Category Archives: Theory

Where’s the Critical Theory in LIS Programs?

A few weeks ago, British PhD student Lauren Smith wrote a summary of an interesting talk on the lack of critical theory in LIS programs. The talk, which was given by librarian Kevin Sanders at a event hosted by the Radical Librarians’ Collective in London, England, looked at the importance of using critical theory to educate future information workers and makes some suggestions as to why such theories are not discussed in LIS programs.

“Kevin suggested that there isn’t much by way of critical theory present on reading lists and within modules on courses relating to LIS, and that perhaps this might be a by design rather than accident on the part of departments to ensure that students of LIS remain what Foucault described as ‘docile bodies’; that is…kind of…workers who are easy to control and unlikely to challenge authority, as a result of how academic institutions and wider society act to make people submissive.”

The full blog post, which also contains a living bibliography of LIS critical theory readings, is available here:

As well, Lauren’s blog contains three other summaries of sessions that took place during this event.