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Librarians as Disciplinary Discourse Mediators: Using Genre Theory to Move Toward Critical Information Literacy

From: portal: Libraries and the Academy
Volume 5, Number 3, July 2005
pp. 297-311 | 10.1353/pla.2005.0041


This article proposes that we extend our information literacy instruction programs to include tenets of genre theory as a way to move toward a more critical stance in our pedagogy. By developing an anthropologist's sensitivity to culture, academic librarians can learn the characteristics of the academic disciplines and then help students learn these characteristics as a way for them to understand the rhetorical practices in these fields. In making tacit practices visible, librarians can facilitate students' transitions into the cultures of their chosen disciplines. In this way, we can help students see that information is constructed and contested not monolithic and apolitical.