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OLA Quarterly

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Critical theory, Library administration


Social justice and critical theory frameworks have been utilized to discuss library pedagogy and cataloging, but librarians have been slow in applying critical theory to how we actually manage libraries and lead staff. Management is not glamorous; rather, many still hold the traditional view of management as upholding hierarchical values. At its core, both libraries and management are about people, and library managers and administrators have the power to formulate and uphold the library’s values.

Libraries do not exist in a vacuum; we work to empower the communities we work with, and social justice issues directly impact our patrons. In this article, we discuss the importance of integrating critical theory into library management, providing specific examples of how library managers can work towards creating and sustaining organizational systems that promote social justice and equity, regardless of the size of our departments or institutions.


© 2017 OLA


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