On the Importance of Theory in LIAS: A Review of Literature on Radical Librarianship in Canada


  • Carolin Huang University of Alberta




With the decline of social services in welfare states, libraries have come to represent the final frontier of democracy amongst privatizing public institutions. This view of libraries is especially prevalent in the media but is more carefully analyzed in critical LIAS (library, information, and archival studies). Because of the urgency of the position that librarianship holds in our society, social-justice-oriented perspectives have flourished in the library setting. This paper overviews the state of radical librarianship in Canada through a collection and analysis of resources on said subject. It argues for the importance of theoretical thinking in radical librarianship, that challenges the epistemological paradigms that dominate LIAS and acknowledges the ongoing institutional violence perpetuated by the library and information sector. With respect to the value of intellectual labour, the intention of this paper is to encourage further inquiry into the subject of radical librarianship so as to continue nurturing these pockets of dissent.