LIBR 579J (3) Community-Led Libraries

NOTE: cannot be taken for credit by students who have already taken LIBR 579B (1) 


MLIS and Dual MAS/MLIS: Completion of MLIS Core or permission of iSchool Graduate Advisor
MAS: completion of MAS core and permission of the iSchool Graduate Advisor

GOALS: To expose students to an intellectual and practical understanding of Community-Led principles and approaches, including the theoretical work that supports these principles.

To investigate and evaluate how Community-Led principles and approaches are infused through new and developing library thinking and practice.

To interpret and demonstrate the value of Community-Led principles and approaches for building inclusiveness, citizenship, and democracy by libraries for the communities they serve.


At the completion of the course the student will be able to:

  • Discuss and analyze Community-Led principles and approaches in a library context
  • Analyze the differences between Community-Led Library principles and traditional library principles, including those principles that underpin library programming, customer service, marketing and evaluation.
  • Evaluate and critically assess the value of Community-Led principles when developing library strategic plans, service models, policies, programming, and assessment tools.
  • Discuss the role of Community-Led library work in connecting libraries to their communities.
  • Recognize and illustrate how Community-Led principles and approaches build inclusive communities.
  • Critically engage with theories of social inclusion and understand how those theories affect library practices


  • Theories of social inclusion
  • Libraries and social exclusion
  • History, evolution and proliferation of Community-Led principles in the library
  • Community-Led principles influencing library core principles
  • Community-Led principles and social theory
  • Community-Led principles and library strategic plans, service models, and policy
  • Community-Led library work: a practical model for daily work
  • Assessment and evaluation tools based on Community-led approaches and the power of telling a story
  • The truths and myths about collaboration, consultation, partnerships and relationships
  • Community-Led principles shaping the future of libraries
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