Brian Quinn

Texas Tech Librarian’s Work Selected as ‘Landmark’ Article

Brian Quinn recognized for “The McDonaldization of Academic Libraries?”

Texas Tech University librarian Brian Quinn is among an elite group of seven librarians whose research articles recently were selected for the 75th anniversary issue of College & Research Libraries (C&RL). His contribution was among 30 finalists identified by the editorial board and past C&RL editors, who then asked the membership to vote for the seven they considered to be most significant.

The chosen article, “The McDonaldization of Academic Libraries?” and its sequel, “McDonaldization in Cyber Space: Examining Commercial Education Websites,” generated an overwhelming response from librarians around the world. It was translated into Chinese and published in one of the leading library journals in China.

“I honestly did not think anyone would have the nerve to publish it, much less the most important journal in the library field,” Quinn said. “It is the library equivalent of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle or Orwell’s 1984 and manages to offer a dark dystopian critique of contemporary librarianship yet also a hopeful alternative. It struck a nerve with librarians, and still does almost 15 years later. If anything, libraries are more McDonaldized than ever, but the best librarians understand the downside of bureaucracy and manage to accomplish great things by keeping it in perspective.”