Symposium on Theories of Information Access Disparities in Society (TIDS 2019)

  • Kim Thompson (Speaker)

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventPublic lecture/debate/seminar/presentationIndustry


Lessons from Elfreda: The impact of Chatman’s models and theories on the field of Library and Information Science

Elfreda A. Chatman has had an important influence on library and information science research and theory since her 1983 dissertation “The Diffusion of Information.” In the 1980s and 1990s, her use of extant social theory such as diffusion theory, opinion leadership theory, alienation theory, gratification theory, and social network theory led her on a path toward creating her own emergent theories of information poverty and small worlds. In her final works, in the first years of the 2000s, she told the story of life in the field and theory creation. She passed along to her doctoral students (including me) her own methods for theory-building, and was writing a book about her personal experience as a qualitative field researcher when she passed away in January 2002. This presentation will provide an narrative of Chatman’s growth as a theory builder, the impact she has had on theory in library and information science research, and ways that her works might be used to encourage emerging scholars to continue to look to and grow theory in their own research.
Period26 Oct 2019
Event typeConference
LocationTianjin, ChinaShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • information access
  • information disparity
  • information poverty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences