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Politics and Collection Diversity in California Public Libraries' Nonfiction Holdings on Two Controversial Subjects: Abortion and Same-Sex Marriage

by Veeh, Elese M.

Abstract (Summary)
This study examines California public libraries' collections of adult nonfiction books on abortion and same-sex marriage to determine whether a relationship exists between a library's political environment and the diversity of opinions in its collection. A checklist of 20 titles was assembled for each topic, and these book was categorized as either "pro" "anti" or "neutral" on the subject. Library holdings were examined using the California Libraries Catalog, and the political climate of a library's community was determined using recent election results. The expected outcome that there would be less diversity of opinion in libraries serving communities at either end of the political spectrum was not supported due to a lack of measurable data. Libraries situated in politically liberal communities were most likely to own checklist titles, even when controlling for population size. Further research is needed to develop effective methods for measuring how different variables influence the collection development process.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:David Carr

School:University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

School Location:USA - North Carolina

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:adult literature non fiction collection development evaluation public libraries california book collections

ISBN:

Date of Publication:07/24/2007

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