Toward a design epistemology for librarianship

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25 Scopus citations


The design of information tools and services is an integral component of librarianship, yet American librarianship has self-identified as a social science for more than 100 years. This article suggests an alternative epistemological perspective to the scientific tradition in librarianship: design epistemology. The article discusses key elements that compose design epistemology and presents examples of manifestations of these elements in librarianship. Analysis reveals that librarianship has much in common with design epistemology, yet the field lacks explicit acknowledgment of design as a fundamental epistemological framework. The article concludes with a call to reconceptualize librarianship as a design discipline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-59
Number of pages19
JournalLibrary Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences


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