A Study of the Cultural Intelligence of Special Libraries: Phase 1


  • Michele Angeline Lucero Villagran San Jose State University


cultural intelligence, cultural competency, special libraries, special librarians, information professionals, international special librarians


Research is presented from the phase one exploration of the cultural intelligence (CQ) of special librarians including international information professionals. This research was inspired by three focused questions: (a) What is the overall level of CQ of participating special librarians?, (b) What variations exist among the four factors of cultural intelligence within the participants?, and (c) What are the viewpoints of these librarians about the importance and value of cultural intelligence within their organizations? Special librarians’ cultural intelligence has not been formerly studied (with the exception of United States law firm librarians, a specific type of special librarian). A concurrent strategy was used in this mixed-methods study. A survey that included the cultural intelligence assessment, demographic questions, and open-ended items was disseminated to members of the Special Libraries Association (SLA). Of 148 initial respondents, 51 provided complete survey responses. The data was collected and analyzed resulting in two main conclusions: (a) special librarians feel cultural intelligence is important to their organizations and roles, and (b) participants have various levels of and experiences with CQ. The findings support recommendations to incorporate CQ training within organizational practices and to make CQ a priority as our practices are global. Phase 2 of focus groups of participants that opted-in will take place after this publication and offer additional rich insight into thoughts about cultural intelligence practices and application within organizations.

Author Biography

Michele Angeline Lucero Villagran, San Jose State University

Dr. Michele A. L. Villagran is an accomplished educator, innovative speaker, entrepreneur, consultant, cultural intelligence and diversity & inclusion expert with over 25 years of experience in the public and private sectors. She is an assistant profession with San José State University School of Information where her research focuses on diversity and social justice in library and information science and cultural intelligence phenomena within libraries. Dr. Villagran also serves as CEO of CulturalCo, LLC consulting in areas of cultural competency, diversity & inclusion, conflict resolution, andemotional intelligence. She is an advanced certified cultural intelligence and unconscious bias facilitator through the Cultural Intelligence Center, andConflicts Dynamic Profile consultant. She earned her Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership, her Masters of Dispute Resolution andCertificate of Dispute Resolution from Pepperdine University. At the University of North Texas, Dr. Villagran completed her M.L.S. degree in Legal Informatics and her M.B.A. in Strategic Management.