Business Librarianship (Em)powered: Valuing Critical Information Literacy over Profit

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

California Academic & Research Libraries 2016 Conference


Academic librarianship to business programs, departments, and colleges has traditionally focused on demonstrating the value of the library, librarians, and library resources in relationship to a return on investment. If the focus on value is reframed with a critical mindset and a critical management studies (CMS) framework, opportunities for academic librarians to focus on critical information literacy and critical pedagogy can open up, thus intentionally valuing critical consciousness in students over profit. The congruence of the mission and vision statement of California State University – Monterey Bay (CSUMB) with the visionary statements made by the dean of the CSUMB College of Business stimulated the development of an alternative and collaborative one-shot library instruction session for a critical thinking and ethics-based business course. The library session focuses on the evaluation and analyzation of a non-profit organization’s website to determine the mission of an organization or campaign, its organizational or campaign goals, its target population, and the criteria used to specify the target population. This presentation will highlight results of an assessment survey that was administered in the fall 2015 semester, with the intention of providing answers for a few key questions: Can individualized assessment measurements be taken? Is a deeper meshing of a CMS framework, the institutional mindset, and critical information literacy principles possible? How critical can information literacy exercises be in one-shot instructional sessions?