Progressive Librarian


Publication analysis

About the publication

Title: Progressive Librarian: A Journal for Critical Studies and Progressive Politics in Librarianship

ISSN: 1052-5726 (print), 1052-5722 (online)


Purpose, objective, or mission: Progressive Librarian “is a forum for critical perspectives in Library and Information Science (LIS), featuring articles, book reviews, bibliographies, reports, and documents that explore progressive perspectives on librarianship and information issues.”1

Target audience: Librarians and LIS professionals interested in progressive “discourse and action on library issues.” Progressive Librarians Guild (PLG) members receive a subscription, or individuals can subscribe without joining the guild.2

Publisher: Progressive Librarians Guild.3

Peer reviewed? Yes, by the editorial board.4

Type: LIS scholarly journal.

Medium: Print and online. Full text of complete issues and individual articles are available online.5

Content: Progressive Librarian publishes “articles, book reviews, bibliographies, reports, and documents that explore progressive perspectives on librarianship and information issues.”6 Articles cover topics such as sexual violence, social justice, sustainability, youth empowerment, intellectual freedom, international activism, and a wide variety of progressive critiques and analyses of national and international LIS issues.

Frequency of publication:  Two times a year.7

About the publication’s submission guidelines

Location of submission guidelines: Submissions.

Types of contributions accepted: A Call for Papers for future issues of Progressive Librarian asks for “articles, book reviews, bibliographies, reports, documents, artwork and poetry that explore progressive perspectives on librarianship and information issues.”8

Submission and review process: All manuscripts submitted to Progressive Librarian are reviewed by each member of the editorial board. Manuscripts outside the expertise of board members are sent to outside reviewers for comment and evaluation. The journal also welcomes prints and digital images. The editors reserve the right to edit all submissions before publication. For book reviews, please contact the book review editor.9

Editorial tone: The articles are innovative and present alternative views to those of other LIS publications. The style of writing is creative and individualistic while still being academic.

Style guide used: Authors may use their preferred citation style “for in-text (parenthetical) citations, footnotes, and endnotes, as well as a bibliography (Chicago Manual of Style & Turabian), works cited (MLA), and references (APA & Harvard) sections.” The citation style has to be used consistently throughout the manuscript.10

Conclusion: Evaluation of publication’s potential for LIS authors

Progressive Librarian is a innovative and welcoming journal for LIS authors who write about any issue related to progressive librarianship or the relationship of library and information science to issues of social justice and responsibility. Articles are international in scope and are often focused on current events and actions. LIS professionals and students may submit artwork and poetry, as well as documents, reports, and bibliographies, on progressive issues.

Prospective authors should read the editorial in issue 45 for an understanding of the journal’s philosophy and perspective,11 as well as the Progressive Librarians Guild Statement of Purpose.12

For LIS graduate students, each year the PLG awards the Miriam Braverman Memorial Prize “for the best paper about some aspect of the social responsibilities of librarians, libraries, or librarianship. Papers related to archivists, archives, and archival work are also eligible.” The winning paper is published in an issue of Progressive Librarian, and the winner receives a $500 stipend toward travel costs to the American Library Association’s Annual Conference, where the award is presented.13


Audience analysis

About the publication’s readers

Publication circulation: Data not available.

Audience location and language or cultural considerations: The journal as an international readership. Most subscribers are based in the United States, although there are a large number in Canada and others on every continent except for Antarctica.14 As with any scholarly writing, avoid colloquialisms and explain any regional or subject-specific terms.

Reader characteristics: According to Elaine Harger, the managing editor, they encompass both genders and range widely in age.15 The readership is made up of librarians, librarian graduate students, and library school faculty working in public or academic libraries. Readers are likely interested in activism and the struggle for social justice and in how politics informs LIS practices.

Knowledge of LIS subject matter: While readers are probably LIS students, professionals, or scholars, they may work in widely different areas within the profession. Assume readers have an understanding of broad LIS concepts. Readers probably know about news and events in the LIS world, and about national and international politics and current events, but explain any subject-specific jargon, issues, or events others may not be familiar with.


Conclusion: Analysis of reader characteristics and their potential impact on authors

Broadly speaking, the readers of Progressive Librarian are LIS professionals, scholars, and students who consider themselves socially and politically progressive and who bring their passion for social justice and action to their work in various library and information settings. PLG works against the current idea that “the library is merely a neutral institutional mediator in the information marketplace and a facilitator of a value-neutral information society of atomized information consumers.” Rather,  a “progressive librarianship demands the recognition of the idea that libraries for the people has been one of the principal anchors of an extended free public sphere which makes an independent democratic civil society possible, something which must be defended and extended.”16


Last updated: February 27, 2018


Show 16 footnotes

  1. “About,”, accessed February 27, 2018,
  2. “Subscription,”, accessed February 27, 2018,
  3. “About.”
  4. “Submissions,”, accessed February 27, 2018,
  5. “Archive,”, accessed February 27, 2018,
  6. “Submissions.”
  7. “About.”
  8. “Call for Papers,” Progressive Librarian 45 (winter 2016/2017): verso,
  9. “Submissions.”
  10. “Submissions.”
  11. Elaine Harger, “Editorial: Why PLG? Why Paper? Why Bridge Generations?” Progressive Librarian 45 (winter 2016/2017),
  12. “Statement of Purpose,”, accessed February 27, 2018,
  13. “The Braverman Award,”, accessed February 27, 2018,
  14. Elaine Harger, personal communication, 2008.
  15. Elaine Harger, personal communication, 2008.
  16. “PLG’s History,”, accessed February 27, 2018,
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