Document 14B: Minutes, Status of Women in Librarianship Committee, 1977 Annual Conference, Detroit, Series 81/2/1, Box 1, Folder Comm. on Status of Women in Librarianship 1976-89, American Library Association Archives, University of Illinois Library, 11 pp.

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Status of Women in Librarianship Committee
1977 Annual Conference - Detroit


    Friday, June 17, 1977 8 - 9:30 am

    Midwinter Minutes

    Beth Marshall, Chairperson, opened the meeting with introductions of the committee members and the observers. The 1977 Midwinter Minutes were discussed and a few minor changes were made from suggestions sent by Helen Wheeler. The Women Studies Conference mentioned on page 7, was held in San Francisco. Also on page 7, under committee membership, the last word should be "recommendations" rather than "appointments." It was suggested that both present and absent committee members should be identified in minutes of the committee meetings.

    Coverage at Conference Meetings, Exhibits

    Sign up sheets were distributed so that committee members could identify which hours they were free to staff the SWL area in the Professional Exhibit area, the JMRT orientation meeting, and the Detroit Feminist Club information fair. In addition, a list of key ALA committee and board meetings was distributed so that members could monitor those sessions. A list of other professional women's groups was also passed around to determine if members and observers belonged to any of these and could act as information liaisons to specific groups.

    ERA Resolution

    Considerable time was spent in discussing various drafts of a resolution regarding the Equal Rights Amendment which could be presented to the ALA Council by the committee. The committee wished ALA to no longer schedule conferences in states which had not yet ratified the ERA. Jen Felmley pointed out that 15 national organizations had withdrawn conferences from states which were unratified. It was recognized that ALA was committed to conference sites through 1981. There was debate as to whether or not a resolution would pass Council if ALA had to withdraw from conference sites already scheduled. Strategy on whether to present the resolution first to Membership or to Council was also debated.

    A final version of the resolution was decided upon (Appendix A). Jen Felmley would assemble facts to back up the resolution. Strategy for presentation would be discussed further at the next committee meeting after checking whether the resolution could get on the docket for the Sunday Membership meeting.

    Library Bill of Rights/Sexism-Racism Awareness Resolution

    The Intellectual Freedom Committee had requested input from ALA units to determine if the Resolution on Sexism/Racism Awareness Training (passed by Council in 1976) was in conflict with the Library Bill of Rights. The Women Library Workers had presented the SWL committee with a suggested revision of the Library Bill of Rights for possible endorsement. (Appendix B). It was moved by Ellen Detlefsen, seconded by Jen Felmley, and VOTED, that the Status of Women in Librarianship Committee support the changes suggested for revision of the Library Bill of Rights.

    Helen Josephine agreed to attend the next meeting of the IFC to present the statement and urge that IFC include the changes as an action item in its report to Council on Wednesday during conference week.

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    Saturday, June 18, 1977 2 - 4 pm

    ERA Resolution

    The strategy for introducing the ERA resolution was once again discussed. It was learned that no resolutions would be presented at the first Membership meeting on Sunday evening which meant that it would be Wednesday of conference week before the resolution could be presented to the Membership. Since the Committee was already scheduled for the Monday Council meeting, it was decided to go ahead and present the resolution first to Council. It was determined that Suzanne LeBarron would introduce the resolution as a Councilor and ask for Council to recognize the SWL chairperson so that Beth could speak to support the resolution.

    Library Bill of Rights/Sexism-Racism Awareness Resolution

    Helen Josephine reported that she had been unable to speak to the Intellectual Freedom Committee because it had been busy with discussion of "The Speaker." The incoming chairperson of IFC had suggested, however, that the changes be suggested to IFC along with comments on the Sexism/Racism Awareness resolution. The committee still had its statement of support of the Sexism/Racism Resolution from the Midwinter Meeting. The alternatives were discussed of going to IFC asking for endorsement of the suggested changes in the Library Bill of Rights or going to Council with the changes incorporated in a resolution. It was decided to submit a resolution to Council (Appendix B - 2).

    Affirmative Action Program Ideas

    The Special Libraries Association pamphlet "Equal Pay for Equal Work" was examined and some discussion centered on whether the SWL Committee should consider producing a similar booklet for individuals experiencing discrimination.

    The possibility of applying for the 1978 ALA Goal Award was also briefly considered. Perhaps a skeleton program on affirmative action could be developed which could be presented at the grass roots level in local libraries. Judith Braunagle will develop one or two ideas in draft form which the committee might consider if application for the ALA Goal Award were to be made by the committee.

    The Staff Committee on Mediation, Arbitration, and Inquiry program review committee had requested input from ALA units as to how well the program had been working. It was felt that many people were not aware of what purpose SCMAI served and that perhaps more publicity was needed.

    The committee felt there was a connection between the work of the SCMAI committee and the need to focus on resources available for women who felt discrimination. It was pointed out that many general booklets and information existed and perhaps it wasn't necessary to produce yet another booklet unless it dealt only with special resources within librarianship and referred individuals to existing information.

    Margaret Myers mentioned that the EEO subcommittee was considering a program on affirmative action and discrimination at the 1978 Annual Conference.

    Diane Kadanoff reported that the Task Force on Women is tentatively planning a career counseling session for women at Midwinter and again possibly at the Annual Conference.

    Profile of Women in Librarianship

    Jen Felmley suggested that instead of spending energy on educational programs at the present time, the committee should push instead for the profile of women in librarianship as a priority project. The analysis of problems concerning women in librarianship first needs to be documented. Then training and programs dealing with correcting salary discrimination would logically follow.

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    It was suggested that a labor market analyst and/or sociologist be sought to assist with the profile. Areas for exploration include age, education, sex, experience, geographical area, type of library, research and publications developed, as well as the effect of public vs. private institutions, mobility factors, unionism and discontinuous vs. continuous experience.

    It was moved by Ellen Detlefsen, seconded and VOTED that a subcommittee be established to investigate planning for a profile of women in librarianship. This group should report back to the committee at its Midwinter Meeting. Information should be sought on possible sources of funding and ideas for research personnel. A draft statement should be developed as to what type of information would be included in the profile and how this can build on data already available. Contact should also be made with Sherrill Cheda who is working on a study of Canadian women.

    Judith Braunagle will chair the Subcommittee with Jen Felmley and Diane Kadanoff. It was suggested that Kathy Weibel and Sherrill Cheda be contacted as possible consultants.

    Library of Congress Women's Program

    Cynthia Johanson from the Library of Congress reported on activities at the Library of Congress which have been pursued by the Women's Program Advisory Committee since 1971. Some of the accomplishments have been: marital status removed from personnel files, maternity leave and anti-nepotism policies improved, employment of a full-time women's coordinator, implementation to begin relating to part-time employment, flexitime experiment, special programs for women at lunch time, medical examinations, and compilation of a day care directory.

    Possible proposals for the future include a child care proposal to be included in current bargaining procedures, a career counseling program, outstanding contributions award, management training, and a semi-annual magazine.

    Monday, June 20, 1977 4:30 - 6 pm

    Council Resolution

    Beth Marshall read a resolution on gay rights which would come before Council during the conference. The committee voted its endorsement of the resolution.

    ERA Resolution

    Since the ERA resolution had passed Council that morning, Beth Marshall asked what the committee wished to do regarding discussion of the resolution during the upcoming Wednesday ALA Membership meeting. The resolution was on the agenda and had been disseminated to the Membership. It was decided that since the resolution had already passed Council, the committee would explain why it was withdrawing the resolution at the Membership Meeting. Members would be encouraged to transmit information on the ALA action to their own state legislatures.

    Sexism/Racism Awareness Resolution/Library Bill of Rights

    Helen Josephine reported that she had attended the Intellectual Freedom Committee meeting, presented the Status of Women Committee resolution on the Library Bill of Rights, and requested endorsement by the IFC. The IFC decided they wished to pursue the whole issue of revising the Library Bill of Rights at a later date and therefore did not want to deal with changes in a piecemeal fashion at this time.

    Council had meanwhile voted to refer the resolution to the IFC for further study. It will be necessary for the Status of Women committee to monitor further action since there was no time table built into the referral action.

    Beth expressed thanks to Helen Josephine for monitoring the various IFC meetings and handling the resolution.

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    Council Resolution

    A resolution to include the LeRoy Merritt Humanitarian Fund in the ALA Handbook of Organization and on the ALA membership form was endorsed by the committee.

    1978 Annual Conference

    Diane Kadanoff indicated that the SRRT Task Force on Women had not yet developed definite programs plans for the 1978 Annual Conference, although Karen Jackson will be program coordinator. It is likely that a nationally well known writer or researcher on women's concerns will be asked to speak.

    Ellen Detlefsen expressed interest in co-sponsoring a program with the Task Force on Women. Some reservations were expressed regarding holding programs since the committee needed more time to strategize and develop other projects. There had not been time to get through the whole agenda during this conference. Others felt a conference program would give the committee visibility. Diane Kadanoff suggested that the Status of Women Committee co-sponsor a program with the Task Force on Women, but that the TFW do most of the work, thus freeing the SWL committee to concentrate on the profile and other needed items. Ellen Detlefsen said the SWL committee could request program funds if needed. Committee members should send program ideas to Karen Jackson; Beth Marshall and Ellen Detlefsen will work with Karen in coordinating planning and requests for scheduling and funds.

    Conference Meeting Times

    It was felt that the committee would need 8 hours of time for future conference sessions in addition to the program slot. Early morning and evening hours should be avoided if possible.


    Ellen Detlefsen pointed out that 13 women councilors-at-large and 14 women chapter councilors would be going off Council at the close of the Annual Conference. It was suggested that names of candidates interested in women's concerns should be suggested to the ALA Nominating Committee (requests for names are made at the Midwinter Meeting for the following year, while petition candidates can be submitted at Midwinter for the current year's election). Information on the nominating process could be disseminated in the Task Force on Women's newsletter.

    A meeting at Midwinter for nominees to Council was suggested so that individual candidates could come and speak before the committee or be invited to send a statement of concern.

    Profile of Women in Librarianship

    Diane Kadanoff read a resolution by the SRRT Task Force on Women which supported the proposed profile on women in librarianship (Appendix C).

    National Women's Meetings

    Beth Marshall mentioned upcoming national women's meetings and wondered whether the committee wished to send representatives. It had not yet been possible to obtain cost figures, such as registration fees, for the various meetings.

    It was decided that the National Women's Conference on November 18 - 21 in Houston would be a priority. There will be a chance to send representatives as observers or possibly as delegates-at-large, although most representatives will come through selection on the state level. It was decided that Ellen Detlefsen, as new chairperson, would attend along with Liz Futas. If committee money permitted, one other member will also attend.

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    The Federation of Organizations for Professional Women will hold its annual conference in Washington, DC on October 27 - 29. This will be attended by Jen Felmley. There will also be a National Women's Agenda Coalition conference in Washington, DC on December 2 - 3. Registration fees will be checked to determine if Jen Felmley could also attend this session.

    Members were urged to attend state conferences in conjunction with the National Women's Conference if possible.

    Registration fees and other costs would be taken where possible from the current committee budget. The committee decided to spend its money this way rather than purchasing special stationery. The committee might still wish to pursue a special logo in the future.

    Committee Membership

    Discussion of possible suggestions for committee vacancies took place. It was felt that it was necessary to reaffirm the recommendation of the ad hoc committee in its original report. This stated that all committee members should have a demonstrated interest in and commitment to the concerns of women.

    Ellen Detlefsen will write a letter to president Eric Moon with suggestions. It is felt necessary to balance the committee with various constituencies.


Members Friday June 17 Saturday June 18 Monday June 20
Beth Marshall, chair. X X X
Judith Braunagle X X X
Ellen Detlefsen X X X
Jenrose Felmley X X X
Evelyn Hall X X X
Karen Jackson X X
Helen Josephine X X X
Diane Kadanoff X X
Carrie Robinson X X X
Lotsee Smith
Helen Wheeler

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Appendix A


50 EAST HURON STREET · CHICAGO ILLINOIS 60611 · (312) 944-6780


    WHEREAS, The American Library Association supports equal opportunity for all persons, and committed itself to support of the Equal Rights Amendment in July, 1974 (Legislation Item 105.3); and

    WHEREAS, The Equal Rights Amendment provides protection of equal rights for all persons regardless of sex; and

    WHEREAS, Time for ratification of the Amendment is growing short; and

    WHEREAS, Other influential organizations have passed resolutions involving economic sanctions against states withholding ratification; and

    WHEREAS, It is acknowledged that the ALA is committed to future conference sites through 1981, which postdates the allotted time for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment; NOW THEREFORE BE IT

    RESOLVED, That as ALA continues to negotiate for conference and midwinter sites, the Association add its voice and effort to the passage of the Amendment by committing future conferences only to states that have ratified the Equal Rights Amendment.

ADOPTED by the Council
of the American Library Association
June 20, 1977
Transmitted by

Robert Wedgeworth
Secretary and Executive Director

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Women Library Workers

May 3, 1977

Margaret Meyers, Liaison
Status of Women Committee
American Library Association
50 East Huron
Chicago, IL 60611

Dear Margaret,

    The final paragraph of the attached letter should be of interest to both the Status of Women Committee and the SRRT Task Force on Women. While researching the matter of the Resolution on Racism and Sexism Awareness and the Library Bill of Rights, we discovered this problem with the Library Bill of Rights.

    Due to the above-mentioned matter, the Library Bill of Rights is likely to be much read and discussed at the upcoming ALA Conference in Detroit, and, as the Resolution on Sexist Terminology in ALA Publications is not retroactive, we feel it will be necessary to bring a resolution before Council and Membership to change #5 of the Library Bill of Rights.

    There are two issues to be considered in such a resolution. The first is a simple matter of language - changing from singular his to plural their; the second is a matter of content - adding sex to the list of reasons for which one's rights should not be abridged or denied.

    Women Library Workers is working on a resolution with the ‘therefore be it resolved’ containing essentially the last sentence of the attached letter. Is it possible that such a resolution could be agreed on by the SRRT Task Force on Women, the Status of Women Committee, Women Library Workers, and any other groups who might be interested, for joint presentation at the Detroit Conference? Specifically, we would appreciate your advice and help in such matters as drafting the resolution, when and where it should be presented, and by whom.


Carole Leita, Coordinator, WLW

cc: SRRT Task Force on Women

555 29th Street · San Francisco, California · 94131

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Women Library Workers

April 30, 1977

Florence McMullin, Chairperson
Intellectual Freedom Committee
East Huron Street
Chicago, IL 60611

Dear Florence McMullin,

    As an organization founded on the democratic principle that people should be treated equally, we are deeply interested in the Intellectual Freedom Committee's concern whether there are any conflicts between the Library Bill of Rights and the Resolution on Racism and Sexism Awareness.

    We support the Resolution on Racism and Sexism Awareness and believe that this resolution furthers the intent of the Library Bill of Rights. Our belief is based on what we think is the cornerstone of the Library Bill of Rights - that the library is "an institution of education for democratic living . . ." (LBR #6). And as librarians in these institutions, we must welcome every opportunity to improve its application to all people.

    In the same way that "censorship should be challenged . . ." (LBR #3), so racism and sexism should be challenged. Both create barriers to equal treatment of individuals. The barrier to information limits a person's self-development and power over her or his life. The barriers created by racism and sexism in all its manifestations do the same.

    We do see one conflict between the Resolution on Racism and Sexism Awareness and the Library Bill of Rights. The problem is in the Library Bill of Rights and we suggest that it could be easily remedied.

    LBR #5 currently reads: The rights of an individual to the use of a library shall not be denied or abridged because of his age, race, religion, national origin or social or political views.

    We suggest it be amended to read: The rights of individuals to the use of a library shall not be denied or abridged because of their age, race, sex, religion, national origin or social or political views.


Carole Leita, Coordinator

cc: Zoia Horn, Incoming Chair, IFC
Judith Krug, OIF
ALA Status of Women Committee
SRRT Task Force on Women

555 29th Street · San Francisco, California · 94131

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    The Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship in response to the request from Florence McMullin, chair of the Intellectual Freedom Committee concerning the question of the compatiblity of the Racism and Sexism Resolution and the Library Bill of Rights makes the following statement:

    The Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship is fully committed to the intent and implementation of the Racism and Sexism Resolution. In fact, we feel this resolution reaffirms the charge of our committee. In addition, we see no conflict between the resolution and the Library Bill of Rights. However, the Committee has proposed a council resolution to change the sexist language in the Library Bill of Rights and to insert sex as a factor to be considered as protected under the Library Bill of Rights. We have attached this resolution and ask for the endorsement of the Intellectual Freedom Committee.

Passed by the Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship 6/18/77

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ALA Council 1977
Document #56


    Whereas, the Library Bill of Rights became ALA policy in June, 1948, and was amended in June, 1967 (Policy Item # 103.4);

    Whereas, the Association committed itself to the use of non-sexist terminology on July 23, 1976 (Policy Item # 107.11);

    Therefore, be it resolved, that this Association amend Article I of the Library Bill of Rights to read

    ". . . In no case should library materials be excluded because of the race, nationality, sex, or the social, political, or religious views of the authors."

    Therefore, be it further resolved, that this Association amend Article V of the Library Bill of Rights to read

    "Rights of individuals to the use of a library should not be denied or abridged because of their age, race, sex, religion, national origins, or social or political views."

    Passed by the Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship (a standing Committee of ALA Council)

    Mover: C. Jackson, Councilor-at-large
Seconder: B. Conroy, Councilor-at-large

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Appendix C

    Whereas, the ALA Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship Committee has stated its intent to obtain a survey of the job and salary profile of librarianship, and

    Whereas, the Committee has formed a Subcommittee to investigate sources of funding and personnel for such a study, and

    Whereas, such a study is needed to help delineate and set priorities for women's concerns in the profession,

    Therefore, be it resolved that the SPRT Task Force on Women support this study and offers its cooperation in obtaining it.

    June 20, 1977

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