Document 6A: ALA/SRRT Task Force on the Status of Women in Librarianship Newsletter, November 1970, Series 49/1/5, Box 12, Folder SRRT Organization Movement, Dorothy Bendix, 1968-69, American Library Association Archives, University of Illinois Library, 6 pp.


   The primary goal of the Task Force on the Status of Women in Librarianship was to collect data about salary information for library professionals. These three early newsletters (Documents 6A, 6B, and 6C) reported data from the Special Libraries Association and an American Library Association survey which provided compelling evidence on salary inequities within the library profession between men and women. The data was not new but for the first time it was being gathered and reported in a forum to make women aware of these issues. The newsletters were the primary means of communication to the members of the Task Force and were the best way to document and present information to the membership. The February 1972 newsletter (Document 6C) presented a Salary Survey Resolution that the Task Force would submit to the ALA Council, the governing body of the association. This came after the Task Force had asked for the Library Administrative Division to continue and expand its salary survey.

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Number 2 November, 1970

ed. Linda Robson


    For an organization of habitual tally-keepers, we have not been very well supplied with statistics on women workers in librarianship. Discussing salary differentials without quotable figures can get pretty sticky. It is too easy to discount a single example of discrimination, no matter how egregious, as an isolated case, to be explained away by personality problems, ineptitude, or whatever.

    Now, for the first time, ALA's annual salary survey includes a question on sex. In previous years the questionnaire yielded comparisons on salary by number of years of experience, by type of library, and by administrative level. It is an essential source of library manpower statistics. Soon it will give us a much better national picture of how women are doing in terms of both salary and position.

    Specia1 libraries

    The Special Libraries Association has just published its 1970 survey of active members' salaries, which includes some revealing comparisons of salary by sex:


Number of respondents: Male Female All
741 2133 3594
Less than $8,000 3% 14% 11%
$8,000-8,999 6 14 11
9,000-9,999 7 17 14
10,000-10,999 7 16 14
11,000-11,999 11 12 12
12,000-12,999 11 9 10
13,000-13,999 9 6 7
14,000-15,999 16 7 9
16,000-17,999 9 3 5
18,000-19,999 8 1 3
20,000-24,999 9 1 3
25,000 and over 4 100% 1
100% 100%
Mean $14,600 $10,900 $11,800
Median 13,500 10,400 11,000

    (Reprinted by permission from Special Libraries, vol. 61 no. 6, July-August 1970, p. 348. c. Special Libraries Association)

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    It might be argued that the data in this table simply reflect the preponderance of women in positions which require minimal education or experience (Ignoring the question of why women remain in these jobs.) Would the figures be as lopsided if, say, only Slavic catalogers in Los Angeles with fifteen years' experience were compared? The survey team did not attempt to slice the results that thinly. They did, however, re-examine the salaries reported in certain high-paying categories-- law librarians, heads of libraries, people with PhD's, etc. Result: in all analyzed categories, women's salaries hovered around 75% of men's for similar positions and qualifications. Comparing the salaries of head librarians, they found that men average $16,200; women, $12,300. Men with doctorates (in any field) make $19,000; women $14,500. In the Washington, D.C. area, the mean annual salary for men is $5,500 higher than it is for women librarians.

    The investigators concluded, "In all instances (geographic, job function, sub- ject and highest academic degree,) men's salaries clustered above the overall mean and women's salaries clustered below the mean. In spite of the perhaps independent effects of geographic location, library, subject, academic degree and job title, there is evidence for a real male-oriented sex bias in salaries reported for all categories." (Ibid. p 348.)

    Academic libraries

    In an earlier study of college and university librarians, Anita Schiller compared' the median 1966/67 salary of men and women by the number of years of their professional experience:

Years of professional experience All Median Salary Men Median Salary Women Median Salary
Under 5 $6,940 $7,330 $6,750
5-9 7,965 8,950 7,465
10-14 8,930 10,235 8,080
15-19 8,955 10,750 8,275
20 and over 9,205 12,570 8,745
Median, all respondents 7,920 8,975 7,455
Number of respondents 2155 795 1360

    (Schiller, Anita. Characteristics of Professional Personnel in College and University Libraries. Research Series no. 16, Illinois State Library, Springfield, 1969. p. 86)


    Pauline Iacomo reports progress in getting library periodicals to end sex discrimination in classified job listings. American Libraries, College and Research Libraries, Library Journal and Wilson Library Bulletin do now or will soon print a statement to the effect that they will edit out any discriminatory reference in classified advertisements.

    Judith Krug, who is on the ALA awards committee, favors adding "or sex" to the ALA scholarship criteria, and will present the proposal to the full committee at midwinter.

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    David Clift is retiring as Executive Secretary of ALA in the summer of 1972. A search committee is now casting about for nominees to propose to the Executive Board as his successor. The committee has been instructed not to limit its consideration of people on account of sex, race or anything beyond the individual's intrinsic worth. If you would like to be considered, or if you know an outstanding woman for the job, contact Shirley Olofson, Kentucky Program Development Office, The Capitol, Frankfort, Ky. 40601 before February 15.

    The official slate of candidates for ALA Council and vice presidents appears in the November issue of American Libraries. Katherine Laich is one of two vice-presidential nominees. There are more women retiring from Council than are being nominated; even if all were elected, there would be a net loss of women's representation. Twelve at-large seats are to be filled; 10 of the 24 official nominees are women. In the divisional contests, AASL, ASD and YASD each nominated one woman; CSD nominated two. Not one woman was proposed to fill any of the eight seats representing ACRL, ISAD, LAD, PLA, or RTSD. (Such initialese!)

    This observer does not know the sex ratio of the original pool of names from which the nominating committees had to choose, but in most cases, I suspect they were not too different from the final slate of candidates. In the traditional fields of service to children and youth, women librarians represent themselves, do the necessary work, and manage quite well. But in the public or academic library situation, even though women predominate, we automatically defer to the nearest handy male in matters of decision or representation. And he, qualified or not, just as unthinkingly assumes that this is his proper function.

    A petition form for additional nominees is on page 995 of the November American Libraries; procedural explanations are on page 958.


    It looked for a while as though the Equal Rights Amendment would clear the Senate almost as easily as it did the House, but it ran into strong opposition. When, after further hearings it came to the floor, it was amended to prohibit drafting women into the armed forces and to permit non-denominational prayers in the puolic schools. These additions would have forced the bill into a Senate/House conference, from which it would presumably never emerge. An attempt to substitute language similar to the Fourteenth Amendment was abandoned after Congress reconvened. So that's that, for this year. The question remains whether constitutional reform or piecemeal legislation would most effectively guarantee individuals equal access to employment and education while protecting both women and men from arbitrary and unhealthful working conditions.


    One recommendation of the President's Task Force on the Status of Women was that the enforcement powers of the Equal Employment Opportunity Act be strengthened. At present, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which is supposed to investigate cases of discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, can act only in an advisory and colciliatory capacity. If an employer refuses to comply with EEOC recommendations, the only recourse for the employee is to take her case to court. Few people can afford the time, money and legal aid to go this route. Not many librarians are even entitled the little protection

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afforded by EEOC's leaky umbrella. Employees of state and local government, and teaching personnel in schools and colleges are specifically excluded.

    Before going home to campaign, the Senate passed and sent to the House legislation which authorizes the EEOC, after full investigation, to issue cease and desist orders against a company or institution that persists in discriminating against an employee. It also provides for judicial review of these orders. An amendment to continue excluding government workers and teachers, courtesy of the same people who protected us from the ERA, was narrowly defeated. The bill as passed would extend coverage to 4.4 million state and local government workers, and to all teaching personnel not working for religious institutions. Federal librarians would remain under the jurisdiction of the Civil Service Commission, which has yet to rule favorably on a sex discrimination case.

    Some libraries do fall within the scope of Executive Order 11246. This order prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, or sex by any recipient of Federal construction contracts, specifically, most universities. The "or sex" provision was added to the order in October, 1968, but nobody paid much attention, particularly since there have been no enforcement guidelines. The administration of one southern university apparently didn't know a thing about it until they sent all employees a copy of their appeals procedure, quoting from the outdated version of EO 11246. They got the word. So another letter to all employees explained that, of course, the University never discriminates on account of sex, and it hardly seemed necessary to say so. (More than 100 institutions have been named in discrimination suits by Women's Equity Action League.)


    Interest in courses on women has been growing in colleges and universities throughout the country. Although no school has yet established a degree program in women's studies, almost 100 colleges offer at least one credit course on such topics as "American Women Poets"(Tufts), "Women in the American Economy"(Smith), "Literature of the Feminist Movement" (Univ. of Washington), and "History of America: Women" (Barnard). San Diego State College offers nine courses in its expanding program. (See The Spokeswoman, Aug. 28 and Oct. 30, 1970. Available from Urban Research Corp., 5464 South Shore Drive, Chicago 60615. $6/year. November issue will be on new books.)

    Anticipating potential demand for historical materials, Arno and Source Book Press offer package deals on reprints. Has anyone looked into these? We'd like to know your opinion of them.

    With the increase in classes offered, library holdings are being re-examined and expanded. Northwestern University, for one, would like to exchange acquisition information. Contact Roxanna Siefer, Northwestern University Library, Special Collections Division, Evanston, Ill.

    Bibliographic control of both current and retrospective material is spotty. One good general list is Women, a bibliography, by Lucinda Cisler, now in its 7th edition; it is available from the author, 102 West 80th St., New York N.Y. 10024, for 30¢. The Business and Professional Women's Foundation, 2012 Massachusetts Ave. N.W., Washington D.C. 20036, publishes selected, annotated bibliographies on the working mother, sex role concepts, and others. Free. Coordinator Kay Cassell is collecting bibliographies, bits of bibliography, and booklists on women. If you can contribute completed material or would like to work on the project, contact her. What kind of information, at what reading level, would be most useful to you?

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    Kay Ann Cassell
1060 Stuyvesant Ave. #A7
Trenton, N.J. 08618

    Linda Robson
Undergraduate Library
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, N.C. 27514


New England

    Sheila Conneen
Harvard University Library
Cambridge, Mass. 02138


    Judy Watts
Assistant Director
Hampshire College Library
Amherst, Mass. 01002


    Marion Figlio
West Oak Lane Branch
Free Library of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, Pa. 19126


    Barbara Winch
Brooklyn College Library
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11210

Middle Atlantic

    Elizabeth Stroup
327 C. St. S.E.
Washington, D.C.


    Susan Geschwinder
St. Mary's University Library
5932 Inglis St.
Halifax, N.S., Canada

Middle West

    Ruth Beasley
Regional Campus Libraries
Indiana University
Bloomington, Ind. 47401

    Nancy Doyle
Exec. Secy. Missouri Library Assn.
10 S. 7th St.
Columbia, Mo. 65201

    Linda Crowe
Univ. of Illinois Library School
Urbana, Ill.

    Margot Trumpeter
Univ. of Illinois Library School
Urbana, Ill.


    Beth Rebman,
Carol Turner
Meyer Memorial Library
Stanford University
Stanford, Ca. 94308


    Heather McFarlane
2217 N.E. 50th St.
Apt. 5
Seattle, Wash. 98105

    The next issue of the newsletter will be on library schools. We hope at that time to report on the sex ratios of accredited library schools, both faculty and students. Surveys of the letters and science faculties at Chicago, Harvard and elsewhere consistently show that the highest percentage of women faculty members is at the lecturer level; female full professors are rarer than the whooping crane. Preliminary figures on librany schools indicate the same situation obtains here, but more data are needed. If you can help with one school, contact your regional coordinator or Linda Robson for survey questions.

    If we can find the information, later issues will focus on public and school libraries, and on non-professionals.

    A copy of the ALA petition is on the last page. There are about 800 signatures now. Do we have yours?

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    The purpose of this petition is to show support for ALA investigation of and action on the status of women librarians.

    I favor this petition.

Name Library Address ALA member? yes/no

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