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Abstract

Colleges and universities often overlook academic libraries as venues for deliberative democracy. As agencies that span boundaries across traditional structural and political barriers, libraries are ideal hubs for practicing democracy on campus. They can offer safe spaces for dialogue, engaging programs about real issues in American democracy, and opportunities for students to learn civic literacy skills essential to a self-governing society. By repositioning themselves to advance the civic mission of higher education, academic librarians are poised to become essential partners and catalysts for preparing the next generation to participate in a flourishing 21st century democracy.

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