top of page

Critical LIS
Book Series

Book series full title: Critical Issues in Library and Information Sciences and Services

Book series shorthand: Critical LIS or CILIS

Book series editor: Spencer Acadia

Founded: July 2024

Publisher: Routledge

Language: English


The Critical Issues in Library and Information Sciences and Services series takes a critical approach to the exploration of topics, issues, and problems within the discipline and practice of LIS.

While libraries are often idealized as external pillars of knowledge and community, this series reveals a different side of LIS, one that calls for inward attention to itself and its own complex, internal conditions. An essential even if sometimes uncomfortable read, this series situates LIS as the object of criticism and critique by challenging traditional perspectives and practices within, as well as recognizing and acknowledging the problematic issues of, the profession and discipline.

Aimed at LIS students and working LIS professionals internationally, the diverse titles in this series are written in an accessible and engaging way to inform and educate readers about contemporary—and, at times, controversial—issues by way of critical analysis, evaluation, and commentary. This series explores and exposes, as well as recommends transformative action toward, a wide variety of issues within LIS, challenging LIS students and professionals worldwide to re-imagine both the discipline and profession by viewing the current and future state of LIS through a critical lens.​​

The definition of the word "critical" in this series' title is intentionally broad to allow multifaceted analyses of contemporary topics, issues, and problems facing LIS as a discipline and profession. The series welcomes proposals for possible books that acknowledge, explore, evaluate, and critique aspects of LIS that are challenging, problematic, and dysfunctional. LIS is not a above criticism; therefore, this series aims to provide readers with content that interrogates conventional library and information sciences, studies, systems, and services.

Call for Book Title

The series is open and currently accepting book title proposals.

The book you propose may be one that is authored by you alone or with colleagues, or a collection of chapters edited by you alone or with colleagues. Proposals are welcome from authors and editors located in all geographic regions.

If you have an idea for a book you'd like to propose and would like to begin discussing it, please email the series editor Spencer Acadia with the following information (in English) in a single Microsoft Word (.docx) or Word-compatible document:

  1. A working title of your proposed book

  2. Your name, email address, and institutional affiliation, along with those of any co-authors or co-editors

  3. An anticipated timeline of work from approval of your book title proposal to completion and submission of your full book manuscript

  4. An overview of your proposed book, including more about the topic(s) covered, intended content, and explanation about why this book is needed

    • Please mention as part of your overview if this book will be fully written by you and any co-authors, or if it will be a collected volume of chapters from different authors edited by you and any co-editors

  5. An informative bio for yourself and any co-authors or co-editors

    • Bios should mention any previous LIS education, work experience, teaching, research, etc.

Once you send this information, the series editor will follow up with you to provide additional details and discuss possible next steps. You may also email the series editor beforehand with any inquiries.

To be successful, your book should:

  • Take an international approach

    • While you certainly can cover your topic in the context of the United States, you should also aim to explore your topic in one or more countries or regions outside of the U.S.

    • It is also fine to exclude the U.S. entirely and instead deeply explore your topic in a one or more non-U.S. countries or regions

  • Take an interdisciplinary approach

    • While you should ground your book in LIS contexts and literature, you can seek out useful resources in other disciplines and professions as appropriate

  • Be written and edited in clear and correct English

    • Your book should be written in accessible, engaging, and easy-to-understand English for a global LIS audience

    • It may help to envision your book as something like a textbook to assist LIS students understand topics and issues in nontraditional ways and from critical viewpoints, or a professional book to help LIS workers critically engage with topics and issues

  • Not exceed 120,000 total words, including all front matter, back matter, tables, etc.

  • Strictly follow a standard style for all citations and references, such as APA 7th ed., Chicago 17th ed., or similar style of your choice

NOTE: If you'd prefer to contribute by way of book chapter within a book, please see the Calls for Book Chapters page.

Book Topics

Example topics for books in the series include, but are not limited to:

  • ​Critical aspects of librarianship and LIS dysfunction, including problems in LIS workplaces, institutions, and the profession, such as:

    • Institutionalized capitalism, neoliberalism, dependence on value assessment, metricizing libraries, lack of funding, and "doing more with less"

    • Structural and systemic inequality and oppression such as racism, sexism, LGBTQ+ discrimination, disability discrimination, microaggression, stereotyping, etc.

    • Workplace incivility, mistreatment, conflict, violence, lack of collegiality, office politics, and power dynamics, as well as bullying, mobbing, sexual harassment by peers, supervisors, conference attendees, vendor representatives, etc.

    • Turnover, problems with retention, poor recruitment practices, lack of effective mentoring, onboarding, and socialization

    • Toxic leadership, poor management, inaction of leaders to address problems, poor communication, and lack of information sharing across departments

    • Ineffective or nonexistent strategic planning, succession planning, mission and vision statements, policies and procedures, etc.

    • Experiences of burnout, stress, work overload, desire to leave the profession, low morale, low job satisfaction, disillusionment, disengagement, alienation, emotional labor, and compassion fatigue

    • De-professionalization, LIS as a service profession, and invisible labor

    • Mental health of LIS workers

    • Contingent and precarious employment, including part-time, short-term, temporary positions, and unstable but long-term interim positions

    • Discouraging LIS job market and low compensation for workers

    • Effects of academia on academic libraries and problems with tenure

    • Fear of negative evaluation and problems with evaluation of personnel

    • Corruption and unethical practices within LIS, including within LIS professional associations

    • Turning to social media, blogs, and zines to draw attention to problematic work environments and issues, and to express objectionable LIS experiences

    • Negligence of LIS schools to fully prepare their graduates to work in the LIS profession

    • Lack of interest and dedication among LIS schools and LIS organizations to address problems in LIS

    • ... and more

  • Analytical investigation of LIS' challenges (and mistakes) dealing with contemporary societal issues, debates, and trends, as well as other various LIS activities and considerations, such as:

    • Misinformation, disinformation, fake news, intellectual freedom, censorship, and banned books

    • Public librarians as social workers and social workers in public libraries

    • Modern and future technological concerns surrounding artificial intelligence, data surveillance and privacy, cybersecurity, digital divide, algorithm bias, digitalization, media consumption, etc.

    • Effects of globalization, global change, and global crises on LIS

    • Roles of libraries and librarians in an increasingly polarized world

    • Scholarly communication concerns surrounding unsustainable pricing of databases, books, journals, and other resources; exorbitant author processing fees; predatory journals; fetishization of impact metrics, etc.

    • Decolonization of library and archives collections, cataloguing, and metadata

    • ... and more

  • Critical theories and frameworks that disrupt conventional understandings of and practices in LIS

  • Non-Western perspectives that challenge conventional understandings of and practices in LIS

bottom of page