Link Established Between LBGT-Friendly Campus Climate Index Scores and Web-Based Resources of Academic Libraries

Kathleen Reed

Abstract


A Review of:
Ciszek, M. P. (2011). Out on the web: The relationship between campus climate and GLBT-related web-based resources in academic libraries. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 37(5), 430-436. doi: 10.1016/j.acalib.2011.06.007

Objective – To explore whether academic institutions that score highly on the LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index also have well-developed Web-based library resources to support GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender) students.

Design – Website analysis, percentage, and binary logistic regression analysis.

Setting – Library websites of colleges and universities in four American geographic regions: Northeast, Midwest, South, and West.

Subjects – There were 259 colleges and universities that participated in the 2010 LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index.
Methods – The author visited the library websites of all institutions and surveyed available GLBT-related resources. The criteria for online resources included: 1) A research guide for GLBT studies or geared toward GLBT students, 2) An individual identified within the research guide as a contact for GLBT-related resources, and 3) A subscription to EBSCO’s GLBT Life database.

Whether or not the academic libraries had the above resources was then analyzed with each institution’s score on the climate survey scale. The author controlled for geographical location, religious affiliation, and campus setting of the college or university.

Main Results – There is a positive direct relationship between whether a library makes GLBT resources available on the Web and campus climate. However, only 25% of libraries surveyed published a research guide, 18% named a contact individual, and 31% subscribed to GLBT Life.

Conclusion – While parent institutions commit to GLBT students by taking the LBGT-Friendly Campus Climate Index survey, academic libraries lag behind providing online resources for this community.

The author recommends academic libraries:

• Create a top-level GLBT research guide.
• Provide contact information for a staff person assigned to provide GLBT-related research assistance.
• Assign a resource selector for GLBT-related resources.
• Subscribe to GLBT-related databases.
• Partner with GLBT organizations on campus to improve collections.
• Promote GLBT-related collections to the campus community.
• Perform an assessment of the information and resource needs of GLBT campus community members.
• Ensure the GLBT community is included in programming and services.

Keywords


GLBT, climate, academic librarianship, gay

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