“(Information) Poor, Huddled Masses"?

Chatman’s Contribution to Understanding Contemporary Immigrant Settlement Experiences


  • Ana Ndumu University of Maryland College of Information Studies
  • Millicent Mabi University of British Columbia




This article revisits Chatman’s information poverty theory in light of the settlement experiences of Black immigrants. We critically examine the factors that both shaped and limited Chatman’s theory, as well as how Chatman’s work both catalyzes and impedes our work as emerging scholars who study the interplay of information access and social inclusion among a marginalized immigrant population.

Pre-print first published online 5/25/2021

Author Biographies

Ana Ndumu, University of Maryland College of Information Studies

Dr. Ana Ndumu is an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park’s College of Information Studies. She examines library services to immigrants (particularly Black diasporic immigrants), immigrant information justice, and methods for improving racial and ethnic representation within the library and information science field.

Millicent Mabi, University of British Columbia

Dr. Millicent Mabi is an adjunct faculty at the University of British Columbia’s School of Information. She examines the intersection of information and migration, and is interested in human information behavior, immigration and settlement, African immigrants, community engagement, and library and information services.