Straddling practical and theoretical borders: critically evaluating role and place through a discourse analytic lens
discourse analysis, critical discourse analysis, library institutions, stereotyping, patron relations, power dynamics
Professional librarians benefit from a close examination of the meaning and purpose underlying their work. One of the most helpful and expedient ways of doing so is to employ non-LIS theories to aid in questioning processes and in critically examining personal work and institutional practices. Discourse analysis, and its related theory, critical discourse analysis, may be suitable for such a purpose. Utilized effectively, they can reveal the underlying power dynamics behind the library as an institution, including the role of librarians within an organization, and the sometimes-fraught interactions between librarians and patrons. The application of theories and methodologies to practice may ultimately improve the library experience for patrons.
Garstad, R. (2018). Straddling practical and theoretical borders: Critically evaluating role and place through a discourse analytic lens. PNLA Quaterly, 82(3/4).
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