Racial Climate and Inclusiveness in Academic Libraries: Perceptions of Welcomeness among Black College Students

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There is currently a dearth of research on African American college students and their interactions in academic libraries. The purpose of this quantitative study is to investigate whether African American college students view academic libraries as welcoming places and to identify factors that are most influential in their perceptions of welcomeness. Adopting the theoretical lens of “library in the life of the user,” we administered a national online survey questionnaire to 160 black college students attending non-historically black colleges and universities in the United States. The survey data were analyzed by employing correlation coefficient and multiple regression analysis to test our hypotheses. The analytical results showed that participants felt welcomed in academic libraries, and library as place and information needs were significant factors that affected students’ perceptions of welcomeness. Our findings suggest that library patrons are important actors in constituting the atmospheric character of the library.

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The Library Quarterly

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