Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in School and Public Librarianship


Special Educational Services/Instruction


College of Education


Shontz, Marilyn


Middle school libraries--New Jersey; School libraries--Book selection--New Jersey


Library and Information Science


Self-censorship and the middle school library was the focus of the research contained in this study. The purpose was to investigate, through OPAC searches, the holdings of fifteen New Jersey public middle school library media centers to determine if thirty titles were included in the collections. The titles selected received positive reviews from at least two sources as being suitable for students in the 7th through 10th grade or ages 12 and up. The titles included in the study contained one or more of the following topics: abuse (drug, sexual, or domestic), homosexuality, interpersonal relations, family problems, religion, self-mutilation, teenage pregnancy or violence. The study found that only two of the fifteen schools held 50% or more of the titles in the study, while two more schools held 30% of the titles. Based on these results, the research concluded that self-censorship is being practiced by media specialists in eleven of the fifteen schools. The study also found that titles containing sexual content were most often excluded from middle school collections and self-censored.