Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Jody Goins

Second Advisor

Vinayak Nahar

Third Advisor

Bharat Mehra


The demographics of the library and information profession in the United States, which is primarily White and female, do not reflect the diversity of the population and those libraries serve. To further the understanding of who chooses library science graduate programs and how one might take social justice actions for more diversity, this study employed a post-positivist, quantitative study blended with critical theory. The study used Perna’s college choice model, which considers cultural capital, social capital, and economic factors as influential on college choice decisions. The study utilized a secondary data set, the Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study 2008/2012 data set from the National Center for Education Statistics, to find the characteristics of library science graduate students from the overall sample of 17,160 students from 1,730 participating higher education institutions. The use of logistic regression determined odds ratios for the influence of various cultural, social, academic, and economic factors on the decision to enroll and found cultural and social capital, and economic factors influence decision making. Findings included, in addition to the underrepresentation of non-Whites and males, less odds on enrollment by first-generation students, those with dependents, and those attending non-doctoral institutions as undergraduates. A critical theory lens provided guidance for creating a framework for diversity in libraries action plan to use as a tool for planning social justice actions to increase and retain representation among the groups identified in the study.


Diversity, Graduate Education, Library Science, Recruitment, Social Justice, Sociological Influences