The purpose of this paper is to provide a theoretical analysis of the concept of an “institution” in order to understand the potential of the library as an institution.
The work of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari is used to build a theoretical foundation from which to construct a vision of institutions, particularly libraries, as a tools for social justice rather than market forces.
It is possible to analyse institutions and libraries in particular, in terms of codes and rules that constrain behaviour. The concept of institutions as assemblages can be used as an alternative in order to emphasise the creative and transformative potential of institutions.
The paper contributes to a small body of critical literature that examines the theoretical principles that can ground library services as tools for advocacy.
Research for this work was made possible with funding from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
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