Straddling Practical and Theoretical Borders: Critically Evaluating Role and Place Through a Discourse Analytic Lens
Keywords:discourse analysis, critical discourse analysis, library institutions, stereotyping, pa-tron relations, power dynamics
AbstractProfessional 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.