Professional Media | March 1, 2013

Buschman, John. Libraries, Classrooms, and the Interests of Democracy: Marking the Limits of Neoliberalism. Rowman & Littlefield. 2012. 239p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780810885288. pap. $65. pro media

In today’s classrooms corporate advertisement is abundant; in today’s libraries marketing campaigns are conducted to attract new customers. How is it that these markers of neoliberalism are present in our educational institutions, asks Buschman (Dean of University Libraries, Seton Hall Univ.; Dismantling the Public Sphere), and should this even be a cause for concern? He addresses these questions by offering a theoretical critique of neoliberalism’s growing role in America’s schools and libraries. By thoroughly examining the ideas of various strains of democratic theory the author makes the case that the inclusion of marketing and advertising in our educational institutions is counterproductive to the central purposes of those institutions and to democracy. VERDICT This meticulously researched book provides a theoretical foundation for future investigations of the issues surrounding neoliberalism in our educational institutions. While it has a tendency to digress from the main topic onto lengthy tangents, the work raises important questions of interest to all educators. Academics in the fields of library science, education, political science, and marketing will find this to be valuable reading.—Joshua Wallace, South Texas Coll. Lib., McAllen



  1. John Buschman says:

    You might want to spell my name correctly:
    “Review of John Bachman’s Libraries, Classrooms, and the Interests of Democracy: Marking the Limits of Neoliberalism.”