Introduction. In a study of the practitioner perspective of reference and information service for librarians of colour, the issue of racial/ethnic matching emerged from the data. These results are supported by extensive research in other disciplines, suggesting that racial/ethnic matching should be explored in information intermediation.
Method. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was used to examine the practitioner perspective of reference and information service for librarians of colour in the United States. When the issue of racial/ethnic matching emerged from the study, a review of the literature across disciplines was conducted.
Analysis. Data were analysed thematically according to interpretative phenomenological analysis procedures.
Results. Among other themes, the issue of racial/ethnic matching emerged from the data. Although no questions were asked that specifically addressed this issue, participants perceived that users preferred to interact with professionals of a similar race/ethnicity and that the quality of the information intermediation was better when both the service provider and the user were of a similar race/ethnicity.
Conclusion. Racial/ethnic matching seems to play a role in information intermediation and should be explored further. Exploration from the user perspective (as opposed to the practitioner perspective reported here) and from a global perspective would offer opportunities for comparative analysis while also expanding the racial/ethnic matching discourse beyond the North American context that currently dominates research in the field.
Keywords. information intermediation, race and ethnicity, phenomenology