Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Educational Foundations & Leadership
This study examined five research questions relating to U.S. academic librarians' perceptions of and attitudes toward intellectual freedom, information privacy, and the USA PATRIOT Act: 1) Do academic librarians' self-perceived levels of affiliation with the American Library Association affect their attitudes toward the USA PATRIOT Act (2001)? 2) Do academic librarians' self-perceptions of affiliation with the American Library Association affect their attitudes regarding intellectual freedom for librarians and, if so, in which direction? 3) Does the USA PATRIOT Act (2001) compromise intellectual freedom as practiced by academic librarians? 4) Does the USA PATRIOT Act (2001) make academic librarians rethink their values and beliefs regarding intellectual freedom? 5) Does the USA PATRIOT Act (2001) make academic librarians rethink their values and beliefs regarding information privacy? A survey utilizing a random stratified sample of U.S. academic librarians (strata=type of academic library) was conducted to provide research data for these questions. Quantitative survey data was analyzed through the use of one-way analyses of variance (ANOVA) and independent samples T-tests. The dependent variables for this study were librarians' values and beliefs regarding a) the USA PATRIOT Act (2001); b) intellectual freedom within the library profession; c) information privacy; and d) intellectual freedom. The independent variables for this study were a) respondents' self-perceived affiliation with the American Library Association; b) the categories of institution with which respondents are affiliated (community college, college, or university libraries); and c) the passage of the USA PATRIOT Act (2001). Results were not statistically significant for any research question re: the independent variable of library type, nor was the degree of affiliation with the American Library Association statistically significant. While survey respondents largely agreed with the American Library Association's positions on intellectual freedom and information privacy, there still exists some disagreement regarding the extent to which the USA PATRIOT Act has truly affected librarians and their patrons.
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Willson-Metzger, Alicia C..
"Ethically Speaking: Academic Librarians' Perceptions of Information Privacy, Intellectual Freedom, and the USA PATRIOT Act"
(2011). Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Dissertation, Educational Foundations & Leadership, Old Dominion University, DOI: 10.25777/dczg-ak62