Consensus Decision-Making and its Possibilities in Libraries

I’d like to give a big shout out about this post, Consensus Decision-Making and its Possibilities in Libraries, by Emily Ford on the wonderful In the Library with the Leadpipe blog. We used consensus decision-making in a library in which I once worked, and although we didn’t agree 100% of the time, and there was conflict during the process, and that process did take time, our concerns were raised and addressed, genuine discussion occurred, and when we did move on an issue, we were all able to buy in and support it. Our group truly belonged to us, along with the responsibility and accountability for the decisions we made. And when decisions needed to be rethought, we all worked together to achieve a good solution.

Emily’s post even references the fabulous Barbara Fister! (always a plus in my book). Another shout out to Joshua Parker, my invaluable colleague at the Countway Library, for bringing the post to my attention.

More as it happens,

Cheryl LaGuardia About Cheryl LaGuardia

Cheryl LaGuardia always wanted to be a librarian, and has been one for more years than she's going to admit. She cracked open her first CPU to install a CD-ROM card in the mid-1980's, pioneered e-resource reviewing for Library Journal in the early 90's (picture calico bonnets and prairie schooners on the web...), won the Louis Shores / Oryx Press Award for Professional Reviewing, and has been working for truth, justice, and better electronic library resources ever since. Reach her at, where she's a Research Librarian at Harvard University.


  1. Emily says:

    Thanks for the nice shout out, Cheryl. I’d love to hear more about your experiences in a consensus based community– also, thoughts on how that is playing out at Harvard.