How to Be a Philosophical Librarian

My chapter “Thinking about Meaning: How to be a Philosophical Librarian” was just published in a volume called Skills to Make a Librarian: Transferable Skills Inside and Outside the Library.

An abstract:

What does philosophy – the most abstract of all academic disciplines – have to do with the practice of librarianship? That, in the most general sense, is the question of this chapter. My answer is what is fundamental to a philosophical approach to inquiry is thinking about meaning, and a philosophical approach to librarianship involving thinking about the core meanings of our practices can improve our ability to do our jobs as librarians. The reader of this chapter will learn that a librarian who thinks like a philosopher is one that gets students to think about the core meanings of the material they are presenting, because this allows the student to transfer the skills and concepts they are learning to other life contexts. This, as we will see, is simply what good educators do; in this sense, successful teacher-librarians are philosophical librarians as well. Or so I shall argue.

You can preview it through Google Books; if reading the whole thing interests you, drop me a line at kevin dot michael dot klipfel at gmail dot com and I’ll send it to you as a WordDoc till someone tells me to stop.

Skills to Make a Librarian


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Filed under Education, Library Instruction, On Being Human, Posts by Dani Brecher, The Library Game

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