Document 16B: Minutes, Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship, 1978 Annual Conference, Chicago, Series 81/1/21, Box 1, Folder Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship (COSWL), 1979-80, American Library Association Archives, University of Illinois Library, 4 pp.

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Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship
1978 Annual Conference
Chicago, Illinois


    Saturday, June 24, 1978 2-4 p.m.

    Literature Distribution

    After introductions, the minutes from the Committee's sessions at the Midwinter Meeting were approved. Ellen Detlefsen, Chair, announced that the Committee had a literature distribution table in the ALA Professional Exhibits area in the lower level of the Conrad Hilton Hotel. A new brochure on the Committee's activities and members was available for distribution along with the Annual Report submitted to Council and a schedule of conference meetings related to women's issues. In addition, a flyer solicited expression of concerns relating to women in librarianship which Association members might like to see the Committee address. Copies of the National Plan of Action and resolutions to be submitted to Council by the Committee were also available. Since some brochures had been received advertising various books and programs related to women's concerns, the Committee discussed whether or not distribution of these information flyers would be considered as endorsement by the Committee. It was decided to display the particular items on hand at this conference, but some policy should be developed for future display and distribution. Jen Felmley will draft a policy statement as well as a letter to publishers indicating the Committee's interest in reviewing relevant materials. The Committee might wish to consider a larger display for next year's conference.

    Sexist Advertising

    Ellen read a letter from Art Plotnik to Lady Shaver, rejecting an ad which had been submitted for American Libraries but which the editors agreed was sexist.


    Ellen reviewed the three resolutions which had been submitted as action items for Council's consideration along with the Committee's Annual Report.

    On the "Comparable Wages for Comparable Work" resolution, there was discussion as to what was meant by "support" by ALA. There was an understanding that this could mean financial and legal support if necessary. It was decided to seek endorsement of the resolution by the SRRT Action Council and the Task Force on Women, LAD/PAS Economic Status Committee and Women Administrators Discussion Group, and the OLPR Advisory Committee.

    A memo from Robert Wedgeworth was read regarding the proposed resolution on the National Plan of Action; he indicated when introducing the resolution, the Committee should show how it related to libraries. The representatives who had attended the national conference on women in Houston, indicated that library and information services could be tied to all 26 planks in the National Plan, because of the emphasis in all areas relating to information needs. It was important to point out that libraries would have an important role to play in implementing the plan through delivery of relevant information. It was decided that Liz Futas, Pat Rom, and

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Jen Felmley would be prepared to take each plank and show how it related to library service if needed during the Council presentation. Endorsements of the resolution would be sought by relevant ALA units.

    The proposed resolution on Advertising Salary Ranges was next discussed in relation to memos sent to the Executive Board from ACRL objecting to the resolution. Several possibilities of alternative wording were discussed and minor changes made.

    An additional resolution endorsing the extension of the deadline for ratification of the ERA was suggested by Helen Josephine. Pat Rom suggested a resolution on movement of ALA Headquarters to an ERA-ratified state. Committee members were assigned to work on language for these resolutions to be presented at the next Committee meeting.

    Sunday, June 25, 1978 8 a.m.-10 a.m.

    IFC/Library Bill of Rights Compatibility/Revision

    Helen Josephine will monitor hearings of the Intellectual Freedom Committee and will reiterate the stand taken by the Status of Women group at previous meetings, stating that the Sexism/Racism Awareness resolution is not incompatible with the Library Bill of Rights and reminding the IFC of the tabled resolution on non-sexist language and the Library Bill of Rights.

    LAD/PAS Sexism Awareness Training Workshop

    A copy of the proposed budget for the LAD/PAS Sexism Awareness Training program at the 1979 Conference Was distributed. Ellen indicated she had informed Mary Hall, Chair of the ad hoc workshop committee, that the Status of Women group was interested in plans and willing to be of assistance.

    Liaison Reports from Other Organizations

    Helen Josephine reported on a meeting of the Women's Information Services Network which had been held prior to the Annual Conference. The network group is just forming and will be compiling a directory of members, who are primarily librarians working in women's centers, with women's information services and collections.

    Liz Futas indicated she is becoming involved in the southeast region of the National Women's Studies organization. Helen Josephine will attend the fall meeting of the Federation of Organizations for Professional Women as the Committee's representative.

    The Committee adjourned early to attend the ALA Executive Board meeting in order to present the proposed Resolutions from the Committee which would be coming before Council later in the week.

    Monday, June 26, 1978 4:30-6 p.m.

    Announcement was made of endorsement of the Committee's resolutions by the SRRT Task Force on Women, LAD Women Administrator's Discussion Group, and the LAD Economic Status Committee. Endorsement had been received also at the meeting with the Executive Board.

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    LAD Sexism Awareness Workshop

    Cynthia Johansen will attend the ad hoc workshop committee planning meeting during the conference, representing the Committee.

    Women's Action Alliance

    Jen Felmley reported that she had attended a meeting of the Alliance; it appears that fewer groups were represented than in the past perhaps because of the wide diversity of groups active in the women's movement. She wondered if the Committee was paying dues to the alliance. (Note: this has not been done).

    Profile on Women in Librarianship

    Discussion centered on the proposed profile pilot study which had been submitted to the ALA Goal Award program but not funded. Questions centered on whether it should be resubmitted next year or to another possible funding source, if the scope should be expanded, and if both ALA and non ALA members should be included. Because of illness in the family, Judith Braunagle, who had chaired the task force on the profile study, was unable to be at the conference. It was decided to postpone any further decisions to the Midwinter Meeting agenda.

    Conference Programs

    It was decided that no pre-conference would be planned for the 1979 Annual Conference in Dallas but that co-sponsorship of a program with the SRRT Task Force on Women take place during the regular conference week. Women in management should be considered as a possible topic. Women in Political Action should be considered as a preconference possibility for the 1980 New York conference. Clara Jackson will serve as Committee liaison to the Task Force on Women.

    Committee Travel

    It was decided that the fall meeting of Federation of Organizations for Professional Women would be one conference for which funding would come from the Committee budget, so that Helen Josephine could attend as the Committee's representative.

    Committee Logo

    Jen Felmley will make arrangements for three sketches to be made for consideration by the Committee as a possible logo.

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    Whereas, pay for library workers throughout the United States is not commensurate with pay for comparable male-dominated professions which require similar levels of education, experience, responsibility and working conditions;

    Whereas, the expertise, knowledge, and responsibilities of library workers is not reflected in their relatively low pay;

    Whereas, the only compelling explanation for this pattern is sex discrimination which reflects the biases against women and women-dominated occupations;

    Whereas, library workers in Pennsylvania, Florida, and California have filed sex discrimination suits and grievances based on the premise that women-dominated occupations and professions pay less than man-dominated occupations and professions;

    Therefore, be it resolved, that the American Library Association fully supports the concept of comparable wages for comparable work, and supports all legal and legislative efforts to achieve commensurate wages for library workers;

    And, be it further resolved, that the ALA Council direct the Library Administration Division, in cooperation with the Office for Library Personnel Resources to develop methods to help library workers discern if this type of sex discrimination exists within their jurisdictions, to advise them of appropriate action, and to report to Council at the Annual Conference in 1979 on the implementation of these actions;

    And, be it further resolved, that the American Library Association particularly support the efforts of those library workers who have documented, and are legally challenging, the practice of discriminatory salaries, whose success will benefit all library workers throughout the nation.

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

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