Library Holdings of Religious Fundamentalist and Secular Universities: “Where the Twain Seldom Meet”
Colleges and universities promote themselves to students, faculty, alumni/alumnae, and others in various ways; these include logos, mottos, school songs, as well as mission statements, curricula, celebration events, and websites. Another expression of their place in local and wider academic and professional communities is through their library holdings. The books and journals in their collections and the books they purchase reflect their unique place in a nationwide system of institutions of higher learning. These holdings will be related to those they serve, whether a wide public or a specific heritage, their instructional priority (a science or art), or a religious worldview. This study investigates and compares the library holdings (books) of three US fundamentalist or religiously conservative college/universities with three Quaker/secular colleges to discern what their collections reveal about their religious heritage, mission, and worldviews. One hundred fifty-five keywords and phrases about religious origins, faiths, life, and practices were identified using their online catalogues. While a degree of agreement was found on certain topics and themes, vast differences were discovered in the religious collections in these two sets of colleges/universities. While students in both sets of higher education institutions may have some similar courses about religious values, origins, missions, and social issues, some wide discrepancies exist in the amount and variety of materials for student or faculty research and overall professional development with a focus on religion.
KeywordsLibraries Worldviews Religious books Fundamentalism Secularism Society of friends
- Ambrosio, T., Hoepfner, P., Thompson, K. E., & Watson, K. (2017). The geopolitical discourse of Barack Obama’s State of Union Addresses: Pursuing a geopolitical reorientation for the Middle East. Geopolitics. https://doi.org/10.1080/14650045.2017.1414047.
- Donohue, K. (2015). The view from seminary: Using library holdings to measure Christian seminary world views. In S. D. Brunn (Ed.), The changing world religion map: Sacred places, identities, practices and policies (pp. 1067–1090). Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
- Grammich, C., Hadaway, K., Houseal, R., Jones, D. E., Krindttach, A., Stanley, R., & Taylor, R. H. (2012). 2010 U.S. religion census: Religious congregation and membership study. Kansas City: Nazarene Publishing House for the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies. http://www.USReligionCensus.org (provides links for 2010 data).
- Ganski, K. L. (2008). An evaluation of the accessibility of e-resources from theological library websites. Theological Librarianship 1(1):38–45. https://doi.org/10.31046/tl.v1i1.14
- Groeberg, J., & Boyd, A. (2009). The impact of distance education on libraries. Theological Education, 2(1), 35–44. Online ATLA Publication.Google Scholar
- Jamieson, K. H., & Birdsall, D. S. (1988). Presidential debates. The challenge of creating an informed electorate. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Jordahl, R. (1990a). The interdisciplinary nature of theological education in the United States. Libraries and Culture, 25(2), 153–170. Austin: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
- Jordahl, R. (1990b). Theological libraries and “The Next Christendom.” Connecting North American theological education and the use of the book in the global South. Theological Librarianship, 1(2), 35–48.Google Scholar
- Schuman, S. (2010). Seeing the light. Religious colleges in twenty-first century America. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
- Stevens, T. P. (1976). William Walker Rockwell and the development of the Union Theological Seminary Library. The Journal of Library History, 11(1), 25–43.Google Scholar
- Sutherland, C. L., & Webster, G. R. (1994). The geography of the 19892 U. S. Presidential Debate. The Geographical Bulletin, 36(1), 83–93.Google Scholar
- U.S. Census Bureau. (2007–2012). American Community Survey 5-Year estimates – Geodatabase for; 2007–2011 Data Files DP02-selected social characteristics in the United States. Washington, DC: US Department of Commerce. Downloaded from https://census.gov/geo/maps-data/data/tiger-data.html. 22 May 2013.
- Weaver, J. B. (2008). Theological libraries and “the next Christendom.” Connecting North American theological education to use of the book in the global south. Theological Education, 1(2), 31–48. Online ATLA Publication.Google Scholar
- Webster, G. R., Watrel, R., Archer, J. C., & Brunn, S. D. (2015). Bible Belt membership patterns, correlates and landscapes. In S. D. Brunn (Ed.), The changing world religion map: Sacred places, identities, practices and politics (pp. 1439–1467). Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
- 10 Strictest College Campuses. https://collegetimes.co/strict-college-campuses/. Accessed 17 Aug 2018.
- 2017 Rankings for Best Christian Colleges and Universities. http://www.collegechoice.net/rankings/best-christian-colleges-and-universities/. Accessed 15 Aug 2018.
- 2018 Best Christian Colleges in America. https://www.niche.com/colleges/search/best-Chrsitan-colleges/. Accessed 17 Aug 2018.
- Best Christian Colleges. http://www.collegechoice.net/rankings/best-Christian-colleges-and-universities. Accessed 17 Aug 2018.
- Best Colleges for Homeschool Students. https://superscholar.orga/rankings/best-colleges-for-homeschoolers. Accessed 17 Aug 2018.
- Earlham College. http://www.earlham.edu. Accessed 13 Aug 2018.
- George Fox University. http://www.georgefox.edu. Accessed 13 Aug 2018.
- Guilford College. http://www.guilfordcollege.edu. Accessed 13 Aug 2018.
- Liberty University. http://www.libertyuniversity.edu. Accessed 13 Aug 2018.
- Oral Roberts University. http://www.oralroberts.edu. Accessed 13 Aug 2018.
- The 25 Best Colleges for Homeschool Students. https://superscholar.org/rankings/best-college-for-home-scholars. Accessed 17 Aug 2018.
- Top 30 Conservative Christian Colleges and Universities 2015. https://niche.com/colleges/search/best-Christian-colleges. Accessed 17 Aug 2018.