Censorship in public libraries: an analysis using gatekeeping theory

dc.contributorLowrey, Wilson Hugh
dc.contributorMeares, Mary M.
dc.contributorRumore, Samuel A.
dc.contributorShwery, Craig S.
dc.contributorWeddle, Jeff
dc.contributor.advisorBonnici, Laurie J.
dc.contributor.authorSteele, Jennifer Elaine
dc.contributor.otherUniversity of Alabama Tuscaloosa
dc.date.accessioned2018-06-04T14:58:09Z
dc.date.available2018-06-04T14:58:09Z
dc.date.issued2017
dc.descriptionElectronic Thesis or Dissertationen_US
dc.description.abstractOne pressing issue in libraries today is the censorship of information. This study applies Kurt Lewin's gatekeeping theory to examine the decision-makers as well as the different pressures and constraints that are at issue in decisions regarding challenges and censorship attempts that occur in public libraries. Through an in-depth case study of two federal court cases dealing with challenges and censorship attempts that occurred in public libraries, this study seeks to identify the gatekeeping structures present within public libraries, specifically those that contribute to conditions that encourage librarians to censor. A qualitative content analysis of court documents as well as newspaper articles covering the court cases being analyzed, followed by a series of interviews with individuals involved in the cases, seek to reveal in more complexity the gatekeeping structure present in public libraries. Knowing who the decision-makers, or gatekeepers, are in the decision-making process, whether it is library boards, library directors, or public officials, is crucial to the understanding of censorship in public libraries. Central to the study is the phenomenon of librarians themselves engaging in acts of censorship. Factors such as power and authority can lead librarians to engage in censorship activities as a reaction to instructions from their governing bodies. Without a clear understanding of the function of gates and gatekeepers in the decision-making process, libraries may allow unintended censorship of ideas and information to persist. This study seeks to inform librarians and information professionals to become better equipped to support the fight against censorship.en_US
dc.format.extent174 p.
dc.format.mediumelectronic
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.identifier.otheru0015_0000001_0002895
dc.identifier.otherSteele_alatus_0004D_13321
dc.identifier.urihttp://ir.ua.edu/handle/123456789/3571
dc.languageEnglish
dc.language.isoen_US
dc.publisherUniversity of Alabama Libraries
dc.relation.hasversionborn digital
dc.relation.ispartofThe University of Alabama Electronic Theses and Dissertations
dc.relation.ispartofThe University of Alabama Libraries Digital Collections
dc.rightsAll rights reserved by the author unless otherwise indicated.en_US
dc.subjectLibrary science
dc.subjectInformation science
dc.subjectMass communication
dc.titleCensorship in public libraries: an analysis using gatekeeping theoryen_US
dc.typethesis
dc.typetext
etdms.degree.departmentUniversity of Alabama. College of Communication and Information Sciences
etdms.degree.disciplineCommunication & Information Sciences
etdms.degree.grantorThe University of Alabama
etdms.degree.leveldoctoral
etdms.degree.namePh.D.
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