Deconstructing the mission: A critical content analysis of public library mission statements

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26 Scopus citations


As public libraries reexamine and reframe their goals and reasons for existing in a social and information context increasingly mediated by digital media, the way in which they define themselves in their mission statements reveals a range of benefits, values, roles, and institutional standpoints. This critical content analysis of 32 public library mission statements focuses on the roles and standpoints constructed and naturalized through mission statement rhetoric, including the reality claims, metaphors, subject positions, and formulas used to create them. The analysis examines who created the missions and who and what appear privileged within them, focusing especially on the assignment of agency, in light of the call for “user-centered” library services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-152
Number of pages18
JournalLibrary Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences


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