The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type




Degree Name

Higher Education Administration: Ed.D.


Educational Administration and Higher Education


School of Education

First Advisor

Steven McCullar

Second Advisor

Jennfer Jones

Third Advisor

John Hoover

Fourth Advisor

Bharat Mehra

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

libraries, LGBT resource centers, safe space, LGBT, BIPOC, undergraduates


LGBTQ+ undergraduates may use, perceive, and value their academic libraries differently than previous generations, particularly if their campus has an LGBT resource center. This qualitative study employed Vaccaro, Russell and Koob's Minoritized Identities of Sexuality and Gender (MIoSG) Students and Contexts Model as a theoretical framework to determine how and where LGBTQ+ undergraduates find safe space on campus. Through semi-structured interviews with white and BIPOC LGBTQ+ undergraduates, the researcher constructed ecological maps that illustrated how students see themselves within the campus context and the internal and external factors that shape their use, perception, and value of the library, the LGBT resource center, and other campus spaces. Thematic analysis generated strong themes related to safe space, as well as how students use, perceive, and value the library, LGBT resource center, and other spaces on campus. Significant differences exist between white and BIPOC undergraduate definition and assessment of safe space, how that impacts their use, value, and perception of different spaces on campus, and what spaces they identify as supportive for identity development. Significant differences also exist between white and BIPOC information seeking strategies and information format preferences, which also impact how they use and perceive library and LGBT resource center resources and services. Based on the findings of this study, the researcher makes recommendations on how to create a student-centered, inclusive, intersectional academic library through partnerships and shared programming with all identity centers on campus, as well as how to create a safe, inclusive learning space for LGBTQ+ students in a potentially hostile environment.



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