Document 16D: Minutes, Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship, 1980 Midwinter Meeting, Chicago, Series 81/2/1, Box 1, Folder Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship, 1976-89, American Library Association Archives, University of Illinois Library, 9 pp.

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1980 Midwinter Meeting
Chicago, Illinois


    Monday, January 21 2-5:30 pm

    Pat Rom, chair, asked that committee members and guests introduce themselves.

    SRRT Task Force on Women

    Suzanne Le Barron of the SRRT Task Force on Women reported that the Task Force was boycotting the Midwinter Meeting because of its Chicago location. However, Task Force members who are Councilors were in attendance. She indicated the Task Force has submitted a series of questions to the nominees for ALA-president-elect. The answers should be published in the March issue of Women in Libraries.

    Library Bill of Rights

    Some committee members expressed concerns that the proposed revision of the Library Bill of Rights was vague in the use of some of its terms, but it was felt there was no more opportunity for input into the revision except for upcoming Council discussion.

    ALA's role in Continuing Education

    There were no questions relating to Council Document #9 on a proposed expansion of ALA's role in continuing education. It was considered primarily an information item. Pat Rom indicated that the committee might want to think in the future whether it wanted to become more involved in the area of continuing education.

    Legal and Career Counseling for ALA Members

    Bill Ptacek had submitted a proposed resolution to provide assistance for ALA members with legal problems related to employment, promotion and disciplinary practices. Margaret Myers had indicated there might be difficulty in providing "one-time" legal advice at conferences to individuals and that any counseling would be quite prohibitive cost-wise. She indicated that individuals could now file a request for action with the ALA Staff Committee on Mediation, Arbitration, and Inquiry relating to employment issues as well as intellectual freedom questions. Myers suggested the group might wish to consider having a pamphlet available for individuals alerting them to resources both within and without ALA if they felt their employment rights were being violated. It was decided to continue the discussion when Mary Hutchings from ALA legal counsel was scheduled to come later in the meeting.

    Pat Rom asked if the group had not also been concerned about career counseling when it met at the last Annual Conference. Myers had outlined in the agenda packet the career counseling efforts which were ongoing through OLPR. She described to the group the Life/Work Planning workshop which had been held at the 1978 Annual Conference and indicated that there had been some discussion about the possibility of continuing these workshops at other conferences or training persons to give individualized counseling at conferences in more depth than now provided by volunteers at the placement center Job Seekers Comfort

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Station. However, money had not been available for this purpose. There was interest in developing a proposal for training a core group of people to act as career counselors especially at conference time. Myers suggested one approach might be to request it built into any ALA continuing education proposal that goes for outside funding; other alternatives included a Goal Award proposal or other type of request for outside funding. Liz Futas agreed to work further on exploring such a proposal.

    Conference Child Care Support

    Liz Futas stated that the committee should push for having the Association underwrite child care facilities at the ALA Annual Conference and Midwinter Meeting. Although JMRT and SRRT Task Force on Women had organized this in the early 1970's, the service was no longer provided. The service should be an ongoing part of the Conference arrangements budget and organization. Other associations (such as MLA, NEA, AHA) do provide child care at conferences for their members. Liz Huntoon volunteered to investigate this topic further, as to legal liability ramifications, costs, procedures, etc. Pat Rom will talk to Pat Schuman and Regina Minudri, who are chairing the New York and San Francisco Local Arrangements committees, respectively. Evening service should be also considered in any plans.

    Minimum Salary Resolution

    Anita Schiller asked if the committee had seen Council Document # 15 on the feasibility of ALA setting a minimum salary. She felt the committee may wish to consider at some point the issue of volunteerism in libraries. Myers said she would get copies of the Minimum Salary report to committee members. No final recommendations were being made at this time; OLPR was requesting additional input from members.

    Equal Pay for Comparable Work

    Mary Hutchings of Sidley and Austin, ALA's legal counsel, arrived at the committee. Copies of an article on "The Pink Collar Revolution" had been distributed to committee members earlier. Hutchings indicated there are a number of comparable worth cases waiting to be settled, and that the next six months may bring some more definitive statements on this issue from the courts.

    Legal Counseling

    The earlier discussion on whether or not ALA could provide preliminary legal counseling or referral for its members was again raised. Hutchings said that the scope of legal representation can be defined by the association. She indicated that the scope of legal advice which could be given to an individual in a short counseling session at conference time would be very limited because few legal problems could be dealt with in a short time. In other types of referral programs she has seen, the most that can be done is to simply screen potential legal problems and tell people if they might have a potential legal problem and to see a lawyer. It is difficult for one person to know all the various state laws which might be brought into question. She had not heard of an association providing this before. A major problem would be the expense. On a year round basis it would not be feasible. During a short conference consultation, it would not be practical to give much assistance given all the jurisdictions represented by Members. A disclaimer would need to be signed indicating that ALA was not liable for any direction given.

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    The committee decided to not pursue the idea of proposing legal counseling any further, but did feel a brochure would be helpful for members if it was an information checklist suggesting how to proceed with a potential discrimination complaint. Sources both in and outside the association would be listed. Hutchings said she would be willing to review a draft for the committee. Pat Rom and Cinder Johansen indicated they would work on this project.

    Profile Project

    Kathleen Heim and Leigh Estabrook, co-project directors, indicated the types of information they would discuss at the profile progress report at the upcoming Thursday meeting. The pre test questionnaire had just been distributed. A sample of 3,000 members would receive the final questionnaire. Because the project directors wanted the best response possible, they felt that the committee's name should not go out on the questionnaire, although it would be mentioned in all reports of the project as providing support for the study through its Goal Award. Considerable discussion followed as to possible skewing of results if the committee's name was left on or off the questionnaire. A decision was postponed until after the project subcommittee members (Rom, Futas, Detlefsen) have met with the project directors and reviewed the questionnaire.

    Equal Pay for Comparable Worth

    Helen Josephine and Margaret Myers discussed the proposed testimony on the comparable worth issue for EEOC, which is holding hearings at the end of February. Several librarians have been contacted about possible oral testimony, although others were urged to file written statements if desired. Josephine indicated EEOC wanted information on the responsibilities of librarians as well as differences between men and women, etc. Myers indicated she was working on an ALA statement which would include a summary of the librarian comparable worth cases and studies which have been identified.

    Future Directions/Committee Priorities

    Pat Rom reminded members she had requested statements of concern and thoughts on priorities for future committee action. In Dallas, the group had discussed the possibility of setting up subcommittees to work on particular activities.

    Joan Marshall felt that in the past, the whole committee had used a lot of time reacting to events or resolutions which developed during the conferences. It would be better, she felt, to assign a small group to deal with each strategy or resolution and let them report back to the whole group. She was interested in having the committee become a clearinghouse on subject analysis and classification of materials of interest to women. She also felt the committee's role was one of monitoring ALA policies which affected women's concerns. She expressed concern that only one sexism/racism awareness training workshop had been given by LAMA which considered its work now finished, rather than establishing an ongoing mechanism for this.

    Liz Futas felt that the committee should be more concerned with contacting groups outside of ALA and librarianship concerned with women's issues. She felt that much could be learned from these contacts and also through dialogue with other groups, they would learn more about librarianship and the status of women in the profession. Myers had prepared a listing of outside groups with which the committee has had contact. She indicated a number of requests were coming in for the committee to consider having an exhibit at conferences held by other professional and women's organizations.

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    To date no exhibits had been held because of lack of exhibit fees and materials by the committee. At the time the ad hoc committee was studying the feasibility of a standing committee on the status of women, there had been a large mailing to other women's councils and groups within and without librarianship. The committee felt it would be useful to contact these groups again to let them know what the ALA committee had been doing. Perhaps the end of the profile project would be a good time, so that the project report could be sent with a brief review of activities.

    A special issue on women in librarianship within American Libraries was considered desirable with the profile perhaps providing a focal point. An observer wondered if the committee had mentioned federal legislation affecting women. She mentioned that the 1974 women's preconference had passed a resolution requesting lobbying regarding affirmative action by the Washington Office.

    A committee member felt that submitting resolutions requesting action by other groups was not always the most effective way to get things done. It might be better to identify several goals for committee activities and follow through with them, such as was done with the profile.

    ALA Nominations

    Eric Moon of the 1980-81 ALA Nominating Committee indicated he felt the Status of Women committee should do more active lobbying and detailed monitoring regarding ALA activities. Divisions have been asked to nominate ALA officers and councilors but ALA committees have not specifically been asked for suggestions. Therefore he was asking the committee to consider making suggestions for the 1981 elections by this coming April. Liz Futas suggested that the committee might wish to look at the composition of the Council nominees to determine if there is a balance between sex, geographical representation, types of libraries, and activities, etc. Clara Jackson volunteered to analyze the 1980 nominees. One observer wondered why female candidates were seldom nominated for ALA Treasurer.

    Tuesday, January 22 11:30am-12:30 pm

    1980 Annual Conference Program

    The committee agreed to co-sponsor an Annual Conference Program with the LAMA Women Administrators Discussion Group and the SRRT Task Force on Women. Marcia Fox will speak on career stress/career change. Norton Publishing Company will host a reception.

    1980-81 Budget

    Pat Rom stated that a slight increase in the travel allowance can be included in the 1980-81 budget because of increased costs. The problem of getting an increase for additional staff support for OLPR was discussed. COPES did not allow staffing money for the committee in the 1979-80 committee budget and said that staffing should come from OLPR. Margaret Myers had suggested the committee might wish to request money for specific projects. It was decided to point out to COPES that the inadequate staffing of OLPR was hampering the work of the committee.

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    Liaison with Other groups

    The decision to join other women's groups, and which ones, was deferred until the Thursday meeting.

    Profile Project

    The first part of the Thursday meeting will be devoted to hearings, conducted by Kathleen Heim and Leigh Estabrook, on the "profile" questionnaire. Anita Schiller asked if the committee was going to have an opportunity to see the questionnaire. It was reported that, in an earlier committee decision, it had been decided that only the Profile subcommittee (Rom, Detlefsen, and Futas) would see the questionnaire.

    The question of whether or not the committee's name should appear on the questionnaire was discussed at length. A decision was deferred until the Thursday meeting.

    Thursday, January 24 9:30am-12:30pm

    Profile Progress Report

    Pat Rom introduced Kathleen Heim and Leigh Estabrook as co-project directors of the committee-sponsored survey and pilot study to provide a profile of ALA members.

    Heim reported on the background work to the study. There is a need for more demographic information on the library profession. Some studies exist but provide only a portion of data that is desirable.

    Heim had studied occupational and sociological literature and performed a literature search on women in the professions, women's career patterns, etc. A detailed study on Canadian librarians was particularly helpful. Heim requested that anyone present send her additional material that was thought to be relevant to the study. She felt it was important to have a comprehensive literature review as background material.

    Estabrook then reported on the design of the study. The study would involve a survey of about 3000 ALA members (about 10% of the total membership). The names would be selected randomly from the membership list. They hoped that this sample would reflect a large sector of professional librarians in the U.S. but recognized that members of other library associations and non-ALA members would not be represented. The Canadian study had included all librarians. The sample would exclude student and foreign members and trustees but include retirees. A high enough sample was wanted so that a large enough number of men would be included to compare with the responses of women.

    Some other features of the study are: 1) questionnaires will not be coded so that confidentiality of the respondents will be protected. 2) a separate post card will be sent with the questionnaires to help measure and control the response rate. 3) Career status and demographics of librarians will be the two main thrusts of the study.

    "To what extent does sex contribute to the relative status of men and women in librarianship?" will be the main question to be answered by the data compiled. The survey was started without assuming any dimensions or pre-conceptions. It may be possible, and would be desirable to develop from the data an index of status, measuring and comparing income, rank and career levels.

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    Estabrook and Heim then responded to questions. As to the timetable of the survey, questionnaires will go out in two or three weeks. Findings will be presented in New York though this will be based on preliminary analysis.

    One person asked if it will be possible to set up models from the data if it is shown that the status of women depends on certain factors? Would it be possible to know how to solve problem areas?

    Estabrook stated this may be possible though the technique will be questionable. One example from the literature showed that in order to be a successful woman manager it is best to be the oldest daughter with younger sisters. 92% of women managers were brought up in this situation, according to one study.

    The directors were asked if the publication and dissemination of the study will be coordinated with similar studies and interests in other professions besides librarianship? In their preliminary investigation they have looked at other professions. It was suggested that the Chronicle of Higher Education would be an excellent outlet for describing the project since this periodical carries lots of impact.

    Career Development and Assessment Center for Librarians

    Peter Hiatt of the University of Washington commented that very little was known in the area of the relative status of men and women in the library profession and that the study, he thought, would be a crucial one.

    Hiatt briefly described the Career Development and Assessment Center for Librarians sponsored by the University of Washington and Washington State Library. The Center began with research into ways of improving a person's management abilities and assertiveness. It is designed to provide librarians with self-knowledge on which to base career planning. The center has been bringing in librarians from the state of Washington but soon will be opened up to those in the Pacific Northwest.


    The business portion of the meeting began with a continuation of discussion on the budget. Affiliation with other organizations was considered. It was pointed out that the $100.00 spent for affiliation with the Federation of Organizations for Professional Women may be better spent elsewhere. Membership in the Federation seemed to be dropping which may be an indication of an overall state of the Federation. As no specific benefits could be pointed out that sup- ported renewing the membership, the committee decided to drop this membership.

    The other budget item to be discussed was publications. The brochure discussed earlier should be printed in as many copies as the committee could afford. Hopefully, the brochure could be distributed at the New York conference and later sent to interested persons.

    Organization/Procedural Manual

    Comments on the draft manual were requested from the chair. Futas pointed out that in section III a member could be removed from the committee for certain actions though it was not made clear how the removal could be done. The procedures for such action needed further clarification.

    1984 Midwinter Meeting Site

    There was concern that ALA might try to return to Chicago for the ALA Midwinter Meeting in 1984. A site has not been chosen for that year. At an Executive Board meeting, discussion had centered on whether or not the Council resolution prohibiting ALA from meeting in states not ratifying the ERA was to continue in perpetuity or operated only in a specific time frame.

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The committee wanted to make it clear that the resolution was to continue, regardless of passage or not, and that ALA should never hold meetings in Chicago or other non-ERA states if the state did not pass the amendment. The Committee will contact the Board for clarification at the Spring meeting, and call for selection of a site immediately.


    In previous discussion, a clearinghouse for information, lobbying efforts, and coordination of related ALA groups with interest in women's issues had been decided on as important priorities for the committee.

    A program for the 1981 San Francisco conference was discussed. Anita Schiller and Norma Royal were appointed as a subcommittee to explore possible areas of interest for such a program. The committee may want to approach another group for co-sponsorship.

    It was pointed out that the committee may want to build into their meetings a time slot for listening to women's problems. The experience at the Dallas conference seemed to indicate that this would be a useful function for the committee.

    Profile Project

    It was necessary to resolve whether the profile questionnaire would be distributed with the committee's name on the cover letter. There was considerable division in the group about whether or not this should be done. The project directors felt that listing the name might skew the data and affect the response. They agreed to check further with other researchers and meet later with the profile subcommittee to resolve this issue.

    ALA Goal Award

    Margaret Myers reported that she had just come from the OLPR Advisory Committee Meeting, where it had been recommended that the Status of Women group undertake the writing of a goal award proposal to analyze the existing comparable worth studies in librarianship and to develop materials to assist librarians in pushing for pay equity. OLPR would be willing to co-sponsor this. Myers indicated that Helen Josephine might be willing to write such a proposal. The committee members decided that they would be willing to submit a proposal if a draft could be developed and distributed to the committee for reaction before the March 1 deadline. Myers indicated she would send a copy of her EEOC testimony to the committee.

    ALA Nominees

    Pat Rom reminded members to send in suggestions of names for ALA Council and officers nominations by February 15.

    Contact with Other Organizations

    Liz Futas indicated she had spoken with D'Ann Campbell of the Coalition for Women in Humanities and Social Sciences. This group is planning a meeting in May. Pat Rom will check with Clara Jackson to see if she might be able to attend as a committee representative.

    The possibility of a large scale mailing to women's caucusses within professional associations and other groups at the end of the profile project was again discussed. Myers said she could probably have a student assistant pull together the lists which existed from the earlier mailing, the Women's Action Alliance Almanac, Project on the Status and Education of Women, etc.

    In the future, the committee would develop a clearinghouse concept further.

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    1980 Annual Conference

    The committee meetings for the New York Conference were announced as: Sunday, June 29, 2-4pm; Tuesday July 1, 9:30-llam; and Wednesday, July 2, 9:30-llam. The conference program will be on Tuesday, July 1 from 2-4pm and will co-sponsored with The LAMA Women Administrators Discussion Group and the SRRT Task Force on Women. Marcia Fox will speak on "Career Stress and Career Development". The preconference on Women in librarianship will be held from Wednesday, June 25 to Saturday, June 28 at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J.

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1980 Midwinter Meetings

    Committee Members Present

    Pat Rom, Elizabeth Futas, Anita Schiller, Norma Royal, Joan Marshall, Liz Huntoon, Cynthia Johanson, Clara Jackson

    Absent: Karen Jackson, Ellen Detlefsen (illness), Bill Ptacek (excused)

    Staff: Margaret Myers; David Gilbert


Gurley Turner Catalyst New York City
Cathy Rentschler H.W. Wilson Co. Bronx, NY 10452
Liz Salzer Stanford Univ. Lib. Stanford, CT
Sue Cherry American Libraries Chicago, IL
Roberta MacArthur Univ. of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI
Sheryl Romeo Univ. of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI
Terri Friedman Univ. of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI
Michele Cash Lewis Univ. Library Romeoville, IL
Frances Coleman Miss. State Lib. Mississippi
Bette Ruce Miss. State Univ. Miss. State, Miss
Francine Creme U.W. Madison Madison, WI
Cela McGinnis U. Wis. Madison Madison, WI
Eloise Vondruska Parkland Coll. Lib. Champaign, IL
Deborah Jensen Univ. of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI
Constance Kammeyer Univ. of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI
Leigh Estabrook Syracuse Univ. Syracuse, NY
Susan Griffith Coop. Childrens Bk. Madison, WI
Kay Cassell Beth. Pub. Lib. Delmar, NY
Kathleen Heim University of ILL. Champaign-Urbana
Jan Fennell Georgia College Milledgeville, GA
Adele Dendy Indiana Univ. Lib. Bloomington, IND
Betty Jo Irvine Indiana Univ. Lib. Bloomington, IND
Susan Avitabile Brookline Pub. Sch. Brookline, MASS
Diane Kadanoff Dalton Free P.L. Dalton, MA
Joan Corbett St. Louis Pub. Lib. St. Louis, MO
Cynthia Bender St. Mary's Sem. Baltimore, MD
Alice Clark Univ. of N.M. Lib. Albuquerque, NM
Jean Orr Miracle Valley Reg. Lib Moundsville, W.VA
Leslie Bjorncrantz Northwestern U. Lib. Evanston, IL
Eleanor Payne U. of Calif
Liz Dickinson Stockton-San J. Co. P.L.
Mary Nick U.S. Nav. War College Lib. Newport, RI
Bonnie Dawson Free-lance Ann Arbor, MI
Caroline Coughlin Drew Univ. Madison, NJ

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