Call for papers on critical pedagogy and library instruction

Critical Pedagogy and Library Instruction: An Edited Collection

Critical pedagogy seeks to identify, critique, and disrupt the inequalities of the dominant culture, thus equipping learners to transform oppressive social, cultural, and economic conditions. While many theorists, critics, and practitioners have considered how critical pedagogical strategies and perspectives might be employed in higher education, the academic library remains mostly absent in these discussions. There have been few interventions in the library literature with specific reference to critical pedagogy, but these perspectives mostly consider critical literacy applications. Other forms of critical pedagogy, such as feminist, queer, and anti-racist, have yet to be fully explored in the context of the library instruction classroom. We intend for this book to intervene in this gap in the literature.

Objective of book

This book, to be published by Library Juice Press in Spring 2010, proposes to consider the following questions: How might library instruction benefit from exploring critical pedagogical strategies? What challenges are posed by the unique requirements of library instruction? And how might our use of critical pedagogical strategies help us embed library instruction in the critical classrooms on our campuses? We invite proposals that 1) investigate intersections between critical pedagogy and the library instruction classroom and 2) identify pedagogical applications that can be adopted in library instruction programs.

Target audience

The target audience for this book includes 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.

Suggested topics

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Envisioning what critical pedagogy might do for the library instruction classroom
  • Examination of specific types of critical pedagogies–such as queer, feminist, or anti-racist–and their implications for the library instruction classroom
  • Discussions of particular theories/theorists (e.g. Paulo Friere, Lisa Delpit, Peter Mclaren, Henry Giroux, Deborah Britzman, etc.) and their relevance for library instruction
  • Illustrations of how critical pedagogy works in practice
  • Examples of instruction sessions taught from a critical pedagogy framework
  • Explorations of how critical pedagogy intersects with student and faculty research
  • Considerations of how critical pedagogy can inform selection and collection development decisions
  • Imagining how critical pedagogy can be useful in other teaching contexts — e.g., during the reference interview, in workshops, when librarians teach in community spaces

Submission procedure

Please submit abstracts and proposals of up to 500 words and a short author’s statement to by September 15, 2008, with notification by November 15. Final manuscripts of between 1500 and 5000 words will be due February 15.


Maria Accardi, Coordinator of Instruction, Indiana University Southeast:

Emily Drabinski, Reference Librarian, Sarah Lawrence College:

Alana Kumbier, Reference and Instruction Librarian, Wellesley College: