Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


Young adult fiction; Gays in literature; Lesbians in literature; School libraries--Iowa;


This study ascertained whether or not young adults had access to fiction titles containing gay and / or lesbian characters in school libraries in one geographic area within Iowa. The purpose of this study was to determine the availability of fiction titles containing overt gay and lesbian characters in secondary public schools in Area Education Agency 1 in Northeast Iowa. The methodology used for this study was quantitative content analysis. The researcher visited 45 secondary public schools in the 24 school districts in AEA 1 in Northeast Iowa in order to gain access to school library catalogs and determine which of the selected test and control titles were present in secondary public school libraries. The test group was composed 116 titles containing gay and / or lesbian characters while the control group contained an equal number of titles randomly selected from Booklist's Best Books for Young Adults. Upon completion of data collection, the researcher was able to determine several findings regarding availability of fiction containing gay and / or lesbian characters. Of the 24 school districts in AEA 1, only six held 25 or more titles from a list of recommended fiction titles containing overt gay and / or lesbian characters. There was a difference in availability between large and small school districts in AEA 1; overwhelmingly, large school districts offered greater availability than did small school districts. Additionally, all 24 school districts held more control group titles than test group titles. Furthermore, school districts employing a certified school library media specialist (SLMS) held a higher number of both test and control titles than school districts without a certified SLMS.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Division of School Library Studies


Department of Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Barbara Stafford

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (120 pages)



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