DATE: March 23, 1976
TO: Those who responded to the ALA Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of Women questionnaire
FROM: Elizabeth Dickinson, Ad Hoc Committee
SUBJECT: Committee's report to the Executive Board
Enclosed is a copy of the report that has been submitted to the ALA Executive Board for consideration at its Spring Meeting.
We greatly appreciate your cooperation in responding to the questionnaire, and hope that if a permanent committee is formed that group will be in further contact with you.
If you have questions or comments on the report please feel free to get in touch with me at: Technical Services Division, Hennepin County Library, 7001 York Avenue South, Edina, MN 55435.
Background: Appointed by the ALA President in December 1975, the Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship was charged with developing guidelines for a proposed ALA Standing Committee on Women in Librarianship or determining how functions in this area might otherwise be carried out. Data was collected on needs and issues expressed by many interested persons as well as information about on-going ALA programs and projects by existing units which relate to this area. Other professional groups were also contacted. This data was analyzed to determine what broad subject areas contain needs which should be addressed, to see if and how they are carried out by existing groups, and to address what type of structure(s) might best deal with these concerns.
Recommendation: The attached report contains the Committee's analyses of immediate needs, the purposes which should be served by the Association, a suggested unit to carry out the proposed ideas, and its initial budget. The Committee recommends that a Standing Committee of Council on the Status of Women in Librarianship be established.
The purposes of the proposed Committee are to:
1. Officially represent the diversity of women's interests within ALA and to ensure that the Association considers the rights of the majority (women) in the library field;
2. Collect, analyze, disseminate, and coordinate information on the status of women in librarianship;
3. Coordinate the activities of ALA units which consider questions having special relevance for women;
4. Identify lags, gaps, and possible discrimination in resources and programs relating to women;
5. Help develop evaluative tools, guidelines, and programs in cooperation with other ALA units designed to enhance the opportunities and the image of women in the library profession, thus raising the level of consciousness concerning women;
6. Establish contacts with committees on women within other professional groups and to officially represent ALA concerns at interdisciplinary meetings on women's equality; and
7. Provide Council and Membership with reports needed for the establishment of policies and actions related to the status of women in librarianship, and monitor ALA units to ensure consideration of the rights of women.
REPORT OF THE AD HOC COMMITTEE ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN IN LIBRARIANSHIP
At the 1975 Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference, a resolution proposing an ALA Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship (Exhibit A) was introduced to Council. Because of lack of time, no action was taken. To offset any further delay, at its 1975 Fall meeting, the Executive Board authorized the President to appoint an Ad Hoc Committee. Accepted by Council, it was charged with the establishment of guidelines and clearer definitions for functioning, while determining whether such activities might be carried out in other ways.
To collect information supporting its charge, the Ad Hoc Committee proceeded in the following ways:
1. Held three sessions during the 1976 Midwinter meeting, including two brainstorming sessions which attracted a large number of interested individuals.
2. Sent a more formal request for ideas, information, and opinions, via questionnaires and letters to both ALA membership units and women's groups in other professions (Exhibits C and D).
3. Accumulated data and subsequently arranged it into these general areas: Librarianship as a "Women's Profession", Functioning with ALA, Resources (informational and human), Education, Employment, Other Professional Women, Internationa] Aspects, and other specific areas.
4. Proceeded to determine which of these areas were being covered at some level by other groups. Although there is a good deal of related activity within the Association, it became clear that many activities were being carried out on a one-time basis, i.e., as a conference program or other type of project, and thus, not providing systematic coverage or a long range view. Also, many areas tended to be treated generally rather than specifically from the viewpoint of women.
The report which follows contains the Committee's analyses of immediate needs, the purposes which should be served, a suggested new unit to carry out the proposed ideas, and its recommended initial budget.
Needs and Issues
As the Committee looked at the various issues and interests which emerged, there were three major, ongoing functions which were not handled by any other group, or were treated in random fashion. The first involved the need for the systematic collection, analysis, dissemination, and coordination of basic information about the status of women in librarianship. There is an immediate
[p. 2]priority for a profile of women in the field and identification of their stratification. The Office for Library Personnel Resources (OLPR) has started gathering information on minority and women students and faculty in library education, which it hopes to make an annual procedure. Outside funding has been requested for a study of an ethnic/sexual composition of the library workforce. Although this data should be a useful step in building a profile of women in the library field, OLPR can benefit from additional input and support to ensure extensive analysis of this data as it relates to women. Also, while a bibliography of relevant articles and research has been compiled by the Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) Task Force on Women, an analysis of the contents has not yet been made to point up important gaps in information. Systematic collection and study of data is essential for a needed annual state of the art review of women's status in librarianship.
The second broad category is a planned and coordinated approach to women's interests and special issues within the Association. Exhibit B groups suggested functions in priority sequence and notes ALA units with some activity in the area. This immediately points up the need for more efficient handling of related activities to avoid unnecessary duplication and to pinpoint gaps and lags in information and activities. While the charges to some ALA units include areas such as education, employment, international aspects, and resources, the activity generated tends to accent librarians in general rather than to highlight aspects relating to women. More concerted effort is required to weave these activities together for a more productive yield.
The third important area not presently being covered is the official representation of librarians in national dialogue relating to women. ALA should assume a leadership role for the representation of women librarians in such groups as the Federation of Organizations for Professional Women. While the SRRT Task Force on Women has received a number of inquiries from various professional women's organizations and invitations to attend national conferences, it has not had the necessary resources to register full professional stature.
At present, ALA is not functioning at the same level with other major professional and educational associations, many of which have status of women committees. ALA should contribute related research to a national pool of information about the status of women, adding to the picture now emerging of women in our nation. Such action will likely trigger further activity to fit into the programs related to the International Women's Decade (IWD) and the proposed National White House Conference on Women.
During analysis of the collected information, a number of other issues which are not being addressed to any extent emerged at a secondary level. The Ad Hoc Committee interprets the "status" of women in librarianship as also including the area of library resources and services relating to Women's Studies collections and women's information and referral centers. One conference program by the Resources and Technical Services Division (RTSD) contained a workshop on women's materials and the SRRT Task Force on Women was invited to a recent
[p. 3]conference initiating a network of librarians, Women's Information Services. While individual libraries have done much in developing women's resources and services, little has been done on an Association level. However, there are a wealth of possibilities in this regard which the Association should consider in carrying out its goal and objectives, particularly that of providing library and information services to all (ALA Objective No. 1). Guidelines, conference programming, publication projects, and coordination with the Women's Information Services are suggested Association activities.
Another area which is not being addressed by the Association includes the concerns of non-credentialed women who make up the bulk of library workers. They are concerned with education, employment and career ladders. Library Education Division (LED) has a committee considering the education and training of library support staff from a general viewpoint. The Association should analyze more carefully the issues and problems involving the status of support staff women and work with other groups, such as the Council of Library Technical Assistants, to carry out research and programs in this area.
The Association also needs to strengthen contacts with other library accociations which have projects or committees related to the status of women (e.g., the Canadian Library Association has a Standing Committee on Women: Special Libraries Association has recently published a booklet on "Equal Pay for Equal Work" and has developed a program packet on salary discrimination; and some state and regional associations have sponsored programs). It is important to be aware of their efforts in order to avoid duplication, to co-sponsor activities which would benefit the profession at large, and to offer guidance, publications, and suggestions of resource personnel, particularly to the ALA Chapters as part of the total Association outreach effort in Chapter relations.
On the international level, interest has been expressed concerning the importance of establishing contact with women librarian groups in other countries The Association has recently received requests for information from New Zealand and Australian librarian women's groups which are forming. An outgrowth of strengthened contacts with women's professional and educational groups on a national and international level would evolve into participation in International Women's Decade events.
There are a number of other important considerations which emerge from analyses of needs. Affirmative Action is an over-riding concern. The Office for Library Personnel Resources, its Equal Employment Opportunity Subcommittee, and the Staff Committee on Arbitration, Mediation, and Inquiry are carrying out the Association's policy in this area to some extent. These efforts, however should be monitored and supported through other projects that relate specifically to equal employment opportunity and Affirmative Action Cor women.
The problems and concerns of minority, older women, and lesbian librarians have been addressed to some extent by the ethnic caucuses and the Social Responsibilities Round Table. Library services to senior, poor, and minority women as well as to women in prisons are important specialized concerns which are considered by the Office for Library Services to the Disadvantaged, the Social Responsibilities Round Table, and the Health and Rehabilitative Library Services Division. However, these activities could benefit from a greater commitment on the part of the Association, as they relate specifically to women.
Many other suggestions for specific projects and monitoring activities identified through the Committee's work tie into the above issues and are listed in Exhibit: B. Ongoing identification of problem areas and gaps in Association policy, analyses of these areas, and an overall review of ALA program activities should result in strengthened policy recommendations and formulation of guidelines to improve the status of women in librarianship.
Statement of Purpose for a "Status of Women in Librarianship" Unit
The statement of purpose must of necessity grow from the expressed needs. The following summarize the basic concerns and separate them into a road map to guide the Association in the formation of a Status of Women in Librarianship unit. The functions of such a unit should be to:
1. Officially represent the diversity of women's interests within the American Library Association and to insure that the Association considers the rights of the majority (women) in the library field.
This is an overall charge that may be carried out also through some of the other suggested functions. (See 3, 5, 7)
2. Collect, analyze, disseminate, and coordinate information on the status of women in librarianship.
Individuals in SRRT Task Force on Women, ALA Executive Office, OLPR, and others receive numerous requests for such information. Past and present Task Force coordinators have been approached by other organizations which view them as the official women's spokes-persons for ALA. A special unit on the Status of Women could provide official status, expertise, and continuity necessary to prepare authoritative answers to correspondence in this area. Such a unit should explore and utilize the resources on women available at the ALA Headquarters, including its library, and other libraries and women's centers. Additional free and low-cost materials should be collected to fulfill this clearinghouse function.
3. Coordinate the activities of ALA units which consider questions having special relevance for women.
Exhibit B delineates programs and activities related to the status of women in librarianship and the ALA groups with which a special women's unit would need to interact. Exhibit C, the results of a questionnaire to ALA and related unit offices, gives further information on the need for coordination and the groups most involved.
4. Identify lags, gaps, and possible discrimination in resources and programs relating to women.
In bridging such gaps, a unit could facilitate the research, develop or co-sponsor programs, and/or publications, and encourage other units to address these needs where appropriate.
5. Help develop evaluative tools, guidelines and programs in cooperation with other ALA units, designed to enhance the opportunities and the image of women in the library profession, thus raising the level of consciousness concerning women.
See Exhibit B for details.
6. Establish contact with committees on women within other professional groups and to officially represent ALA concerns at interdisciplinary meetings on women's equality.
The Ad Hoc Committee has begun contacting committees on women in other professional associations (Exhibit D); a permanent unit should continue this effort.
7. Provide Council and Membership with reports needed for the establishment of policies and action related to the status of women in librarianship, and monitor ALA units to insure consideration of the rights of women.
This unit on the Status of Women should report to Council and Membership annually with regard to its activities, accomplishments, and the current status of women within ALA and the library field as a whole. This group should also serve to consider and introduce resolutions, policy changes and guidelines related to the status of women within the library field.
Suggested Association Unit
After considerable study of the various issues, the Ad Hoc Committee recommends the establishment of a Standing Committee of Council on the Status of Women in Librarianship. Such a Council Committee can most appropriately represent the diversity of women's interests within the Association and promote equal opportunity for women in librarianship.
To address the issues, we have considered existing units and alternative structures related to the status of women in the profession. These include the Office for Library Personnel Resources, the SRRT Task Force on Women, and a possible Standing Committee of ALA. After discussing the interrelationship of its charge and that proposed for the new committee, the OLPR Advisory Committee concluded that there were wider implications to the charge of a Status Of Women Committee than personnel issues. A willingness to cooperate with a new unit was expressed in the OLPR response.
Two questionnaire respondents (See Exhibit C) expressed the opinion that a round table was preferable to a standing committee because it provides broad membership support for action, can exert considerable influence on the Association, and can raise revenue that can be applied toward programs and projects. While the arguments in favor of a Women's Round Table have merit, the Association already has one membership unit concerned with women's issues, the SRRT Task Force on Women. The latter, together with OLPR and other relevant ALA groups, can work in cooperation with a Standing Committee to carry out action-oriented programs involving the status of women in libraries.
A Standing Committee could have a stronger and more direct impact on Association policy. It would be in a position to coordinate a multi-unit
[p. 6]approach to relevant issues and develop a continuing, systematic program to address them. In addition, the structure of a Standing Committee would allow the concerns of women to be closely interwoven with the total program and development of policy for the Association. A configuration such as the Office for Intellectual Freedom, Intellectual Freedom Committee, and the Intellectual Freedom Round Table offers the strongest support to one of the Association's central objectives. A similar commitment centered on issues related to women could be a future development to strengthen ALA Objectives No. one and five which relate to services and personnel.[note]
To address the number and variety of anticipated functions of a Standing Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship, a large committee is recommended. The unit should be composed of from nine to eleven members, the largest membership range usually provided for a standing committee. To provide continuity, the terms of the committee members should be staggered. Since Membership has exhibited a strong interest in the area of the status of women in librarianship, this should be reflected in the Committee composition. All Committee members should have a demonstrated interest in and commitment to the concerns of women. A list of individuals interested in serving on such a unit is included in Exhibit F. These names can be added to roster of women begun by the President and President-elect of the Association in November, 1975.
Initial Budgetary Requirement
The coordinating functions, those of identifying gaps in resources and research, and the policy recommendation aspects of the Committee's work will not require major expenditures of funds. Research or publication requests of the Standing Committee can be handled on an individual basis with the approval of the ALA Executive Board, the Publishing Committee, and can be carried on with outside funding.
The suggested $1,407.00 budget (Exhibit E) for the Standing Committee's first year of operation is needed to cover affiliation fees with the Federation of Organizations for Professional Women, plus operating expenses which include the pruchase of related pamphlet material and reports, telephone, printing and duplicating, postage, and travel for ALA representatives to attend significant national women's conferences (e.g., the Federation of Organizations for Professional Women's annual meeting, and the White House Conference on Women projected for 1977).
Counterpart committees in professional associations stress the value of a paid Headquarters staff support specifically for women's concerns. The Ad Hoc. Committee would favor similar support. In the light of the present economic restraints, however, such a request would be more appropriate at a future time, particularly as the work of the Committee advances. It is assumed, however, that a staff liaison will be assigned to the Standing Committee.
Report prepared by the Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of Women in Librarian ship.
Elizabeth Dickinson, Chairperson
Jane E. Marshall
Margaret Myers, Staff Liaison
enclosures: Appendices A - Resolution, B - Functions, C - Questionnaire to ALA and Related Units, D - Questionnaire to Outside Groups, E - Initial Budget, F - List of Persons Interested in Serving on Committee.
In analyzing specific needs that should be filled with regard to the status of women, the Ad Hoc Committee first grouped ideas according to the broad subject areas of: "Women's profession" image: ALA-related functions library resources for women; collection, analysis, and dissemination of information; employment; education; relationships with other professional women's groups; international relations with regard to women; and other concerns.
Each specific program or activity was then analyzed to determine whether ALA or related groups were involved to any degree in the topic of concern. The Committee further categorized each item according to whether it was a basic, function, or whether it was a project that supported an all-encompassing program, but was not as essential to the main charge. Overall needs, particularly those not covered by other units or currently handled specifically concerning women, are considered as highest priority for a status of women unit. Some effort is also made to indicate below the actions appropriate for a women's unit in each category.
The following list is organized according to priority. These items relate closely to the proposed purpose of a new women's unit. The activities and programs listed here are not necessarily complete. The outline, however, is comprehensive.
I. Collection, analysis, dissemination and coordination of information on the status of women in librarianship.
A. Existing activities
1. Office for Library Personnel Resources
-Collection of data on minority and women students and faculty in library education programs at all levels (annual)
-Proposed study of ethnic/sexual composition/salaries of library workforce
-Answers some requests for information on status of women which come to Headquarters
2. SRRT Task Force on Women
-Bibliography (updated annually) of publications on women in librarianship
-Handles some inquiries for information
3. Association of College and Research Libraries
-1976 salary survey of academic libraries to include data on women
B. Suggested activities
1. Comprehensive "profile" on women to determine their status in library field
2. Analysis of existing "bits and pieces" of information to identify gaps and to allow coordinated research to be suggested to appropriate groups
3. Annual state-of-the-art review
II. Coordination in approach to women's interests and special issues within ALA
A. Suggested activities
1. Devise further questionnaires or other instruments to determine areas that need to be coordinated and groups that are interested in working with a new women's unit.
2. Devise procedures for on-going coordinating efforts.
III. Official representation of librarians in national dialogue relating to women
A. Existing activities
1. SRRT Task Force on Women
-Receives invitations to conferences and requests for information from other professional groups but unable to systematically participate
B. Suggested activities
1. Affiliation with Federation of Organizations for Professional Women
2. Urge RTSD to consider women's resources more fully
3. Possible bibliography of existing bibliographies on women's compiled by individual libraries
4. Encourage the identification, utilization and development of women's information and services in libraries
V. Consideration of employment, education, and career ladder concerns of non-credentialed women.
A. Existing activities
1. Library Education Division
-Has committee on Education and Training of Library Supportive Staff, looking generally at concerns in this area
B. Suggested activities
1. Analysis of problems of support staff women in libraries
2. Cooperation with other groups such as COLT and Women Library Workers to develop research and programs
VI. Coordination and cooperation with other library associations.
A. Existing activities
-Has given some information to state and regional groups as they plan programs
2. SRRT Task Force on Women
-Reported on other activities in newsletter
-Had reports of local group activity at pre-conferences
B. Suggested activities
1. Information and resource persons to ALA chapters
2. Coordinated efforts in research, information, programs, representation at national interdisciplinary meetings
VII. Establishment of contacts with international women librarians and groups.
A. Suggested activities
1. Work with various ALA international relations groups in developing programs, contacts, and information exchange
VIII. Assurance of continuous education, assistance, and monitoring efforts relating to Affirmative Action for libraries and librarians.
A. Existing activities
1. Office for Library Personnel Resources
-Information packets on Affirmative Action
-Collection of data for use by libraries in workforce analysis
-Review of library Affirmative Action plans by the Equal Employment Opportunity subcommittee
-Developing handbook on Affirmative Action institutes
2. Staff Committee on Mediation, Arbitration, and Inquiry -Responsible for mediation, arbitration and inquiry relating to fair employment practices
3. SRRT Task Force on Women
-Sponsored programs, workshops, and resolutions
4. Committee on Accreditation
-Annual reports on Affirmative Action in library schools
5. Library Administration Division/Personnel Administration Section
-Developing guidelines on hiring practices
-Institute on Affirmative Action (December, 1974)
B. Suggested activities
1. Monitor and support current unit efforts to ensure adequate coverage
2. Develop self-evaluative aids for identifying discrimination in libraries
IX. Consideration of special problems and concerns of minority, older women, and lesbian librarians.
A. Existing activities
1. SRRT Gay Liberation Task Force
2. Minority Caucuses
-Programs and activities primarily from general point of view
B. Suggested activities
1. Analyze concerns and suggest ideas for projects to appropriate units
2. Co-sponsor programs and projects
X. Assurance of 1ibrary services to poor, senior, and minority women and women in prison
A. Existing activities
1. SRRT Prison Libraries Task Force
2. Health and Rehabilitative Library Services Division
3. Office for Library Service to the Disadvantaged
-Most projects have been from general viewpoint, not from specific viewpoint of women
Projects and Monitoring Activities
I. The following projects or monitoring functions have been identified which are not currently covered by existing ALA activities to the best of our knowledge, but which should be considered for action by the Association.
A. "Women's Profession"
1. Improving media image
B. ALA functioning
1. Encouraging ALA Publishing Services to produce women-oriented reference works and other publications
1. Analyzing questions of tracking (counseling regarding specializations) in library education programs
2. Obtaining information on fellowships awarded to women
3. Studying availability to women of time-off with pay for study
1. Monitoring and suggesting improvements for treatment of women in reference and/or other materials
E. International Aspects
1. Participation in International Women's Decade
2. Identifying differences in status of women among countries
1. Establishing a talent bank/speaker's bureau
II. The following monitoring efforts and projects receive some coverage in existing ALA units, but could use additional continuing coordination, input, and anlysis by a women's unit. At a minimum, a women's unit would need to be aware of these activities.
A. "Women's Profession"
1. Improving self-image
-Has been discussed at Task Force on Women pre-conferences, but more workshops and evaluation aids would be of value
2. Studying the history of women librarians
-The American Library History Round Table sponsored one conference program in this area, but much could be done to revive "lost women" librarians who have made substantial contributions to the library field.
B. ALA functioning
1. Monitoring non-sexist terminology in ALA publications -SRRT Task Force on Women has submitted resolutions and ALA Publishing now has guidelines
2. Providing conference programming on issures related to status of women
-This has primarily been done by the Task Force on Women but more could be done to focus on specific issues identified throughout the report. Other units should be encouraged to sponsor such events, but a unit on the status of women should consider holding regular open forums for input on women's issues.
1. Analyzing information on pool of women in doctoral programs
-OLPR is collecting data but this needs to be further analyzed for potential problem areas since four out of five master's students are women, but only one out of three doctoral students are women.
2. Providing role models for library school students
-SPRT Task Force on Women has discussed this in programs, but more effort is needed to disseminate information to student associations.
1. Analyzing data collection, identifying gaps and encouraging further research on salaries and positions of women in libraries schools.
2. Providing training workshops and improving career ladders and access to administrative positions as well as developing recognition for horizontal positions
-SRRT Task Force on Women compiles a listing of administrative openings and has discussed women in management at conference programs; OLPR distributes a list of minority and women librarian groups to employers, gives some placement advisory service, and is developing guidelines for comparable rewards: ACRL has a management intern program which is not designed specifically for women but which has benefited a number of women in middle management: LAD/PAS has their conference general staff development programs. However, more could be done in encouraging managerial development workshops and guidelines for career development.
3. Investigating role of women in unions
-SRRT has sponsored an introductory program, but little has been coordinated in this area.
1. Monitoring cataloging, classification and indexing of women-related materials to ensure fair treatment and maximum access -SRRT Task Force on Women and RTSD Subject Analysis Committee have worked on creating non-sexist subject headings
2. Monitoring sexism in children's and young adult media
-CSD and YASD have concerned groups following developments
F. Professional women
1. Monitoring legislation affecting employment of women -ALA Washington Office has commented on various legislation relating to affirmative action. More could also be done through affiliation with the Federation of Organizations for Professional Women which has input in this area.
1. Publishing a newsletter and/or information/opinion journal
-SRRT Task Force on Women has its bimonthly Women in Libraries newsletter which a new unit on the status of women could use to disseminate information. However, the main communication device of this unit would probably be through publication of its annual reports and other specialized informational handouts, as well as through American Libraries.
1.) Has your committee/task force, etc. handled any issue specifically dealing with the Status of Women in the library profession? Please explain, in brief.
2.) Is there any issue concerning the Status of Women in the library profession which your committee/task force, etc. is planning to discuss in the near future? Please explain.
3.) Is there any issue which your group might consider better handled by a Standing Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship?
4.) Do you view any possible conflict between your charge and the proposed charge of the Standing Committee?
5.) Would/could you or any member of your group support the establishment of the Standing Committee?
6.) Do you think that the charge of the Standing Committee is adequate/too broad?
7.) The Ad Hoc Committee would welcome any comment which you might care to make.
If more space is needed, please append any such comments to the questionnaire. Again, thank you for helping in this matter. Please return by February 23, 1976 to: Elizabeth Dickinson, Chairperson, Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship, c/o Technical Services Div., Hennepin County Library, 7001 York Ave. S., Edina, MN 55435.
Of 32 questionnaires sent out to officials of all ALA divisions and round tables and some committees, task forces, and caucuses, 18 have been returned. We have also received one acknowledgement of receipt with a note that the questionnaire may be discussed with the unit's executive board at the Annual Conference. The staff liaison of two other units have provided information on their groups' activities in the area of our concern. Most of the units that the Ad Hoc Committee believes will most closely interact with a Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship have completed the questionnaire.
In summary, the questionnaire returns indicate little conflict between the proposed charge of a Committee on Women and the units polled. Most respondents are receptive to the establishment of a Standing Committee on the Status of Women, or some other appropriate unit.
1. Committees, task forces, caucuses, etc, that have handled activities or projects specifically dealing with the status of women in the library profession.
Of the respondents the most directly involved ALA and related units are:
Social Responsibilities Round Table
SRRT/Task Force on Women
Women Library Workers
Office for Library Personnel Resources
Of the respondents the following are groups that have sponsored programs on women or at least in part deal with related or broader issues:
Children's Services Division Discussion Group on Sexism in
Young Adult Services Division
Library Administration Division/Personnel Administration Section
American Libraries History Round Table
2. Projects that the units polled might address in the future concerning the status of women in librarianship.
At Least 10 of the units that responded either plan future projects or activities relevant to the status of women in librarianship, or are interested in considering such projects. Specific areas suggested include sexism in YA literature; women librarians in an international context; job discrimination and personnel policies: salary surveys; composition of the profession with respect to women and minorities; library service to women prisoners.
3. Activities that might be better handled by a Standing Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship.
A representative sampling of comments: Resolutions relating to women's issues; action as the "official" representative of ALA concerning the status of women in librarianship: coordinating activities in this area with and for other ALA units; acting as a clearinghouse for information relating to the status of women in the profession; consideration of personnel matters, in
[p. 3]coordination with appropriate groups, as they relate to women's studies in such areas as the status of women children's librarians or the disparities between young male and female librarians.
Four respondents answered no or left question 3 blank, perhaps because their units are not involved at all with projects or activities relating to women librarians.
4. Do you view a conflict between the charge of your unit and that of a Standing Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship?
Depends on how the charge of the committee is forumulated and how it is
Comments: A committee by its nature will be conservative and will need prodding from other units.
"We are all working, in various ways, to better the status of women in librarianship. The more we know about each other's activities toward that goal, the less we would overlap and waste energy."
"There's work enough for us all and more!"
"There would need to be close cooperation between the two groups so that there would not be duplication of efforts; both groups might work on joint projects or be of assistance to each other."
The functions of a Standing Committee could conflict with any committee as charged in the resolution, but the respondent doesn't feel conflicts are irreconcilable.
5. Alternative structures to a Standing Committee of Council for concerns relating to women in the profession.
No alternatives seen
Perhaps there are others, but the proposed form is adequate
Concern that the strongest type of unit is chosen
There's room for more than one type
There are alternatives
Comments: All major issues are handled by standing committees and this should be no exception.
"One never knows [whether an alternative form is better], but having a standing committee has political significance and ramifications."
No other structure can handle the wide variety of areas suggested by a Committee on Women's charge.
"There probably is room for all levels."
"Have most power as a standing committee of Council, second most power as round table or division."
"I suspect a round table would be the best form . . . Politically speaking, the more powerful body is the round table."
"All units should handle."
"I prefer to see most work of ALA take place within the divisions."
OLPR should handle the concerns relating to the status of women in librarianship.
6. Is the charge to a Standing Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship adequate/too broad as proposed in the Council resolution, CD#14?
|Adequate||Too Broad||No specific answer|
Comments: "The group should consider recommendations of other agencies and organizations that are not satisfactorily dealing with women in the profession--Be more than research: should be an action group also with opinions on specific matters."
"Too broad--There is a big difference between the status of women in librarianship' and ‘issues of concern to women in librarianship.’ The latter would seem to encompass the whole purpose of ALA."
Additional Comments: "Go, go, go!"
". . . would welcome continuing communication and liaison representation in the work of the committee."
The permanent committee should appoint "sub-committees of minority librarians to discuss the special problems of minority women."
"I think the Ad Hoc Committee should describe some particular programs or activities that it would accomplish in the next one or two years--then do them as an ad hoc or special committee. At the end of that time additional recommendations might or might not be made for continuance."
Questionnaire to women's groups within professional organizations
1.) What is the name of your organization?
2.) What is the name of your women's division, committee or caucus?
3.) What is the relationship of your women's unit to the parent organization? (None, advisory, policy making, etc.) If possible include a brief organization chart showing this relationship.
4.) What are the functions of your committee or caucus?
5.) Did your organization consider any other format besides your current committee or caucus structure for handling concerns relating to the status of women in your profession? If so, what alternative structure was considered and how would that difference have affected the scope of your group's work?
6.) Did your group encounter any positive or negative experiences in organizing which a similar group within the American Library Association should take into consideration?
7.) The Ad Hoc Committee would welcome any additional comments which you might care to make.
If more space is needed, please append comments to the questionnaire. Again, thank you for helping in this matter. Please return, if possible, by February 27, 19 76 to: Elizabeth Dickinson, Chairperson, ALA Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship, Technical Services Div., Hennepin County Library, 7001 York Ave. S., Edina, MN 55435.
Response from questionnaire sent to women's committees within other professional organizations.
The Ad Hoc Committee has received responses from 14 of 33 organizations polled.
1 & 2. The groups that have responded are:
Academy of Management/Committee on the Status of Women in the Management Profession
American Association of University Professors/Committee on the Status of Women
American Educational Research Association/Committee on Women in Educational Research
American Historical Association/Committee on Women Historians
American Personnel and Guidance Association/Commission on Women
American Philological Association/Committee on the Status of Women and Minority Groups
American Political Science Association/Committee on the Status of Women in the Profession
American Society for Public Administration/Committee on Women in Public Administration
Biophysical Society/Committee on Professional Opportunities for Women
Canadian Library Association/Status of Women Standing Committee
Caucus of Women in Statistics
College Music Society/Committee on the Status of Women in the Profession
Modern Language Association/Commission on the Status of Women in the Profession
Public Relations Society of America/Committee on the Status of Women in Public Relations
3. What is the relationship of the women's unit to the parent organization? (Respondents may have marked more than one category.)
Advisory, policy-recommending: 9
Official policy-making body regarding this issue: 3
Ad hoc: 1
Now defunct--use resource persons only: 1
Some referred to their relationship with the parent organization by function:
Research, reporting, statistics-gathering: 5
Organizing programs and forums: 1
4. The following were listed as functions of the groups contacted:
Monitor discrimination, provide guidelines and reports to the association
Conduct research and statistical studies
Raise the awareness of the profession concerning women in the profession and recruit women to the profession
Sponsor forums and workshops on the status of women in the profession
Collect and disseminate information
Testify before Congress and generally speak in support of women's issues
Create job and talent rosters of women in the profession
Form liaison with regional and various national women's groups
Coordinate concerns relating to the status of women within the professional association
5. Were alternative structures to the current committee considered? (More than one answer can be given per respondent.)
Have more than one group now: 5
Currently trying to develop additional unit: 1
Present group emerged from/was instigated by a task force or caucus: 3
Committee structure recently dissolved for lack of participation: 1
6. Positive or negative experiences
Most of the groups have enjoyed very positive experiences in organizing. The parent associations have given the necessary backing to make the committees' functions work. Of particular benefit to several groups is the multi-unit approach. Several organizations highly recommend both a standing committee to officially represent the association and its women members in regard to the status of women in the profession, and a membership unit or loosely affiliated caucus to provide broad membership input into the committee's work and to help carry out some of the official group's recommendations.
On the negative side, one committee disbanded because of lack of attendance at committee meetings. Another had to reorganize when the original committee, members, dissatisfied at the slow pace of change within the association, resigned. Others mention some difficulties receiving adequate funding from the parent organization, and others suggest that lack of continuity of membership has created some problems.
7. Additional comments:
"Join the Federation of Professional Women's Organizations."
Coordination with other groups inside and outside the association is very important. Make sure that the committee gets support for carrying out its activities from other units within the association.
"Collect and maintain statistical information about the status of women and act to remedy specific situations."
Obtain a report on activities of women's committees in professional associations--SP 009379 ERIC, PO Box 190, Arlington, VA - $10.54
"I think your resolution should pass!!"
INITIAL FIRST YEAR BUDGET
Standing Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship
FEDERATION OF ORGANIZATIONS FOR PROFESSIONAL WOMEN
828 Washington Street
Wellesley, Massachusetts 02181
WHAT AFFILIATION WILL MEAN TO YOUR ORGANIZATION
1. You and your officers will receive copies of the quarterly ALERT. Your members may subscribe, through your organization, to the ALERT at substantially reduced rates.
2. The annual meeting of the Governing Board of the Federation votes support to urgent issues related to the status of women. Federation officers testify at hearings held by Congress and the Executive branch of the government. Information on national policy is made available to Affiliate members.
3. Technical assistance is available through the office of the Executive Director, either in Washington or at Wellesley. This includes help with applications for funding, membership drives, public relations, annual meeting workshops, internship programs, and conferences.
4. The Federation sponsors networks of groups in three regions: New England, the Far West (Berkeley), and the Mid-West (Barat College). Affiliates participate in these networks through regional representatives. The New England Network makes available to Affiliates, for example, a computerized listing of all the major categories of women's groups, a newsletter, and opportunities for workshops and conferences at the Wellesley Center.
5. The Carnegie grant establishing the Center particularly calls for input by the Federation so that research may serve the needs of women's groups. To further this objective, Affiliates are asked to suggest projects and to participate in them as well as to make use of their findings.
6. The Federation is forming a National Center for Women's Organizations in Washington, D. C. Affiliates may have a permanent address and telephone number at the Center, or they may share space and make use of other facilities, at low cost.
7. Federation by-laws call for participation in decision making by all Affiliates. Policy is set at the annual meeting by all Affiliates and carried out by an Executive Council elected by them. Participation in all phases of Federation activity is warmly welcome.
8. Affiliate members are entitled to receive Federation publications in some instances at no cost and in others at a reduced rate.
Brooklyn College Library
Brooklyn, NY 11210
Lewsiburg, PA 17837
Health Sciences Library
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, UT 84105
Jan Van Wyk
University of Chicago
Graduate Library School
Chicago, IL 60615
Brooklyn College Library
Brooklyn, NY 11210
Helen Rippier Wheeler (Council member)
7940 Jefferson Highway, Box 215
Baton Rouge, LA 70809
Springfield Public Schools
525 Mill Street
Springfield, Oregon 97477