The American Library Association

Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship

(COSWL)  image

Midwinter 2000 Conference Minutes
January 18, 2000

Present: Shah, Swader, Tobin, Watstein

Absent: Danforth, DiMattia, Erikson, Freedman, Golian, Gollop, Seetoo, Starr, Thistlethewaite

Guests: Shachaf

Much of the Tuesday meeting consisted of a review of various housekeeping matters incuding web site management, Committee and Task Force appointments, term of the Chair, and scheduling meetings for Annual 2000. The presence of our ALA staff liaison, L. Swader, and COSWL Past Chair T. Tobin facilitated an informed review of these issues, as well as discussion of issues raised at the Saturday meeting.

Swader began her remarks by describing her multifaceted role as staff liaison to several Council Committees as well as several Round Tables. She also provided an update as to the activities of her office.

Highlights of the discussion of COSWL business follow, with key topics bolded for ease of reading.

Swader directed the Chair to Rob Carlson to discuss Committee web site management. She noted that there is no screening or editing of web pages by the Association prior to their being posted. She also noted that links to other resources could be provuided. Watstein will submit the Midwinter minutes for posting. Watstein will also work with interested persons on COSWL web site matters (maintenance, overall look and feel, content, etc.).

Swader suggested that the Chair contact ALA President N. Kranich and request an extension of her term. Swader spoke to the learning curve facing all committee chairs and described her perception of the particular circumestances facing the current chair - Watstein assumed her role as Chair relatively late in the game without the benefit of immediate prior Committee membership. Swader also noted the importance of consistency of Committee leadership during this transition period and as the Committee becomes revitalized. Swader noted that the Chair's term expires after Annual 2000. Tobin noted that she had initiated a similar course of action. Watstein will check ALA policy as concerns her term and will follow up with a letter to Kranich.

Swader advised that COSWL work closely with the Pay Equity Committee as regards actions and initiatives relative to the salary ranges issue previously discussed by COSWL at Midwinter and during last year's meetings. Swader noted that V. Melton, of the Cleveland Public Schools, is the current Chair of this Committee. Swader noted that this group has recently revised its charge. Watstein will contact Melton regarding the publishing of salary ranges; she will also familiarize herself with the revised charge.

As concerns the idea for a program on salary negotiations for Annual 2001, Swader recommended that COSWL work closely with other women's groups - the Feminist Task Force, the ACRL Women's Studies Section, and the Pay Equity Committee. Swader agreed that a program on this topic would have broad appeal and a potentially diverse audience. She also agreed that the program could be targeted to professionals at various points in their careers - entry level, middle management, etc. Watstein will be in touch with the leaders of these groups to ascertain interest and to start the planning process.

Re: the think piece on whether or not the status of women is still an issue for ALA membership and for Council, Swader suggested that we broaden the call for contributions to such a piece, noting the value of posting a call on the listservs of various women's groups. Watstein will contact list managers and proceed with a call for input.

Swader also suggested that COSWL review its charge at the beginning of each meeting. Tobin noted that the charge was last reviewed at the Midwinter '99 meeting. Watstein will put this on the agenda for Annual, and will distrbute copies of the charge to members prior to the conference.

As regards the history and impact of COSWL, Swader noted that her office generally mails a copy of Ruth Ann Cranfield's 1993 Master's Paper on this topic to Committee members. Tobin provided Watstein with a copy of this seminal paper, and a copy is included with this mailing.

Swader noted that she is currently working on the 2001 budget. Budget categories were reviewed. Watstein noted the importance of place-markers for anticipated initiatives, such as the 2001 program on salary negotiations, and the combined brochure. Watstein and Swader will discuss the budget on salary negotiations, and the combined brochure. Watstein and Swader will discuss the budget in greater detail following the conference.