Perceptions of Academic Librarians toward LGBTQ Information Needs: An Exploratory Study

John Siegel, Martin Morris, Gregg A. Stevens

Abstract

While previous studies have examined lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) information needs, none have addressed librarian confidence in addressing LGBTQ-themed information needs or the factors affecting this confidence. The authors used a mixed-methods survey to assess the knowledge and perspectives of academic librarians in responding to information inquiries related to sexual orientation and gender identity. Based on an exploratory factor analysis, three variables were identified: duty of care/vulnerability of inquirer, public visibility of work conducted, and personal biases and prejudices. These factors can reduce or otherwise influence the ability to meet LGBTQ information needs.

Keywords

gay; lesbian; bisexual; transgender; sexual orientation; gender identity; reference services; public services

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Copyright John Siegel, Martin Morris, and Gregg A. Stevens


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