A mixed method study of organizational culture dimensions of community college faculty library use and perceptions

Deborah J Keeler, Florida International University


Because past research has shown faculty as the driving force affecting student academic library use, librarians have tried for decades to engage classroom faculty in library activities. Nevertheless, a low rate of library use by faculty on behalf of their students persists. This study investigated the organizational culture dimensions affecting library faculty demand at a community college. The study employed a sequential quantitative-qualitative research design. A random sample of full-time faculty at a large urban community college responded to a 46-item survey. The survey data showed strong espoused support (84%) for the use of library-based materials but a much lower incidence of putting this construct into practice (46%). Interviews were conducted with 11 full-time faculty from two academic groups, English-Humanities and Engineering-Math-Science. These groups were selected because the survey data resulted in statistically significant differences between the groups pertaining to several key variables. These variables concerned the professors' perceptions of the importance of library research in their discipline, the amount of time spent on the course textbook during a term, the frequency of conversations about the library in the academic department, and the professors' ratings of the librarians' skill in instruction related to the academic discipline. All interviewees described the student culture as the predominant organizational culture at Major College. Although most interview subjects held to high information literacy standards in their courses, others were less convinced these could be realistically practiced, based on a perception of students' poor academic skills, lack of time for students to complete assignments due to their commuter and family responsibilities, and the need to focus on textbook content. Recommended future research would involve investigation of methods to bridge the gap between high espoused value toward information literacy and implementation of information-literate coursework.

Subject Area

Community colleges|Library science

Recommended Citation

Keeler, Deborah J, "A mixed method study of organizational culture dimensions of community college faculty library use and perceptions" (2007). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3279229.