The community of information professionals represents a broad range of identities, abilities, and talents. While they may still be underrepresented in the profession, librarians from diverse groups should still be contributing their perspective to theory development and best practices. To complement existing research in reference and information service (RIS) that focuses on the behavioral aspects of RIS, it is important to conduct research on the practitioner perspective of RIS to identify the thoughts and feelings that motivate these behaviors. Study of the practitioner perspective must include a diverse group of professionals in order to develop an inclusive understanding of RIS for practitioners. However, professionals representing diverse racial/ethnic groups can be difficult to access because they represent a minority of professionals -- making up only 12% of library professionals in the United States (American Library Association, 2012). As such, all of the voices of the diverse community of practitioners are not often heard.
The aims of the study are
This study specifically focuses on the experience of RIS for librarians of color. Through a qualitative, phenomenological study, the voice of professionals that have not yet contributed to an understanding of RIS will be heard. This study is an effort to reach beyond librarians from the majority group and to create an inclusive understanding of RIS.