Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
Despite quantities of popular rhetoric, democratic theory holds an aposiopetic place within library and information science (LIS) in both senses of that word: It is both in a stasis holding to basic ideas outlined 200 years ago and also a silence largely maintained. A review of a number of state-of-the-literature reviews make the case that it has not been systematically explored or applied, and most LIS work elides the questions democratic theory raises. It is time to emend this and account for a relevant intellectual source which can more firmly ground LIS practice and research in normative terms. Toward that end, three productive wellsprings of democratic theory are reviewed: Jürgen Habermas, Sheldon Wolin, and those working on democratic education (Amy Gutmann, Richard Brosio, Maxine Greene). The article concludes with an outline of some possible LIS questions and approaches drawn from these democratic theorists.
Buschman, John, "Democratic Theory in LIS: Toward an Emendation" (2007). Library Publications. Paper 67.