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Critical Librarianship: Home

About This Guide

Welcome to the Critical Librarianship LibGuide!

Critical librarianship (critlib), also known as progressive or radical librarianship, engages critical theory and/or social justice practices to address issues such as inclusion, social and racial equity, diversity, and the relationship between power structures and the construction of knowledge in every aspect of library work.

This LibGuide provides library and information science students and professionals an accessible introduction to general resources and a selection of topics related to critical librarianship (Critical Cataloging, Critical Information Literacy & Instruction), as well as a brief overview of two key theories undergirding critical approaches to library work: critical pedagogy and critical race theory. The resources and lists presented in this guide are neither exhaustive nor prescriptive; rather, they serve as points of access for further research and exploration. 

What Is Critical Librarianship?

"Critical librarianship takes an ethical and political approach to library work, using critical theory to expose and question the historical, political, and social bases of our assumptions and practices." 

("Five Things You Should Read About Critical Librarianship")


"Critical librarianship acknowledges and then interrogates the structures that produce us as librarians, our spaces as libraries, our patrons as students, faculty, and the public, whose interface with the sum of human knowledge is produced, in large part, by us."

(Drabinski, 2019, p. 49)


Critlib is "a movement of library workers dedicated to bringing social justice principles into our work in libraries."


CritLib: A Snapshot

The following is a selection of short, accessible articles that provide a succinct introduction to critical librarianship and key topics (neutrality, engagement with critical theory, and criticism of crititlib as a movement). 

Getting Involved

Many of the discussions in the critlib movement take place on social media, so go to Twitter to see what's happening with the hashtag #critlib and join the conversation! 

Organizations, Collectives, and Volunteer Opportunities

MLIS Student