On June 30th, ALIA Multicultural Group had their Stereotypes webinar.

Speakers included:

  • Joey Chung, Website and Systems Librarian, Homesglen Institute, Victoria.
  • Hiba Kanj, Team Leader Wentworth Point Community Centre and Library, City of Parramatta Libraries, New South Wales.

The first part of the webinar included an ice-breaking game on Mentimeter asking us to identify a fluent Mandarin speaker by their name and photo.

An example to show that a person may look like they speak a language but may not understand the language. A person may be fluent in languages that are not their first language.

Joey mentioned her experience with Stereotyping exists at work, with people assuming she is male by her name when they email her. 

Where do Stereotypes come from?

An idea used to describe a particular type of person or thing is like, especially an idea that is wrong (Cambridge University Press & Assessment, 2023)

They can come from:

  • Folklore
  • Media
  • Unreliable sources/ Misinformation

Positive Stereotypes:

Positive Stereotypes describe admirable, desirable and beneficial characteristics of members of groups or society.

Positive Stereotypes can include grouping people to be good at math or sport by their race are examples.

Hiba had a chat on Unconscious Bias. 

There are hidden biases we have that are a part of our attitudes and actions.

  • Ethnicity
  • Age
  • Sexuality
  • Gender
  • Parental Status

How can we improve unconscious bias in the workplace?

  • Think about your bias before recruitment.
  • Engage your co-workers in meaningful conversations. 
  • Display language collections promptly all year round.
  • Share conversations and support multicultural events, music, television shows and film to reflect multicultural diversity in person and online.

Joey asked another Mentimeter question on eye-rolling Stereotypes experiences.

Lisa Lynch shared her story on Linguistic Prejudice. 

How do you break stereotypes?

  • Work on knowing your co-workers and community to understand their backgrounds and culture
  • Human Libraries
  • Listen to people’s stories and be open-minded to learn
  • Be respectful
  • Put yourself in other people’s shoes
  • Seek information from various sources

Questions were at the end of the webinar.


Learn more about ALIA Multicultural at their ALIA site and ALIA Multicultural Twitter | Instagram | Facebook


ALIA Multicultural (June 30, 2023) Stereotypes. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQiUCR-AjeQ

Cambridge University Press & Assessment ( 2023) Stereotypes. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/stereotype


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