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The Theoretical Relevance of Social Epistemology in Library and Information Science

In this webinar the following aspects will be presented and discussed: the origins of social epistemology at the Graduate School of Library Science at the University of Chicago, biographical details of Jesse Shera and Margaret Egan as creators of this theory, the state of epistemology and sociology of knowledge at the time of its creation, the characteristics of Shera's social epistemology including some options for its continuation, other social epistemologies that appeared after his death, and some comments within the Library and Information Science and knowledge organization literature about its relevance and possibilities.

Learning objectives of the session:

  • Knowing about the theoretical foundations of Library and Information Science and its origins
  • Clarifying aspects of social epistemology as a theoretical framework for Library and Information Science and knowledge organization
  • Reviewing some key authors and research in social epistemology that might suggest future research for knowledge organization


Daniel Martínez-Ávila is an associate professor in the area of Library and Information Science, Universidad de León, Spain, and also teaches at the Graduate School of Information Science at São Paulo State University (UNESP), Brazil. He is the editor of the Advances in Knowledge Organization series of the International Society for Knowledge Organization (ISKO). He is a member of the executive board of EDICIC (Association for Education and Research in Information Science of Ibero-America and the Caribbean) and a current member of the IFLA's Subject Access and Analysis (SAA) Section Standing Committee. He has authored or co-authored over one hundred publications whose main focus are knowledge organization and aspects related to classification.

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