Information Abundance and Deficit

Revisiting Elfreda Chatman’s Inquiry of Marginal Spaces and Populations


  • LaVerne Gray Syracuse University



The article presents a methodological analysis of Elfreda Chatman’s research on marginal populations. Revisiting the methodological legacy and influence of Chatman’s research addresses positioning of the marginal within information environments in the presentation of theory. The position of deficit or lack in the communities under study are juxtaposed with abundance revealed in differing forms of Chatman’s research. This article first reviews how Chatman’s work challenges methodological hegemonic practices of theory development in Library and Information Science (LIS) research. Secondly, three works are analyzed for methodological approach and processes in theory development. Each article is observed in terms of design, approach, researcher (role, voice, position, posture), and theory development (as a methodological construct). Lastly, recommendations on impact of methodological approach and positioning reveal the impetus for the proposed article, deconstructing the researcher and their extension of theory-making in marginal spaces.

Pre-print first published online 09/30/2022

Author Biography

LaVerne Gray, Syracuse University

LaVerne Gray, PhD., is an Assistant Professor in the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University, where she teaches in the Library and Information Science program. Her research examines the Black information experience in the areas of information justice, Black feminist epistemologies, and memory work.  She is currently the lead researcher of the Institute of Museum and Library Studies (IMLS) funded Uncovering Black Lives Project, which examines the information community practices of African American genealogists.