Critical Library Pedagogy Handbook 2-VOLUME SET

ALA Member
Item Number
AP Categories

Primary tabs

You don't need to be an ALA Member to purchase from the ALA Store, but you'll be asked to create an online account/profile during the checkout to proceed. This Web Account is for both Members and non-Members. 

If you are Tax-Exempt, please verify that your account is currently set up as exempt before placing your order, as our new fulfillment center will need current documentation. Learn how to verify here.

  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the authors

Critical pedagogy incorporates inclusive and reflective teaching for aims of social justice; it provides mechanisms for students to evaluate their social, political, and economic standing, and to question societal norms and how these norms perpetuate societal injustices. Teaching librarians have long incorporated social justice into their work, but focused interest in critical library pedagogy has grown rapidly in recent years.

In two volumes, the Critical Library Pedagogy Handbook works to make critical pedagogy more accessible for library educators, examining both theory and practice to help the busy practitioner explore various aspects of teaching for social justice.

Volume One, Essays and Workbook Activities, provides short essays reflecting on personal practice, describing projects, and exploring major ideas to provide inspiration as you begin or renew your exploration of critical pedagogy. The bibliography of each chapter provides a network of other sources to explore, and the volume closes with a selection of workbook activities to improve on your own practice and understanding of critical pedagogy.

Volume Two, Lesson Plans, provides plans covering everything from small activities to multi-session projects. Critical pedagogy requires collaborating with learners and adapting to their needs, as well as continual reflection, but these lessons provide elements you can pull and tweak to fit your own environment. These chapters also provide 30 different views on creating and delivering critically designed information literacy instruction and reflect material commonly requested by faculty—including introductions to databases, evaluating information sources, and the research cycle.

These two volumes provide a collection of ideas, best practices, and plans that contribute to the richness of what it means to do this type of work in libraries. The Critical Library Pedagogy Handbook will help you build personal teaching skills and identity, cultivate local community, and document your journey as a critical practitioner.


James Elmborg


Nicole Pagowsky and Kelly McElroy

Chapter 1. Falling out of Praxis: Reflection as a Pedagogical Habit of Mind
Heidi LM Jacobs

Chapter 2. Learning from Teaching: A Dialogue of Risk and Reflection
Anne Jumonville Graf

Chapter 3. How Unplanned Events Can Sharpen the Critical Focus in Information Literacy Instruction
Ian Beilin

Chapter 4. "Taking Back" Information Literacy: Time and the One-Shot in the Neoliberal University
Karen P. Nicholson

Chapter 5. At Odds with Assessment: Being a Critical Educator within the Academy
Carolyn Caffrey Gardner and Rebecca Halpern

Chapter 6. What Standards Do and What They Don't
Emily Drabinski and Meghan Sitar

Chapter 7. Barriers to Critical Pedagogy in Information Literacy Teaching
Gr Keer

Chapter 8. Loading Examples to Further Human Rights Education
Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe

Chapter 9. Social Constructivism and Critical Information Literacy
Jessica Critten and Andrea G. Stanfield

Chapter 10. Finding and Analyzing Information for Action and Reflection: Possibilities and Limitations of Popular Education in One-Shot Library Instruction
Kenny Garcia

Chapter 11. Collaborative Pedagogies: LIS Courses and Public Library Partnerships
Jessica Hochman

Chapter 12. What Is Possible: Setting the Stage for Co-Exploration in Archives and Special Collections
Patrick Williams

Chapter 13. Of the People, by the People, for the People: Critical Pedagogy and Government Information
Melanie Maksin

Chapter 14. The Failed Pedagogy of Punishment: Moving Discussions of Plagiarism beyond Detection and Discipline
Kevin P. Seeber

Chapter 15. Queering Library Instruction for Composition: Embracing the Failure
Ashley P. Ireland

Chapter 16. Search and Destroy: Punk Rock Tactics for Library Instruction
Caitlin Shanley and Laura Chance

Chapter 17. Cultivating a Mind of One's Own: Drawing on Critical Information Literacy and Liberal Education
Elizabeth Galoozis and Caro Pinto

Chapter 18. Reflections on the Retention Narrative: Extending Critical Pedagogy beyond the Classroom
Alison Hicks and Caroline Sinkinson

Chapter 19. We Don't Count: The Invisibility of Teaching Librarians in Statistics on Academic Instructional Labor
Aliqae Geraci

Chapter 20. Leave Your "Expert" Hat at the Door: Embracing Critical Pedagogy to Create a Community of Librarian Learners
Marisol Ramos, Dawn Cadogan, Sharon Giovenale, Kathleen R. Labadorf, and Jennifer Snow

Chapter 21. Starting Small: Practicing Critical Pedagogy through Collective Conversation
Megan Watson and Dave Ellenwood

Chapter 22. Developing a "Critical Pedagogy Disposition"
Donna Witek

Chapter 23. Resistance Is Fertile: (Or Everything I Know about Teaching I Learned in Yoga Class)
Robert Schroeder

Chapter 24. Using Personal Reflection to Incorporate Antiracist Pedagogy in Library Instruction
Melissa Kalpin Prescott

Chapter 25. Critical Self-Reflection: Moving Inward to Provide Outward Service
Xan Goodman

Chapter 26. Carrots in the Brownies: Incorporating Critical Librarianship in Unlikely Places
Maura Seale

Chapter 27. Fresh Techniques: Getting Ready to Use Hip Hop in the Classroom
Danielle Rowland

Chapter 28. Course Materials: Reinforcing Dominant Narratives or Challenging Mindsets
Elizabeth Mens

Chapter 29. Information Worlds and You: Harnessing Theory for Instruction
Julia Skinner

Chapter 30. Documenting Your Critical Journey
Nicole A. Cooke

About the Authors




Safiya Umoja Noble


Nicole Pagowsky and Kelly McElroy

Chapter 1. Mapping Power and Privilege in Scholarly Conversations
Lauren Wallis

Chapter 2. Moving Students to the Center through Collaborative Documents in the Classroom
Maura A. Smale and Stephen Francoeur

Chapter 3. Deconstructing Gender in Financial Literacy
Fobazi M. Ettarh

Chapter 4. Question Authority and Be an Authority: The Future Belongs to Us
Romel Espinel

Chapter 5. Podcasting as Pedagogy
Nora Almeida

Chapter 6. Speaking Up: Using Feminist Pedagogy to Raise Critical Questions in the Information Literacy Classroom
Sharon Ladenson

Chapter 7. Authority and Source Evaluation in the Critical Library Classroom
Eamon Tewell and Katelyn Angell

Chapter 8. Critical Pedagogy and the Information Cycle: A Practical Application
Gina Schlesselman-Tarango and Frances Suderman

Chapter 9. Critical Engagement with Numbers and Images
Christine Photinos

Chapter 10. Critical Consciousness and Search: An Introductory Visualization
Sarah Polkinghorne

Chapter 11. Googling Google: Search Engines as Market Actors in Library Instruction
Jacob Berg

Chapter 12. Zines as Primary Sources
Kelly Wooten
Chapter 13. Teaching with Riot Grrrl: An Active Learning Session at the Intersections of Authenticity and Social Justice
Amy Gilgan

Chapter 14. Using Pop Culture, Feminist Pedagogy, and Current Events to Help Students Explore Multiple Sides of an Argument
Dory Cochran

Chapter 15. Zines in the Classroom: Critical Librarianship and Participatory Collections
Robin Potter and Alycia Sellie

Chapter 16. Where Should These Books Go?
Haruko Yamauchi

Chapter 17. Questioning Health Sciences Authority
Xan Goodman

Chapter 18. Critical Pedagogy for Business and Management Undergraduates: Evaluation of Marketing Information
Ilana Stonebraker, Caitlan Maxwell, and Jessica Jerrit

Chapter 19. Teaching with Data: Visualization and Information as a Critical Process
Andrew Battista and Jill Conte

Chapter 20. From Traditional to Critical: Highlighting Issues of Injustice and Discrimination through Primary Sources
Alan Carbery and Sean Leahy

Chapter 21. My Primary Sources: Using Student Personal History as a Gateway to Historical Context
Margaret Browndorf

Chapter 22. Historical Newspapers and Critical Thinking: A Lesson Plan
Gina Levitan

Chapter 23. Thinking through Visualizations: Critical Data Literacy Using Remittances
Erin Pappas, Celia Emmelhainz, and Maura Seale

Chapter 24. Critically Reflective Final Exercise
Angela Pashia

Chapter 25. Fresh Techniques: Hip Hop and Library Research
Dave Ellenwood and Alyssa Berger

Chapter 26. Social Justify Your Lesson Plan: How to Use Social Media to Make Pop Culture Scholarly
Lydia Willoughby and Kelly Blanchat

Chapter 27. Zotero: A Tool for Constructionist Learning in Critical Information Literacy
Joshua F. Beatty

Chapter 28. Ten-Minute Brainstorm in a First-Year English One-Off
Jenna Freedman

Chapter 29. How to Get to the Library from Here, There, and Everywhere!
Jolanda-Pieta (Joey) van Arnhem

Chapter 30. Incorporating Critically Conscious Assessment into a Large-Scale Information Literacy Program
Rachel Gammons

About the Authors



Nicole Pagowsky

Nicole Pagowsky is an Associate Librarian and Instruction Coordinator at the University of Arizona Libraries. She earned graduate degrees in LIS and Instructional Design from the University of Arizona. She teaches the ALA eCourse Instructional Design Essentials, and LIS 581 Information Literacy Pedagogy. Her research interests include critical approaches to pedagogy and instructional design, student motivation, and programmatic information literacy.

Kelly McElroy

Kelly McElroy is the Student Engagement and Community Outreach Librarian at Oregon State University Libraries and Press. She received her MLIS and Master of Archival Studies from the University of British Columbia. She organizes with her communities as a coordinator of the annual Zine Pavilion at ALA Annual, a moderator of the #critlib chats on Twitter, and a founding member of her local chapter of Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ).