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Community Engagement Toolkit

Designed for libraries to explore community engagement


  • Respecting the community also means respecting each individual, their identity, and their specific needs, perspectives, and lived experiences.
  • Respect requires being knowledgeable about the community and their customs, as well as their past and current experiences.
  • Working to meet the community needs, recognizing their strengths, and letting others lead are all ways to practice respectful community engagement.


Strategy for Respect

Cultural Humility

Cultural humility is a process of self-reflection and self-critique whereby the individual not only learns about another’s culture, but one starts with an examination of her/his own beliefs and cultural identities (Tervalon & Murray-Garcia, 1998). In community engagement, practicing cultural humility will improve communication, help establish trust, and overall improve the engagement process while simultaneously promoting personal growth and reflection.

Things to Consider:

  • Cultural humility is an ongoing commitment, not simply a goal with an endpoint.

Resources for Cultural Humility:


About the Toolkit

This toolkit was originally created by NLM Fellow Allison Cruise in conjunction with the Office of Engagement & Training at the National Library of Medicine. Allison Cruise spent her 2nd Fellowship Year at UNM HSLIC.