American Library Association

Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship

(COSWL) image

Committee Meeting Notes, Annual Conference

June 26, 2004 (Saturday) Orlando, Florida


Mary Biblio; Darlena Davis (ALA staff); Angela Gooden; Sharyn Ladner; Marie Richardson; Lorelle Swader; Daisy Waters; Myra Michele Brown Guests: Sandy River, chair of ACRL Women’s Studies

Discussion, speaker for 2005 COSWL annual conference program, Chicago

The meeting began with a discussion of COSWL’s 2005 program in Chicago. The issues raised were:

  • does ALA President Carla Hayden have contacts at Harpo Productions through which we could invite Oprah Winfrey to speak at our 2005 program?
  • alternate speakers - Dr. Charlotte Dunham of Texas Tech University (TTU) and Jane Curry, a women’s issue performance artist who sent her pr information to M.M. Brown
  • honoraria/COSWL budget

L. Swader mentioned the large number of requests being fielded by Dr. Hayden’s office. This means there are sometimes delays of several weeks between request and response. The committee discussed the “timeliness factor;” if Oprah Winfrey is the choice, do we want to risk not making contact, which could prevent us from placing the necessary placeholders on the ALA 2005 conference calendar? Most committee members agreed that Dr. Dunham was a viable choice, given her recent gender equity work for the TTU provost’s office.

The majority of committee members decided Dr. Dunham would be a good speaker choice. M. Biblio wanted us to continue to pursue Oprah Winfrey, who would need no introduction and who would guarantee a huge audience for the program. (NOTE: M.M. Brown did talk to Colleen Hayden, Carla Hayden’s mother on Sunday June 27. Mrs. Hayden said Carla did not know anyone at Harpo Productions.

Pay Equity

L. Swader discussed the work of the pay equity committee, which met on Friday, June 25, 2004 in Orlando. Gender pay equity had been an important COSWL issue, especially under Sarah W., previous COSWL chair. The gender component of the pay equity issue is sometimes ignored, leaving a gap for COSWL to fill.

2005-06 COSWL chair

M.M. Brown mentioned an email sent by 2005-06 incoming ALA president Michael Gorman about the next chair of COSWL. M.M. Brown’s current appointment expires at the end of annual conference in 2005. M.M. Brown said she is willing to continue to serve but does want any other committee members who are interested to have that opportunity. M. Richardson said she is willing to serve as chair.

COSWL website and committee members contributions

L. Swader reported ALA is making committee logos and committee web presence more uniform. COSWL’s pages are not currently highly visible. We can put COSWL pages onto the Human Resource Development and Recruitment (HRDR) website. M.M. Brown discussed her 6/03/04 telephone conversation with L. Swader. One topic they discussed was the COSWL website, specifically having COSWL members do “dedicated searches for viable websites devoted to women’s issues.” M.M. Brown suggested that a subgroup of committee members could volunteer to do research on websites, which they could periodically discuss via email. Before adding any links to the committee’s website, the entire committee’s input would be solicited. S. Ladner; D. Waters; ShinJoung Yeo (volunteered at COSWL’s Sunday meeting) and M.M. Brown agreed to search for websites. We agreed that brief annotations about the websites would be invaluable. We will be working with Beatrice Calvin of ALA’s HRDR on the website.

* We will begin the process of searching in August 2004; M.M. Brown will contact the other 3 women in mid-September to share her results and to get progress reports on their research. I know everyone is overwhelmed at work; we’ll try to make this process as painlessly pleasant as possible.

Other business

Sandy River, chair of ACRL Women’s Studies §, attended our meeting and shared her committee’s flyer for their Monday program.

M. Richardson mentioned the ongoing issue of the impending closure of the historically black Clark library school in Atlanta.

M.M. Brown distributed a proposed COSWL report to ALA Council, apprising the council members of our 2003-04 activities.

The meeting adjourned at 9am.

American Library Association Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship

(COSWL) image

Committee Meeting Notes, Annual Conference

June 27, 2004 (Sunday) Orlando, Florida


Claudia Frazer; Sharyn Ladner; Marie Richardson; ShinJoung Yeo; Myra Michele Brown Guests: Marilyn Lewis

Discussion, 2005 COSWL annual conference program, Chicago

The proposed title of COSWL’s 2005 program is “Nice Girls Still Don’t Get Paid: empowering women in the workplace.” M. Richardson submitted our placeholder form, requesting a Sunday session, 1:30-3:30pm, with only the first 45-60 minutes consisting of a rigid, formal program. It was agreed that we want to build sharing into the program, so that attendees can tell their stories, even create oral histories if we tape the program. Another suggestion was to continue the tradition of giving away pins at COSWL programs, e.g., the glass ceiling pins in Toronto.

Assignments: bibliography research, S. Ladner

pins/websites, S. Yeo

websites, C. Frazer

Some of the ideas expressed for the program:

  • challenge those boxes people want to put us (women) in; ethnic, gender; good girl
  • help teach women to resist limiting psychology
  • challenging “limiting” diversity as tokenism thinking

The meeting adjourned at 5pm.