Henry Giroux, Oscar Wilde, information literacy, pedagogy, ACRL, dialogue, neoliberalism, Critical Library Instruction
In the chapter we wrote 10 years ago for Critical Library Instruction: Theories and Methods we asked instructors to free themselves from the stifling heritage of positivism that privileged tools and instrumentality above meaning. Drawing on Henry Giroux and Oscar Wilde, we urged our peers to embrace dialogue that respects the individual and draws connections between information literacy and the students’ authentic goals and experiences. In this essay we describe numerous changes over that past decade that embrace the central themes of our chapter. We then explain that these examples coexist within a vast edifice of antithetical, neoliberal institutions. We summarize Giroux’s recent work decrying the influence of neoliberalism on universities, describe how pressures to deliver instruction economically while demonstrating wide impacts are affecting the adoption of critical approaches, and discuss how the trend toward increasing specialization is giving new life to traditional, non-critical instruction. We conclude by repeating our call for library instructors to use dialog to help learners become more reflective and capable.
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Coleman, J., & Pankl, L. (2020). Rethinking the Neoliberal University: Critical Library Pedagogy in an Age of Transition. Communications in Information Literacy, 14 (1), 66-74. https://doi.org/10.15760/comminfolit.2020.14.1.5