Document 11: Women in Libraries Newsletter of the ALA/SRRT Task Force on Women, vol. 6, no. 2, November 1976, 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, 3 pp.


   This newsletter reported on a survey of 70 women who had used the newly formatted subscription service for listing administrative positions. Most of these women had not been placed in positions, and there are enough women "to warrant a close scrutiny of the effectiveness of the J.R. [Jobs Roster]" The newsletter went on to say that based on their findings it was necessary to rethink the jobs roster. The Task Force suggested three options: disband the bulletin board/job roster service; expand the bulletin board service; or that the Task Force or some other body "investigate other ways to influence the job market to make more widely available listings of job openings, hopefully, through some national publication, new or existing." The bulletin board service was discontinued and the Task Force went to work on making sure job announcements for all types of positions were advertised in the library publications.

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Vol. 6 No. 2

November 1976

Ed. Kay Cassell


    Two meetings of the SRRT Task Force on Women will be held at ALA in Washington, D.C. These meetings will be held on Monday, January 31 from 4:30 p.m. - 6 p.m. and on Wednesday, February 2 from 10 a.m. - noon. Of major importance at these meetings will be a discussion of the goals, objectives and directions for the Task Force on Women. Written comments in advance of Midwinter are welcome. All ideas should be sent to Task Force chairperson, Diane Kadanoff, at 25 Grotto Ave., Providence, R.I. 02906.

    A second meeting of women administrators has been planned for Tuesday, February 1 from 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.


    Kathy Weibel coordinated a survey of women attending the two Task Force on Women programs at the summer ALA meetings in Chicago. The following information was gathered through questionnaires to 132 women attending the Sunday and Tuesday programs.

    Participants came from Canada and twenty-nine states. Twenty New Yorkers attended; Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin had between ten and fifteen participants; California, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Tennessee had between five and ten. The rest were scattered through out the states. Only 35% (50 women) indicated that they received Women in Libraries; 38% (51) are members of Women Library Workers; 28% (37) are members of both the Task Force and WLW. Almost half, 48% (63) belong to neither the Task Force nor WLW.

    One hundred of the 132 participants were ALA members. Sixteen belonged only to ALA; most belonged to more than one division or round table. Ten divisions and round tables were represented: SRRT 32%, ACRL 26%, PLA 16%, CSD 15%, RASD 14%. Three Special Library Association members, two Canadian Library Association and one ASIS member were also present. Eighty seven (66%) belonged to a state library association.

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    Over half the participants, 55% (73) indicated that they belong to a women's organization. NOW was the most frequently mentioned organization, but the League of Women Voters, library women's groups, local rape crisis, health, day care and lesbian groups were also mentioned. Only 32% (43) indicated a women's program in their libraries. These ranged from displays to an information center. Most, however, were displays or bibliographies. Of those indicating women's programs, 39% (17) were both Task Force and Women Library Worker members.


    Of a total of 102 questionnaires mailed, we received 70 responses. Virtually all of our respondents have an MLS, some have other graduate degrees and a few have both. Some respondents are currently working on their MLS or some other graduate degree. Forty-nine of our respondents are currently holding a library position, most in a full-time capacity and most in academic libraries. Ten respondents are working elsewhere than in libraries.

    Almost half of our respondents are seeking positions in academic libraries, with the other half almost equally divided between public and special libraries. A sprinkling (5) were interested in school libraries. The opportunity to move up in responsibility was the reason most often cited for our subscriber being in the job market. This number was followed closely by those seeking a variety of experience and higher salaries. Seventeen wished to change from one type of library to another with 15 seeking a geographical relocation. Though as many as one-third of the respondents cited salary as a reason for leaving their present position, only two persons cite salary as the first thing they consult when checking the Job Roster. More than two-thirds check salary last or next to last. Overwhelmingly "position and duties" is the category checked first and second, with "location" the next most crucial criterion.

    One-third of the respondents are currently in middle level positions with as many seeking to move to a higher level position. Almost half have from 1 - 5 years experience with another third having 6 - 10 years professional experience. Again almost half have had some sort of non-professional library related work experience, generally from 1 - 3 years. Close to two-thirds have had some work experience outside the library field, generally 1 - 5 years.

    Generally our readership is satisfied with the salary, responsibilities and geographical distribution of the Job Roster, but there are enough who are unsatisfied to warrant a close scrutiny of the effectiveness of the J.R. Two-thirds of our respondents have never pursued a lead from the Roster and of the 26 who had only three made to first base. Generally people want a larger Roster listing considerably more positions available. Some wanted more administrative level positions listed while the bulk want to see more beginning and middle-level positions advertised.

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    To our readers from your editors:

    Based on the findings of this survey we feel there is a need to re-think the format of the Roster. The main problem seems to be a paucity of listings as well as a lack of variety of listings (most from academic libraries). There emerges what seems to be a demand for a service considerably beyond the scope of this publication. This need is one with which the editors sympathize and one which we wish we were able to fulfill. We realize, based on the effort required to produce the present J.R., that we lack the time and resources to do the required job.

    On the basis of this we wish to make certain proposals to our readers and to TFW:

    That the Job Roster as it is currently constituted be disbanded;

    That the TFW, or some similarly interested organization assume publication of a considerably expanded version of the Roster to meet the needs of our community;

    Or, that the TFW investigate other ways to influence the job market to make more widely available listings of job openings, hopefully through some national publication, new or existing.

    We solicit your opinions, reactions, suggestions, whatever! Please let us or TFW hear from you. Thank you.

Meg, Janette and Holly

    Send your comments to Janette Neal, The Dorchester #1418, 226 W. Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, Pa. 19103.


    Fresh from its successful effort in supporting the appointment of a woman as director of the Oakland Public Library, the Ina Coolbrith Brigade/Bay Area Chapter of Women Library Workers is at it again, working to see a woman appointed City Librarian to fill the vacancy at the San Francisco Public Library. At the September 7th Library Commissioners meeting, WLW member Anne Marie Gold stated the chapter's position on the appointment to replace Kevin Starr. A statement was presented to the Library Commissioners. For further information contact: Paula Lichtenberg, 925 Jones, Apt. 406, San Francisco, Calif.


    Diane Kadanoff, Task Force coordinator, has been appointed to the newly established Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship. Other committee appointments are expected to be announced shortly.

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