Document 6C: ALA Social Responsibilities Round Table Task Force on Women Newsletter, number 4, February 1972, Series 49/45/10, Box 1, Folder Status of Women in Libraries, Task Force on Women Newsletter (1970, 1972-4), American Library Association Archives, University of Illinois Library, 5 pp.

[p. 1]



Number 4, February 1972


    The joint SRRT-JMRT Child Care for Chicago committee met at Midwinter to clarify goals and methods for providing child care for participants at the annual conference. It is hoped that supervised day care for infants to 14-year-olds can be organized for each day of the meeting, June 26-July 1, between 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 p.m.

    Although details have not been finalized, representatives of the Chicago Day Care Crisis Center indicated that places could probably be found for pre-school children in Chicago Loop facilities. Tours and activities for older girls and boys, e.g. supervised swimming, picnicing and museum tours, are also in the planning stage.

    The committee plans to include a day care registration form in the Conference packet, asking for numbers and ages of participating children, to facilitate planning. At present it has had few, but very enthusiastic responses, from interested parents. Another card will ask ALA conference goers to donate a four-hour block of "babysitting" time. Men and women volunteers are needed.

    The committee decided to ask ALA to finance the child care project as a regular conference expense, and at the end of Midwinter, organizers Pat Finley and Nanch Schimmel were optimistic that their request would be granted.

    Interested parents are urged to contact Ms. Finley, 205 New Street, B-3, Mulberry Square, Syracuse, N.Y. 13202 as soon as possible.


    Last year at Dallas The Task Force decided to press for a continuation and expansion of the LAD salary survey. Our request to LAD met with no response. Consequently, several members suggested that a resolution be introduced to Council requesting that a responsible outside agency conduct a similar, but more detailed statistical study. The resolution written by Mina Pease and Eveline Carsman read:

    Whereas The American Library Association-Social Responsibilities Round Table Task Force on Women is concerned with the status of women in the library profession, and

    Whereas Varied and diverse sources of data describing the employment, wages and working conditions of librarians which exist in scattered surveys, reports and other documents are incomplete and often out of date, and

    Whereas No such definitive and regular study has been undertaken for the profession as a whole on the national level, and

[p. 2]

    Whereas The ALA Preliminary Salary Survey indicates the need for a description of the profession outlining distributions by sex, race, age and length of employment for all levels within the profession,

    Therefore, be it resolved that prior to the end of calendar year 1972, the Council of the American Library Association request the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to institute a nationwide statistical study of librarianship as it has done for other professions.

    Passed without dissent January 28, 1972

    As it turned out, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has already approached ALA about the possibilities of such a study. However, this resolution will give us some leverage about what questions will be asked in the survey and how the information will be broken down.

    Another resolution of interest to task force members was intruduced hy the Staff Committee on Mediation, Arbitration and Inquiry (SCAMI). It asked for the establishment of a Committee on Equal Opportunity in Libraries which will function as a policy making body for the development of statements on discriminatory practices in the recruitment, employment, training and promotion of library employees.


    In response to requests, plans are now being made to compile a register of women qualified to fill administrative and specialist positions in the library. This list will be sent only to responsible organizations seeking to hire women librarians. It may also be used by other women's groups who are preparing lists cutting across professional lines.

    Comments and questions about the register are welcome. Women interested in being included and organizations who might use the list are asked to write Ms. Margaret Myers, 3 W. Union Avenue, Bound Brook, N.J. 08805


    The New Jersey Librarians for Social Responsibilities conducted a survey of New Jersey library employees in April, 1971 to determine the status of women in New Jersey libraries. The survey was far from scientific, consequently the results cannot be taken as an accurate measure of the situation in New Jersey. However, the overwhelming response to the survey (225%) indicates a willingness and interest in this type of project.

    When asked "Do you feel that women in your library are considered for promotion on a equal basis with men?1", 20% answered NO. One problem with the responses was that may of the respondents were either non-professionals or the only professional librarian in a small library. Consequently they were not able to comment on this part of the survey.

[p. 3]

    The average salary of full-time non-professional respondents was $5850; the average for full-time professionals was $11,000. Sample remarks from the survey:

    "The salary ranges in this library are so low that a man with a family to support would not consider employment here under any circumstances. Also the women, including myself, perpetuate the salary scale by continuing to work!"

    "One male with less than a year of experience was put in a supervisory position, while women with many, many years of impressive experience were not--and are earning less money."

    "one of the main problems is that women directors probably get paid less than men directors. Perheps they don't push too hard."

contact -- Pat Rocca, PrincetonUniv. Library---

    The Philadelphia SRRT task force has been working with the Philadelphia Women's Center in organizing and maintaining their research files. It is considering publishing and distributing the subject headings used.


    The proposed topic for the summer meeting of the Task Force on Women is a "how to" workshop on filing charges of discrimination against an institution and writing Affirmative Action Programs. Program suggestions on this or any other subject are welcome. Contact Michelle Rudy, Task Force Coordinator, 1403 LeGore Lane, Manhattan, Ks 66502.

    A second annual alternate Newberry-Caldecott affair is also planned. Contact Linda Crowe, Graduate School of Library Science, Rosary College, River Forest, Ill. 60305.


    Members have suggested that the Task Force collect the many pamphlets and papers being issued by various women's groups on the subject of affirmative action plans, "how to" on filing discrimination charges, and reports on the status of women. This material usually has an ephemeral format, but is of value to students of the feminist movement and to women who need information on what has been done and what needs to be done. We hope that the proposed collection could be made available to ALA members through the Headquarters Library of ALA in Chicago. However, these details have yet to be worked out. Anyone interested in collecting this material should write Michelle Rudy.


    The Women's History Library in Berkeley is a "research, lending, corresponding and selling library of women's literature." The collection includes published and archival material relating to women in all countries. It has recently been microfilmed by Bell and Howell, but, as with B & H's underground newspaper project, without an index. Indexers are urgently needed; anyone interested should contact Laura X, Women's History Library, 2325 Oak Street, Berkeley, Ca., 94708. Meanwhile, a bibliography of acquisitions is available--write for current price. The film

[p. 4]

package, which includes an enormous amount of material, should be ordered through Larry Block, Micropublishing Division, Bell and Howell, Old Mansfield Road, Wooster, Ohio.


    The librarians at the University of California, Berkeley, have finished an exhaustive study of discrimination against women employed as librarians and library assistants at the UC Berkeley library. The study details patterns of discrimination and presents recommendations to correct inequities.

    The study shows that library employees--both women and men--in this "women's occupation" are underpaid by comparison with positions requiring similar education and experience in "men's occupations" both nationally and elsewhere on the same campus.

    Within the library, women are concentrated at the lowest levels, and their opportunities for advancement are severely limited.

    Only 1 percent of currently employed women were hired at L-IV or above, while 14% of the men entered at that level. Entering the system at any level, a woman must have at least twice the amount of experience as a man to be hired at a comparable level. Women hired as L-II's averaged 6.7 years of experience as compared to an average 2.5 years of experience for men.

    The same ratio holds true for promotion within the system, e.g., the average woman L-III has worked 11.8 years at UCB as compared to 5.7 for men. Women average 22.6 years to reach L-V (top supervisory level) as against 9 years for men. It is far more usual for women to be held for years at the maximum step of one grade before being promoted to the next level.

    While all Library Assistants are financially penalized for being in a "woman's occupation," the burden again falls more heavily on the women workers. The study shows that men rarely stay in the LA I or II classification more than a year or two--if they stay in the system they can expect rapidly to move up to LA III or IV and on out to better paying "men's" jobs. A substantial proportion of the women are dead-ended at the lower levels for 10 or more years.

    Among the recommendations for affirmative action proposed by the investigating committee are:

    1) Corrective reclassification to assure equal pay for equal experience.

    2) Hiring in direct proportion to the percentage of men and women now in library school; promotion at higher levels in proportion to the percentage of graduates 10 years ago.

    3) Campus-wide in-service training, with more emphasis on managerial and technical skills.

    4) Library Assistant I level should be considered a training place, not a permanent position.

    5) Continuous reevaluation to expand work opportunities and eliminate dead-end positions

    6) Quality child care provided by the university for staff, faculty and students.

[p. 5]

    The full study, titled "A Report on the status of women employed in the Library of the University of California, Berkeley, with recommendations for affirmative action," is available from the Chairwoman of the Library Affirmative Action Program for Women Committee. Contact--Anne Lipow, 416 Main Library, University of California, Berkeley, Ca. 94720.


    With this issue, this newsletter of the Task Force on Women suspends publication. We have neither the staff, time, nor money to continue operation on the level it deserves, and will hereafter use the SRRT newsletter for our communications. Task Force members who are not members of SRRT can receive the SRRT Newsletter by sending $3.00 to Elizabeth Futas, SRRT Clearinghouse, 105 East 24th St., New York, N.Y. 10010. Please indicate that your special interest is the Task Force on Women.


    Two women's groups have begun publishing non-sexist children's books. Both aim to produce quality, low cost books for children while giving women the opportunity to work collectively and develop their skills. The Feminist Press has a picture book, The Dragon and the doctor ($1) and Challenge to become a doctor, the biography of Elizabeth Blackwell ($1.50) for older children. They plan to continue the biography series and to introduce a reprint series soon. Address is 10920 Battersea Lane, Columbia, Md. 21043. Lollipop Power has three paperbacks for pre-schoolers and early readers--Jenny's secret place, Martin's father, and Did you ever? Each book is $1.50 to libraries and $1.00 to individuals, prepaid. Send orders to P.O. Box 1171, Chapel Hill, N.C. 27514

    Little Miss Muffet fights back, an annotated list of non-sexist trade books about girls, is available from Feminists on Children's Media, P.O. Box 4315, Grand Central Station, New York, N.Y. 10017. Price $.50. For a copy of Sex-role stereo- typing in elementary school readers, send $1.50 to Women on Words and Images, 25 Cleveland Lane, R.D. 4, Princeton, N.J. 08540.

    Women Studies Abstracts Vol 1 (Jan 1972). Quarterly. Abstracts articles from domestic and foreign popular and professional journals, labor periodicals, and women's liberation publications. Book review list. Price is $10 to libraries, $7.50 to individuals, free to participating abstractors. For subscription or information on abstracting, write P.O. Box 1, Rush, N.Y. 14543.

    Whole Woman Catalog No. 1 (Fall 1971) Lists and describes women's groups, publications and individual contacts by city. It includes child care, free health clinics, food coops, tenants' organizations as well as women's groups. $1 per year, probably 4 issues, from WWC, P.O. Box 1171, Portsmouth, N.H. 03801


    In October the Equal Rights Amendment passed the House, 354-23. It is now back in the Senate where it was killed last year. The Amendment reads: "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex." Task force members are urged to write their senators to support this amendment without crippling riders.

back to top