American Library Association

Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship
(COSWL)  image

1998 Annual Conference

Washington, D.C.


Saturday, June 27, 1998: 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Committee Present: Theresa Tobin,Chair, Loriene Roy, and Narda Tafuri.

Approval of Minutes

The minutes of the 1998 ALA Midwinter Conference were approved as written


Theresa Tobin attended the Introduction to Women's Groups meeting and described what COSWL is doing. Approximately 15 new people attended. Theresa asked if any were interested in becoming interns and described some possibilities of how they could become involved working with COSWL.

Susan Hildebrandt has asked Theresa to reconstitute COSWL's Research Committee and she has offered to coordinate it. Theresa indicated that there needs to be links off of COSWL's web page under "Publications" to the two new publications coming out from COSWL: On Account of Sex and Women of Color. It was indicated that more publicity regarding these two publications needs to get out.

Theresa will be contacting Lorelle Swader, our OLPR representative, with the names of those COSWL members that have missed two or more meetings.

Bibliography Task Force

The Task Force is on target and the bibliography On Account of Sex: 1992-1997 is due to be published this fall. The majority of work was done by a core of six people

Pay Equity Committee

Theresa will go to the next meeting of the Pay Equity Committee. This committee would like COSWL to be more involved with this issue. It was suggested that more statistics are needed in this area and that perhaps COSWL should undertake to do a survey. Loriene suggested that such a survey would generate data the could potentially be used by ALA members in salary negotiations, etc.


It was suggested that a reception be held at the 1999 ALA Midwinter Conference in Philadelphia to promote the recent COSWL publications.

American Libraries Job Announcements

Theresa wrote to American Libraries regarding the rule about job advertisements indicating salary scale and she received a short note back. American Libraries claimed that it was losing revenue by include a salary or salary range as a requirement. Theresa has asked Lorelle as to what the best solution to handling this matter would be.

Sunday, June 28, 1998: 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Committee Present: Theresa Tobin, Chair, Loriene Roy, Amy Seetoo, Lorelle Swader, OLPR; Narda Tafuri, Trevis Wright

Guests: Tami Eschavarria, Chair, Pay Equity Committee; Betty Glass, Mev Miller

This meeting was created as an unofficial joint meeting of the Pay Equity Committee and COSWL. COSWL regularly meets during ALA Conferences on the following dates and times:

Saturday: 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Sunday: 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Tuesday: 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

Pay Equity Survey

Issues of pay equity came up at the Introduction to Women's Groups meeting and what COSWL should be doing. It was indicated that COSWL used to be involved in doing research related to women and pay equity. It was suggested that a web form on gender and salaries be created. Lorelle indicated that we should get in touch with Mary Jo Lynch at ALA to assist us in preparing the survey. Lorelle's staff would then be responsible for loading it onto ALA's website and sending out paper announcements to ALA members regarding the survey.

Theresa indicated that the survey should be an annual occurrence, perhaps done every April. Tami said that it was very important that the question of gender be included. Trellis indicated that we would need to publicize the survey if it is off of the COSWL site. Narda stated that a button that would link to the survey could be put on ALA's home page. Trellis indicated that pay equity is currently a hot topic especially with the millenium approaching. We are looking at where women are in the economy.

Amy asked how can we reach people that do not have access to the web and how can we guarantee anonymity? Theresa indicated that most members have access to the web somewhere. Lorelle indicated that any survey from ALA that is providing information would have to go through Mary Jo Lynch. Narda indicated that the survey could be constructed so that certain information would have to be filled in. Tami indicated that the survey should be pretested.

Loriene suggested that perhaps Mary Jo could come up with comparable statistics in other fields as well. Tami stated that we also need to look at education levels as well as other professions. Respondents should have a space where they can provide rich data experience. Betty suggested that there be a statement on the form of how we would provide confidentiality. Lorelle indicated that the survey results should be widely disseminated. Amy suggested that there should be some kind of promotion during ALA Midwinter, perhaps a drawing of some kind. Lorelle suggested that perhaps the survey could be linked to what is now called National Pay Equity Day, this way the survey could be used to commemorate the day. It was further suggested that the survey be tested at ALA Midwinter and then launched at ALA Annual.

Tuesday, June 30, 1998: 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

Committee Present: Theresa Tobin, Chair; Loriene Roy, Amy Seetoo, Narda Tafuri

Theresa indicated that we will try to have a joint meeting with the Pay Equity Commitee during the 1999 ALA Midwinter Conference in Philadelphia. In addition, we need to have a conference call with Pay Equity. Prior to the conference call, Theresa will contact Mary Jo Lynch to see what her reaction is to what we are proposing. Mary Jo can give us the parameters for the project including how to ask statistically valid questions and an indication of what technical support ALA would be willing to give. The conference call will help us to renegotiate what will be on the survey with Pay Equity.

Loriene indicated that we need to have a timeline between now and Pay Equity Day so that the survey will be ready. She suggested that we start gathering samples of other survey instruments.

It was suggested that Mary Jo also be asked about what kind of technology they would have available to handle paper surveys, i.e. scanning, inputting, etc. There would need to be a way for those individuals that do not have the technology to have access to the survey.

Theresa stated that she would try to get in touch with Mary Jo in August. Loriene suggested that in the meantime we should share survey instruments with each other.

The following timeline was established for developing the survey:

August: Share survey instruments; contact Mary Jo Lynch

September: Get input from Pay Equity; have conference call with Pay Equity in late September

October: Survey put on web site

November: Pretest survey form

December: Write cover letter