The Practice and Promise of Critical Information Literacy: Academic Librarians' Involvement in Critical Library Instruction

Eamon C. Tewell

Abstract

Critical information literacy is a way of thinking and teaching that examines the social construction and political dimensions of libraries and information, problematizing information’s production and use so that library users may think critically about such forces. Being an educational approach that acknowledges and emboldens learners’ agency, critical information literacy has much to offer librarians. Using a survey and follow-up interviews with thirteen librarians practicing critical information literacy, this paper illustrates some of the many ways that librarians incorporate this vital approach to teaching the complexities of information, as well as the potential advantages and difficulties of doing so.

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