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Gender In The Academic Library[1]

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Gender in the Academic Library

Gender in the Academic Library

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  • 1. Gender in the Academic Library By Wilma L. Jones May 2004
  • 2. Research Question: In what ways has gender played a role in the evolution of the profession of librarians in American Higher Education?
  • 3. History of Academic Libraries
    • First Colonial academic libraries
      • Harvard (1638)
      • William and Mary (1693)
      • Yale (1701)
      • College of New Jersey (1746, now Princeton)
      • U. of Pennsylvania (1749)
      • King’s College (1754, now Columbia University)
      • College of Rhode Island (1764, now Brown University)
      • Dartmouth (1769)
    • Collections mostly on Theology
    • Gifts and bequests from influential scholars and Alumni
      • John Harvard in 1638
    • Purchases made by professors on tour in Europe
      • Pres. Harper, U. of Chicago
  • 4. First Librarians . . . Men
    • Librarians during Colonial times were often, experts in the field:
      • Faculty members
      • Tutors
      • Presidents
    • Solomon Stoddard, former tutor, first appointed librarian of the Harvard Library in 1667
  • 5. Impact of Morrill Act of 1862
    • Use of public lands to support higher education in practical areas such as agriculture and engineering – break away from “classical colleges”
    • State Higher Education Institutions mushroomed
    • Library collections expanded to support diversified curriculum
    • School of Library Economy established at Columbia in 1887 to train librarians
  • 6. The field of Librarianship
    • Visible signs of changes in the profession
      • Establishment of the American Library Assn (1876)
      • Standardization of library practices (1886)
        • to facilitate use of the materials in the collection, starting with the Dewey Decimal Classification System
      • Opening of School of Library Economy (1887)
        • To train male and female librarians
      • Establishment of the Association of Research Libraries (1932)
  • 7. Census figures of U.S Librarians 1870 - 1990
  • 8. Characteristics of Male Librarians, 1890 – 1920
    • Well educated men (72.6% with bachelor’s degree)
    • Sons of clergy, physicians, as well as farmers & machinists
    • Had worked in a library (23.5%)
    • Veterans with disability
    • Retired clergy or teacher
    • One disillusioned with/failed in other line of work
  • 9. Reason for men choosing the field
    • Encouraged by library professors to enter academic library or Library of Congress, not public or school libraries
    • Assured fast move up to high-level position
    • 2-yr library program expedited entrance into workforce for males; 1-year secured a lucrative position
  • 10. Feminization of Professions
    • Rapid change from male- to female-intensive fields between 1870 and 1920, influenced by the industrial revolution:
      • Teaching – 68% women in 1880 to 84% in 1920
      • Clerical – 95.6% male in 1880 to 54.3% in 1920
      • Library -- 80% male in 1870 to 80% women in 1900
      • (Passet, 1993)
  • 11. Feminization of the Library field
    • By 1910, more women entering librarianship than men
    • Of 22 land-grant institutions west of the Mississippi, 15 had at least one woman responsible for the library prior to 1930
  • 12. Reason for men exiting the field
    • Perceived low status as more women entered the field; some for pay, others as volunteers
    • Inadequate salaries paid to both men and women, minimal remuneration
    • Often got stuck in an assistant position for years; desired upward mobility
    • Low status of library work; aspired to be in leadership positions
  • 13. First Women in the field
    • Grace Raymond Hebard, librarian at the University of Wyoming, 1894 – 1919 (Ph.D in Political Science, no formal training in librarianship)
    • Julia Pearce, first librarian to have no teaching responsibilities, Kansas State Agricultural College, 1863 – 1894.
    • Dorothy Porter Wesley, first African American curator & scholar of the Moorland-Springarn Research Center, Howard U. in 1930-1973
  • 14. Others as Volunteers
    • Club women participation in public sphere
      • TX Federation of Club Women led the founding of community libraries (1898)
      • By 1904 Women’s Club in 34 states ran 4600 traveling libraries and established 500 public libraries
      • Approached Carnegie for funding of public libraries
      • Volunteered time to prepare materials
  • 15. Evolving field of librarianship
    • Once the keeper of books …
    • now recognized for ability to provide access to local and global resources in libraries with and without walls.
  • 16. Librarians in Academia since 1971
    • Masters degree from an ALA accredited program required for employment;
    • 2 nd grad degree for tenure track
    • Faculty positions gave women better salaries, but lower than teaching faculty
    • Unionized institutions gave women higher salaries; equal to males
  • 17. Librarians in Academia …
    • Requirement to publish in institutions with faculty status for librarians
    • Faculty status gained librarian more respect than non- faculty status
    • Improved work environment re: faculty benefits available to librarians (sabbaticals, research funds, tenure, etc.
    • Increased participation in college governance
  • 18. Impact of Internet technology, 1995 -
    • “ net technology” yielding new roles
      • Systems librarian
      • Web librarian
      • Digital librarian
      • Virtual reference librarian
    • Increase in males entering the field
    • Library programs emphasizing technology
    • Library schools discussing omission of the “l” word
    • Library instruction expanding—teaching scholars to evaluate, retrieve, & use materials ethically
  • 19. Anomolies persist
    • In a female-intensive field, 90 respondents surveyed identified themselves as directors, of which 34 were women (Jenkins, 1994).
    • 2002 survey showed men had higher salaries in school, academic, and special libraries by 7.9% (Terrell, 2002)
    • High-tech positions filled by more men; however, women in these positions had showed increase of 6.8% in 2001 (Lynch & Smith, 2001).
  • 20. References
    • American Library Association. (2002). ALA presidents, treasurers, secretaries, and executive directors. Handbook of organization . Chicago: American Library Association
    • American Library Association. (1999). Office for research and statistics . Chicago: American Library Association.
    • Association of College and Research Libraries. (2001). Guidelines for academic status of college and university libraries. College and Research Libraries News , 62, 920 – 921.
    • Bargellini, M.L. & Bordoni, L. (2001). The role of the library in a new learning scenario. The Electronic Library . 19, 153-157.
    • Carmichael, J. (1992). The male librarian and the feminine image: a survey of stereotypes, status, and gender perceptions. Library & Information Science Research , 14, 411-446.
    • Carpenter. (1994). Harvard University libraries. In Encyclopedia of library history. Edited by W.A. Wiegand & D.G. Davis, Jr. New York; London: Garland Publishing, Inc , (pp. 255-257).
    • Committee on Academic Status of the Association of College and Research Libraries. (1975). Faculty status for academic librarians: a history and policy statements . Chicago: American Library Association.
    • Conaway, C. (2002). Virtual university. Regional Review , 12, 6-13.
    • Cramer, E. & Boyd, J. (1995). The tenure-track and parent track: a road guide. Wilson Library Bulletin , 69 41-42.
  • 21. References, continued.
    • Daniel, J.S. (1999). Mega-universities and knowledge media: Technology strategies for higher education . London: Kogan Page Limited.
    • Digest of education statistics . (2003). National Center for Education Statistics, Office of Educational Research and Improvement: U.S. Department of Education, Washington D.C.
    • ----- . (2002). National Center for Education Statistics, Office of Educational Research and Improvement: U.S. Department of Education, Washington D.C.
    • Dowell, D.R. (1998). Leadership: In the eye of the beholder? In Leadership and Academic Librarians . Edited by T. F. Mech & G.B. Mcabe. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, pp. 159-170.
    • Flagg, G. (2001). Educators consider their future at ALISE Conference. American Libraries, 32, 26-7.
    • Galloway, D. (1979). Status or stasis: Academic librarians 10 years later. American Libraries , 79, 349-352.
    • Guri-Rosenbilt, S. (2001). Virtual universities: Current models and future trends. Higher Education in Europe , 26, 487-499.
    • Harris, R.M. (1999). Gender and technology relations in librarianship. Journal of Education for Library and Information Science , 40, 232-246.
  • 22. References, continued.
    • Higley, G. (1996). College, Community and librarianship: Women librarians at the Western land grant colleges. In Reclaiming the American library past: Writing the women in. Edited by Suzanne Hildenbrand. Norwood, NJ: Ablex Pub Corp. , pp. 53-98.
    • Hildenbrand, S. (1999). The Information Age vs. gender equity. Library Journal. 124, 44-47.
    • Jenkins, C. (1996). “Since so many of today’s librarians are women. . .;” Women and Intellectual Freedom in U.S. librarianship . In Reclaiming the American library past: Writing the women in. Edited by Suzanne Hildenbrand. Norwood, NJ: Ablex Pub Corp. , pp. 221-250.
    • Kirkland, J.J. (1997). The missing women in library directors: Deprivation versus mentoring. College and Research Libraries , 58, 376-384
    • Lynch, B. (1998). The development of the academic library in American higher education and the role of the academic librarian. In Leadership and Academic Librarians , edited by T.F. Mech and G.B. McCabe. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, pp.1-21
    • Lynch, B. P., & Smith, K. R. (2001). The changing nature of work in academic libraries. College & Research Libraries, 62, 407-419
  • 23. References, continued.
    • Passet, J.E. (1996). You don’t have to pay librarians. In Reclaiming the American library past: Writing the women in, edited by Suzanne Hildenbrand. Norwood, NJ: Ablex Pub Corp. , pp. 207-220.
    • -----. (1994). United States of America. In Encyclopedia of library history, edited by W.A. Wiegand & D.G. Davis, Jr. New York; London: Garland Publishing, Inc , pp. 644-650.
    • -----. (1993). Men in a feminized profession: the male librarian, 1887-1921. Libraries & Culture , 28, 385-402.
    • Radford, N. (1984). The Carnegie Corporation and the development of American college libraries, 1928 – 1941 . Chicago: American Library Association.
    • Schuyler, M. (1999). The view from the top left corner . Computers in libraries. v19, Retrieved March 13, 2004, from the Library Literature WilsonWeb database.
    • Shiflett, O. L. (1994). Academic libraries. In Encyclopedia of library history. Edited by W.A. Wiegand & D.G. Davis, Jr. New York; London: Garland Publishing, Inc , pp. 5-14.
    • St. Lifer, E., & Oder, N. (1996). Net work: New roles, same mission. Library Journal , 121, 26-30.
    • Terrell, T. (2002). Salaries rebound, women break out. Library Journal , 30-36.
    • Statistical Abstracts of the United States (2003) . Washington, DC: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.