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Library Trends 52 (3) Winter 2004: The Philosophy of Information


Library Trends 52 (3) Winter 2004: The Philosophy of Information. Edited by Ken Herold.

Luciano Floridi's 1999 monograph, Philosophy and Computing: An Introduction, provided the impetus for the theme of this issue, more for what it did not say about librarianship and information studies (LIS) than otherwise. Following the pioneering works of Wilson, Nitecki, Buckland, and Capurro (plus many of the authors of this issue), researchers in LIS have increasingly turned to the efficacy of philosophical discourse in probing the more fundamental aspects of our theories, including those involving the information concept. A foundational approach to the nature of information, however, has not been realized, either in partial or accomplished steps, nor even as an agreed, theoretical research objective. It is puzzling that while librarianship, in the most expansive sense of all LIS-related professions, past and present, at its best sustains a climate of thought, both comprehensive and nonexclusive, information itself as the subject of study has defied our abilities to generalize and synthesize effectively. Perhaps during periods of reassessment and justification for library services, as well as in times of curricular review and continuing scholarly evaluation of perceived information demand, the necessity for every single stated position to be clarified appears to be exaggerated. Despite this, the important question does keep surfacing as to how information relates to who we are and what we do in LIS.

Library Trends (ISSN 0024-2594) is an essential tool for librarians and educators alike. Each issue thoroughly explores a current topic of interest in professional librarianship and includes practical applications, thorough analyses, and literature reviews. The journal is published quarterly for the Graduate School of Library and Information Science by The Johns Hopkins University Press. For subscription information, call 800-548-1784 (410-516-6987 outside the U.S. and Canada), email jlorder [at], or visit

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