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ERIC Number: ED557128
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 168
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3211-2161-2
An Examination of Diversity within Three Southeastern Academic Libraries: A Mixed-Methods, Multi-Site Study
Shaffer, Christopher A.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Alabama State University
The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which three academic libraries in the Southeastern United States could be considered diverse. This was a multi-site, mixed methods study. It examined the climate and culture of the libraries, which was assessed through two methods; the first, through survey responses from full-time faculty and staff members at the three libraries studied. Secondly, selected individuals, including the deans of all three libraries, participated in interviews with the researcher, to shed further light on the climate and culture of the libraries. A raw catalog count of each library's monographic collection was conducted, using diversity-themed keyword searches. Recent programming, when relevant was also considered as a method of concretely measuring diversity. Results of the study indicated that librarians at all three institutions valued the concept of diversity within their libraries, particularly in terms of their collections. However, under further scrutiny, particularly concerning issues such as homosexuality and speaking foreign languages in the workplace, survey responses indicated some reluctance by faculty and staff to fully embrace all areas of diversity. Librarians interviewed consistently indicated they viewed libraries as safe harbors that contain a wide array of diverse materials. All indicated there were materials within their libraries that contradicted their personal belief system and believed that was acceptable, because libraries exist for people of all beliefs. As a result of this study, several recommendations emerged for both library administrators and policy makers as well as library science researchers. A primary policy recommendation is for academic libraries to be well-funded. A diverse library is impossible to create and maintain without proper funding. Diversity policies need to be created to reinforce the concept that diversity is a key component of the library. Diversity should be institutionally promoted through public programming grants and encouraging librarians to apply for fellowships and other programs that expose them to diverse concepts. Future research on this topic would prove to be enlightening. Research outside of the Southeast region would allow for an assessment of whether information gleaned in this study is consistent on a national level in the United States. Electronic databases are a major component of an academic libraries' collection and could be examined as one more component of diversity. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A