Critical Library Instruction: Theories and Methods

Editors: Emily Drabinski, Alana Kumbier, and Maria Accardi
Price: $35.00
Published: March 2010
ISBN: 978-1-936117-01-7
358 pages
Printed on acid-free paper

Bringing together the voices of a range of practicing librarians, this collection illuminates theories and methods of critical pedagogy and library instruction. Chapters address critical approaches to standards and assessment practices, links between queer, anti-racist and feminist pedagogies and the library classroom, intersections of critical theories of power and knowledge and the library, and the promise and peril of reflective instruction practices. Rooted in theoretical work both from within the profession (James Elmborg, Cushla Kapitzke) and without (Paolo Freire, Henry Giroux, Deborah Britzman), contributions are complemented by stories of critical approaches put into practice in institutional settings ranging from the community college classroom to large urban research universities to virtual worlds. The intention is to begin a conversation among librarians who teach, library instruction program coordinators, faculty and instructors interested in bringing librarians into the classroom, and librarians interested in developing liberatory and anti-oppressive professional practices.

Read the introduction

Table of Contents



'There's Nothing on my Topic!' Using the Theories of Oscar Wilde and Henry Giroux to Develop Critical Pedagogy for Library Instruction. Elisabeth Pankl and Jason Coleman

Information Literacy and Social Power. Jonathan Cope

Breaking the Ontological Mold: Bringing Postmodernism and Critical Pedagogy into Archival Educational Programming. Lisa Hooper

Grand Narratives and the Information Cycle in the Library Instruction Classroom. Sara Franks

Problem-based learning as teaching strategy. Elizabeth Peterson.

Re-visioning the library seminar through a lens of critical pedagogy. Caroline Sinkinson & Mary Caton Lingold

Negotiating Virtual Contact Zones: Revolutions in the Role of the Research Workshop. Margaret Rose Torrell

Paradigm Shift: Utilizing Critical Feminist Pedagogy in Library Instruction. Sharon Ladenson

Depositories of Knowledge: Library Instruction and the Development of Critical Consciousness. Bryan M. Kopp and Kim Olson-Kopp

Preparing Critically Conscious, Information Literate Special Educators for Alaska’s Schools. Thomas Scott Duke, Jennifer Diane Ward and Jill Burkert.

Information and Service Learning. John S. Riddle

Critical Pedagogy and Information Literacy in Community Colleges. Gretchen Keer

Making a Home: Critical Pedagogy in a Library Internship Program for High School Students. Daren A. Graves, Mary McGowan and Doris Ann Sweet

Posing the Wikipedia “Problem”: Information Literacy and the Praxis of Problem-Posing in Library Instruction. Heidi LM Jacobs

Out of the margins ... into the panels: Toward a theory of comics as a medium of critical pedagogy in library instruction. Damian Duffy

Information Literacy Standards and the Politics of Knowledge Production: Using User-Generated Content to Incorporate Critical Pedagogy. Maura Seale

Critical Approach to Asia through Library Collections and Instructions in North America: Selection of Culture and Counter-hegemonic Library Practices. Hiromitsu Inokuchi and Yoshiko Nozaki

Teaching against the Grain: Critical Assessment in the Library Classroom. Maria T. Accardi

Information Is Personal: Critical Information Literacy and Personal Epistemology. Troy A. Swanson

Encountering Values: The Place of Critical Consciousness in the Competency Standards. Benjamin Harris

Disintermediation and Resistance: Giroux and Radical Praxis in the Library. Ruth Mirtz

The Library as “Stuck Place”: Critical Pedagogy in the Corporate University. Cathy Eisenhower and Dolsy Smith

About the Contributors


Critical Library Instruction