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This article discusses the influence of neoliberal ideology on public libraries in Ireland, from the first government policy document published in 1998 to the first election after the recession in 2011. The context of the rise in importance of the idea of information and the parallel acceptance of the principles of the free market for providing public services are examined. The Irish government policy documents from the period are analyzed. A critical awareness of these changes is needed in the library and information science field to recognize and oppose policies that are detrimental to the public provision of a library service.


This work was originally published in the IFLA Journal, available at



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