Prejudices Unshelved: Variation in Attitudes toward Controversial Public Library Materials in the General Social Survey, 1972-2014 Academic Article uri icon


  • 2016, Published with license by Taylor & Francis. Using the General Social Survey from 19722014, we examine variation in attitudes toward retaining controversial materials in libraries. Previously controversial topics have become much more widely accepted. We find that other controversies remain, showing how global conflicts become intertwined in local cultural controversies, and how the perceived threat from particular groups informs public concern with disseminating information from those groups. We find that more frequent library users are somewhat less likely to want to remove controversial books from the shelves, although some of these relationships are explained by variation in the respondents age, race, and other characteristics.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Brett, J., & Campbell, M. E.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Brett, Jeremy||Campbell, Mary E

publication date

  • January 2016