Intellectual Freedom, Neutrality, and Social Justice in the LIS Literature

Gardner, Gabriel Intellectual Freedom, Neutrality, and Social Justice in the LIS Literature., 2021 . In HxLibraries Symposium, Online, May 6, 2021. (Unpublished) [Presentation]

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English abstract

This presentation covers a bibliometric analysis of the library and information science literature to trace the emphasis that intellectual freedom and neutrality have received relative to two indices of social justice topics. Emphasis is captured longitudinally by recording the number of results for various search terms associated with intellectual freedom, neutrality, diversity, equity, and inclusion in Web of Science (WOS) from 1993 through 2020 and Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts (LISTA) from 1970 through 2020. Results show that the number of works mentioning intellectual freedom and neutrality have increased only slightly over the study period in sharp contrast to many entries on the diversity, equity, and inclusion index. Could recent public controversies regarding library neutrality, intellectual freedom, and freedom of expression in libraries be related to this change in rhetoric and language?

Item type: Presentation
Keywords: intellectual freedom, neutrality, social justice, bibliometrics, heterodox academy
Subjects: A. Theoretical and general aspects of libraries and information. > AZ. None of these, but in this section.
B. Information use and sociology of information > BB. Bibliometric methods
E. Publishing and legal issues. > EE. Intellectual freedom.
Depositing user: Gabriel Gardner
Date deposited: 24 Nov 2021 02:35
Last modified: 24 Nov 2021 02:35


Armus, Teo. “A Black Lives Matter Activist Was Accused of Burning Books by Trump and Ann Coulter. He Was Then Fired from His Job.” Washington Post, February 17, 2021.

Chason, Rachel. “‘Racist Propaganda’: Librarian Rejects Melania Trump’s Gift of Dr. Seuss Books.” Washington Post, September 28, 2017.

Cronin, Blaise, and Lokman I. Meho. “Receiving the French: A Bibliometric Snapshot of the Impact of `French Theory’ on Information Studies.” Journal of Information Science 35, no. 4 (August 2009): 398–413.

Flood, Alison. “American Librarians Defend Renaming Laura Ingalls Wilder Award.” The Guardian, June 26, 2018, sec. Books.

Flood, Alison. “Melvil Dewey’s Name Stripped from Top Librarian Award.” The Guardian, June 27, 2019, sec. Books.

Goldberg, Zach. “How the Media Led the Great Racial Awakening.” Tablet Magazine, August 5, 2020.

Mason, Elinor, "Value Pluralism", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2018 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.).

Rozado, David. “Prejudice and Victimization Themes in New York Times Discourse: A Chronological Analysis.” Academic Questions 33, no. 1 (March 1, 2020): 89–100.

Tewell, Eamon. “The Practice and Promise of Critical Information Literacy: Academic Librarians’ Involvement in Critical Library Instruction.” College & Research Libraries 79, no. 1 (January 2018).

Zietlow, Alex, and Cailyn Derickson. “He Called It the ‘Wuhan Virus.’ SC Republicans Say Winthrop Suppressed His Free Speech.” Rock Hill Herald, August 26, 2020.


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