How to Be a #critlib: Reflections on Implementing Critical Theory in Practice




critical librarianship, instruction methodologies, critical pedagogy, library practice


In recent years, there has been an increasing interest among groups of librarians regarding the use and implementation of critical theories in librarianship. As a result of these discourses, there has been a growth in engagement with topics such as social justice, race, gender, and sexuality which previously had been perceived as taboo or outside of the scope of the field. Social media, such as Twitter, has been integral in mobilizing knowledge and transnational heurism associated with this scholarly movement. One problem with this movement is that many librarians feel that they do not have the foreknowledge necessary to properly engage in these scholarly and professional dialogues. The purpose of this paper is to serve as an introduction to these spaces. Our hope is that through exposure to these spaces, librarians and library students will be more likely to engage in these spaces and discussion.

Author Biographies

Jacob Vangeest

Jacob Vangeest is a student in the M.L.I.S. program at the University of British Columbia. Their background is in philosophy and political theory, with an emphasis on critiques of liberalism. His research interests include Critical Librarianship, Library Ethics, and Library and Information Theory.

Blake Hawkins

Blake Hawkins is a student in the M.L.I.S program at the University of British Columbia. His academic background pertains to health and spatial issues facing underserved communities (LGBTQ & Aboriginal), and the synthesis and mobilization of health information. Currently, he is completing a thesis on the everyday health information seeking of LGBTQ youth, and is interested in incorporating socialist, critical, and feminist theory into different aspects of librarianship.


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