providing and mediating access. As well, while US librarians are less diverse than US library workers and the wider population in terms of gender and race, it has not been shown whether the same holds true in terms of language.


multilingualism, linguistic diversity, library employees, public libraries

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