ALA/SRRT TASK FORCE
STATUS OF WOMEN IN LIBRARIANSHIP
STATUS OF WOMEN IN LIBRARIANSHIP
Number 3, April 1971
Results of the ALA salary survey appear in the April issue of American Libraries. These figures disclose the salary inequities of ALA personal members only --not those of the entire profession. The salaries are those of people who can afford ALA dues and benefit from ALA activities; 44.5% of all respondents are department heads or higher. Whole classes of people are left out: non-professionals and others who make less than $6500 a year, and most non-supervisory professional librarians. This leaves only the top of the work pyramid to be surveyed.
FULL-TIME SALARY DISTRIBUTION BY SEX
ALA PERSONAL MEMBERS, 1970
|Salary Men||Salary Women||Women's Salary as % of men's||# of men respondents||# of women respondents|
|50th percentile (median)||13,500||10,400||77||n.a.||n.a.|
|M.A. & M.L.S.||13,862||11,983||86||273||332|
|General responsibility (small library)||12,639||9,713||76||271||2108|
The ratio of men to women increases at each step upward, and presumably decreases at the unexamined base of the pyramid. More than three times as many women as men responded to the survey. 35% of the women (3,208) and 23% of the men (658) are in non-supervisory or small library positions. 19% of the women respond- ents (1752) are head librarians; 36% (1023) of the men are.
The mean salary of men and women at each level is revealing. The difference may explain much of the purported scarcity of qualified women who want to advance in administrative responsibility. With men earning around half again as much as women
[p. 2]for the same work, many women may feel little incentive to compete for higher level positions. To help counteract this effect, the SRRT Task Force on Women would like to see established a national registry of women librarians who are able to move to administrative positions. This information would be made available to libraries seeking qualified administrators.
In regard to the educational background of male and female respondents, a much higher percentage of men librarians have advanced degrees than do women; 298 men (10.7%) have a Ph.D., while only 111 women (1.2%) do. These women Ph.D.'s average only 77% of the salary their male counterparts command. The Task Force advocates the establishment of special fellowship funds for helping women Ph.D. candidates. More research is needed on why such a low percentage of women go on for advanced degrees, and what can be done about it. Perheps library schools should make it easier for people with family obligations to stay in school on a part-time basis.
The survey results suggest that as women gain education and experience, and as they move up to positions of authority, their salaries begin to approach those of men's--up to a point. Beyond the upper limit of the department head level, the trend reverses, the salary differential worsens, and the chance for advancement decreases sharply. At mid-level, the ratio of women to men is 3:1. At the assistant head level it is 2:1 and at the top, assuming all head librarian positions to be equal, it is 1.7:1. Along with the drastically reduced potential for advancement, the "normal" disparity of a 15-20% salary differential jumps to 25-30%. Without considerable change by all segments of the profession, the prospect for any appreciable number of qualified women librarians attaining positions of high responsibility at the higher pay a man would earn are pretty remote.
ALA ADOPTS EQUAL OPPORTUNITY RESOLUTION
At the 1971 Midwinter Meeting in Los Angeles the American Library Association membership adopted this Task Force's resolution demanding equal opportunity for women in librarianship. The resolution stated:
WHEREAS, equal opportunity for women is a growing social concern in American society; and
WHEREAS, statistics show that women librarians typically earn lower salaries than men and are underrepresented in top-level positions in libraries; and
WHEREAS, the underutilization of this talent and education wastes needed professional resources and assaults our sense of human dignity, THEREFORE, be it resolved that the American Library Association should take steps to equalize salaries and opportunities for employment and promotions.
CANDIDATES FOR ALA COUNCIL POLLED
The Task Force asked ALA Council candidates their opinion of the newly adopted policy on equal opportunity for women in the profession. Candidates were sent a copy of the resolution and asked to check one of these statements:
1. Strongly endorse this policy, and if elected to ALA Council plan to initiate measures to implement it.
2. Strongly endorse this policy, and will support measures to implement it.
3. Endorse this policy, but cannot make any commitments about future actions.
4. Oppose this policy, and will oppose measures to implement it.
5. No opinion.
The candidates' responses and excerpts from their comments follow.
COUNCIL - AT LARGE
Adelsperger, Robert J. 3. Endorse...no commitment for future action.
"The fact that librarianship has for so long been regarded as a woman's occupation, and that recent emphasis has been on efforts to erase this image, makes your task that much more difficult."
Churchwell, Charles D. 2. Strongly endorse...support measures to implement.
Coombs, C'Ceal P. No response
Eshelman, William R. 2. Strongly endorse...support measures to implement.
Fogelstrom, Clarence J. No response.
Franklin, Hardy. No response.
Greer, Roger C. 2. Strongly endorse...support measures to implement.
Ingersoll, Ursuline B. 2. Strongly endorse...support measures to implement.
Jones, Clara D. 2. Strongly endorse...support measures to implement.
Kuhn, Warren B. "As highly visible agencies for intellectual and social leadership, libraries have a key responsibility to help create new challenges and opportunities for women in librarianship, and to broaden and diversify their participation at all levels."
Marshall, Joan. 1. Strongly endorse...plan to initiate measures to implement.
Moses, Stefan B. 1. Strongly endorse...plan to initiate measures to implement.
Neuman, Richard J. 3. Endorse...no commitment for future action.
"The issue is so widespread and complex that it has little relevance except as good fuel to keep the midnight rap sessions going."
Phinazee, Annette L. 2. Strongly endorse...support measures to implement.
Rohlf, Robert H. 2. Strongly endorse...support measures to implement.
"ALA standards should insist on equal pay for equal responsibility . . . Too many library director positions held by women pay too little in comparison to their male counterparts."
Schuman, Patricia 1. Strongly endorse...plan to initiate measures to implement
Totten, Herman L. Checked nos. 1, 2, and 3.
Trezza, Alphonse F. 2. Strongly endorse...support measures to implement.
Tuttle, Helen W. 2. Strongly endorse...support measures to implement.
Waters, Richard L. 1. Strongly endorse...plan to initiate measures to implement A first step would be for us (ALA) to insure that our own house is in order. We must see that our salaries are equal for men and women--and that our job distribution and promotional opportunities are similarly equal. . ."
Webb, William H. 2. Strongly endorse...support measures to implement.
Williams, Barbara J. 3. Endorse...no commitment for future action.
Winger, Margaret A. 2. Strongly endorse...support measures to implement.
COUNCIL - AASL
Chun, May C. No response
Hart, Thomas L. 4. Oppose this policy, will oppose measures to implement.
COUNCIL - ACRL
Farber, Evan Ira 1- Strongly endorse...plan to initiate measures to implement "It will be a difficult and frustrating struggle, but well worth the effort."
Govan, James F. 2. Strongly endorse...support measures to implement.
Greco, Anthony No response
Haro, Robert P. 1. Strongly endorse...plan to initiate measures to implement
Jacob, Louis A. 3. Endorse...no commitment for future action
Moon, Ilse Webb 1. Strongly endorse. Task force nominee.
O'Keeffe, Richard L. 2. Strongly endorse...support measures to implement
Rouse, Roscoe 2. Strongly endorse...support measures to implement.
"Long before it became the vogue to work for equal opportunity for women, I recognized and deplored the discrimination often shown in salaries for women librarians. I have never followed and shall never follow such a practice."
Schiller, Anita 1. Strongly endorse...plan to initiate measures to implement.
Task Force nominee
Sellen, Betty Carol 1. Strongly endorse...plan to initiate measures to implement. Task Force nominee
Smith, Eldred 2. Strongly endorse...support measures to implement.
COUNCIL - ASD
Nyren, Dorothy 1 and 2. Strongly endorse. "I would either initiate or support appropriate action according to what seemed to me at the time to be the most useful step to take."
Sheridan, Robert N. 2. Strongly endorse...support measures to implement. "I believe your statement that women librarians typically earn lower salaries is a bit overstated."
COUNCIL - CSD
Federici, Yolanda D. 2. Strongly endorse...support measures to implement.
Wentroth, Mary Ann No response.
COUNCIL - ISAD
Kilgour, Frederick G. 2. Strongly endorse...support measures to implement
Wedgeworth, Robert No response
COUNCIL - LAD
Highfill, William C. 1. Strongly endorse...plan to initiate measures to implement
Smith, David R. 3. Endorse...no commitment about future actions.
"It appears to me that the most logical solution to the problem is through increased education and a concerted effort to change the mental attitudes of employers of library personnel with regard to the lack of opportunity which this segment of our profession apparently do not enjoy."
COUNCIL - PLA
Swartz, Roderick 2. Strongly endorse...support measures to implement
"I consider the problem of equal opportunity for women one of the most serious problems in library employment today."
Wright, M. Eugene 2. Strongly endorse...support measures to implement
Yates, Ella G. 1. Strongly endorse...plan to initiate measures to implement.
Task Force nominee
COUNCIL - RTSD
Butler, U. Royce 2. Strongly endorse...support measures to implement
"In my four to five years as head of a university library, I have appointed many more women than men as professional librarians, and they occupy positions at many levels of responsibility on my staff."
Loreck, Richard 2. Strongly endorse...support measures to implement
COUNCIL - YASD
Cyr, Helen W. 2.Strongly endorse...support measures to implement
Shelkrot, Elliot 2. Strongly endorse...support measures to implement.
TASK FORCE NOMINATES ALA COUNCIL CANDIDATES
Some divisions of ALA nominated no women to reporesent them in ALA Council. For two of these, ACRL and PLA, the Task Force obtained signatures to add the following candidates to the ballot by petition.
COUNCIL - ACRL
Schiller, Anita - author of several articles on the status of women in librarianship and one of the founders of the Task Force.
Sellen, Betty Carol - Active in SRRT and local library activities, and a member of the Task Force
Iloon, Ilse Webb - active in SRRT and a member of the Task Force
COUNCIL - PLA
Yates, Ella G. - active in SRRT and the Black Caucus; a member of the Task Force.
We hope all ALA members who are on our mailing list will support these candidates as well as those other candidates who strongly support us!
Task Force Coordinator
NOTES FROM MIDWINTER
Two resolutions passed by Council at Los Angeles relate to Task Force aims. One directs the Library Administration Division to advise libraries on fair employment practice laws and to make available to libraries information regarding fair employment practice compliance by suppliers. The second authorizes a second recruitment specialist, to deal especially with young men and women of ethnic and racial minorities.
The Task Force passed two resolutions, to be forwarded to ACONDA and Executive Board: 1) that if ACONDA hires a consultant team, women should be represented on the team to study the structure of ALA. 2) that equal sexual representation be built into any reorganization of ALA.
Sunday, June 20, 2-4 p.m. SRRT Suite. Meeting of all librarians interested in reviewing children's books during the conference. Librarians will be assigned to specific publishers' booths and asked to review children's books there. The purposes of this project are to identify new children's books with particularly good or bad images of women and girls; to give librarians a first-hand opportunity to examine children's books and to evaluate for themselves the relative merits of these books in relation to the 'images of women and girls portrayed in them; and to provide a different experience for participants in judging whether publishers provide us with the material we need and want.
Monday, June 21, 7-10 p.m. Alternate Newbery-Caldecott dinner. Location of dinner will be announced and will include an awards presentation.
Tuesday, June 22, 2-4 p.m. Task Force meeting, with slide show on sexism in children's literature.
Thursday, June 24 8-10 a.m. Women's Caucus on Salaries and Promotional Opportunities.
Thursday, June 24 8:30-10:30 p.m. SRRT program and business meeting. This includes a series of round table discussions on the various task force activities.
Monday, June 21 and Thursday, June 24, LAD/PAS Economic Status, Welfare and Fringe Benefits Committee. Hearings on "Truth in job advertising"
ON SEXISM AND SRRT
At the women's liberation task force meeting in L.A., the women passed a resolution to be directed to ACONDA asking that equal sexual representation of women over all council seats be a part of any reorganization plan of ALA.
I think it is important for SRRT to put its own house in order. Last year, few women volunteered for Action Council, and SRRT should encourage more to do this by restructuring. Last year also, only women ran for Clearinghouse, because even though it has separate organizational responsibilities that are vital, a sexist image exists that the communications coordination is "shit-work", and so, I think, people oppressed by sexism (both men and xromen) responded in the end by making it "Women's work." I think it is to the credit of George Hathaway that he volunteered to serve after the election.
To guarantee that our own SRRT fights real battles of sexism, I propose that we bring the struggle home in Dallas. I propose that the Task Force on Women's Liberation support the following changes in SRRT's ORGANIZATION AND ACTION, the rules of the game we play to effect action for change. I propose that the following section be added to the O&A:
4.a.9. Action Council and Clearinghouse must include an equal number of men and women. Election procedures will insure that separate votes by sex of candidates be maintained, so that the balance on Action Council and Clearinghouse is maintained for all vacancies.
This addition to the O&A would mean, for instance, that this year's election of Clearinghouse would have to result in men getting elected, and this year's election of Action Council would have to result in a balance of equal numbers of men and women on Action Council. As it is now, I predict that unless a great deal of discipline is practiced by us all, more men will be elected to AC than women. I do think, however, that men will volunteer to Clearinghouse because of the precedent set by our brother George.
I think that we should go further to insist that the Coordinator of SRRT be a woman or a gay brother and recommend this to Action Council as a measure of their committment to the struggle for sexual liberation in SRRT. By the same token, I think we should recommend that the editorial responsibility in Clearinghouse should be assumed by a woman, while the communications shitwork should be shared by all, or assumed by the men to release the women for coordinating responsibilities.
I think we should not be satisfied with a SRRT that allows a Task Force on women's liberation and one on gay liberation and supports their programs pro forma in ALA struggle. We should insist that sexist tendencies be erased from the structure of SRRT as well as ALA.
Struggle and giggle,
Brooklyn College Library
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University of North Carolina
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