Article Highlight: Libraries, Power, and Justice: Toward a Sociohistorically Informed Intellectual Freedom

This Article Highlight features work by Alessandra Seiter published in Progressive Librarian.


Seiter, A. (2020). Libraries, power, and justice: Toward a sociohistorically informed intellectual freedom. Progressive Librarian, 47(Winter 2019-2020), 107–117.


This paper critically examines the concept of intellectual freedom (IF) and the central role it plays in the U.S. library and information science (LIS) profession, challenging the concept’s assumed basis in neutrality and demonstrating the active barrier it presents in its current implementation to existing and future social justice efforts. The paper argues that if LIS is to move from making ineffective calls for equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) to actively working for justice within and beyond the field, then it must adopt an understanding of IF that fundamentally considers the sociohistorical context of power in LIS, the United States, and the world.


This paper was published in an open access format here.

Kyle M. L. Jones

Dr. Kyle M. L. Jones is an associate professor in the Department of Library and Information Science within the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University-Indianapolis (IUPUI). Get in touch with Dr. Jones here.