Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Libraries Build Autonomy: A Philosophical Perspective on the Social Role of Libraries and Librarians
Date of this Version
An important, overlooked moral contribution of libraries and librarians to the community is the provision of support for autonomy. Philosophers have long considered autonomy a primary moral value, essential to living a flourishing life. Although library scholarship has not often engaged deeply with the philosophical discourse surrounding autonomy, libraries and librarians are uniquely positioned to enact many of the methods for encouraging it. By considering the moral significance of library services as autonomy-building activities, libraries and librarians can provide a valuable social support for their communities, individual users, and ultimately themselves.