Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship

Meeting Notes

ALA Midwinter Meeting 2008 in Philadelphia, PA

COSWL Meeting I
January 13, 2008

Present: Annemarie Roscello, Barbara Spears, Melody Allison, Lauren Pressley, Mary Callaghan Zunt, Barbara Pickell, ShinJoung Yeo.

  • The committee discussed 2 proposed resolutions to be sent to the ALA Council:

a. Resolution on the Image of Women in ALA Publication. After discussion, the committee decided that it would be better to send a letter to the Executive Council expressing our concern and asking for further study since most of the concern dealt with one publication.

b. Resolution in Support of Women as Caregivers in the Workforce
One additional statistic was included to support the role of women as caregivers, and the Resolution was approved by the committee.

  • The committee agreed to co-sponsor the WSS Program on Feminist Publishing: the Evolution of a Revolution.

  • The committee decided the official title of the program at Annual would be “I’ll be late again, and I need to leave early: Balancing Caregiving and Work.” ShinJoung asked for further recommendations for speakers.  The program will be publicized at COSWL booth with a flyer, through ALA Direct, Cognotes and other ALA publications. It was requested that we have a COWSL banner for the podium.

  • COSWL will have a table at Annual. Sign up will be in blocks, scheduled by email. We should have a COSWL brochure to hand out. The table can be used to ask about issues that affect women in libraries, and provide mini one on one workshops on participatory media.

  • It was again requested that committee members use the blog and keep it active. Each person was asked to post something every other week. The blog is COSWL Quotes at The blog format will be moved to Wordpress.

  • The committee will continue its efforts to build coalitions, particularly with the Feminist Task Force and the Women’s Study Section, as well as working to identify other partners who share similar interests. It was suggested that the committee could work with the Leadership initiative, particularly on specific research projects.

  • Terry Kirk spoke to the group as a substitute for the Executive Board Liaison June Pinell-Stephens who was ill. She stated that she supported the Resolution of Caregivers, and would present it if June was not available. In her report, she covered:

    • the membership changes after the dues increase,

    • requested that everyone respond at the kiosk to the new graphics proposed for the website,

    • mentioned that there was a proposal that people would have to be registered for the conference before they could book a room through ALA,

    • stated that they were not going to do the graduated dues study because of the high cost ($600,000),

    • reiterated that Divisions may speak for their own constituency, but that they can not respond to a formal policy request for ALA as a whole,

    • mentioned that there is some positive movement for school library advocacy,

    • stated that the final report of the Library of Congress working group was due out that day,

    • told the group that the Executive Board was all reading “The 7 measures of success” for discussion at the fall workshop,

    • and reminded the group of the Council on Diversity’s Native American Celebration and the membership meetings during the conference.

  • Lorelle Swader reviewed the committee budget. It included:

    • $1,000 for a table or booth

    • $500 for speaker transportation

    • $500 for speaker honorarium

    • $1,500 for lodging & meals for outside speaker

    • $700 for publications and mailings


COSWL Meeting II
January 15, 2008

Present: Sharyn Ladner, John Moorman, Barbara Pickell, Laruen Pressely, Barbara Spears, Annemarie Roscello, Lorelle Swader, Shinjoung Yeo

Guests:, Jennifer Grady (APA), Andrea L. Foster (Chronicle of Higher Ed reporter), Theresa A. Tobin (FTF)

Study Project on Gender Representation in ALA presentation

  • Theresa Tobin from FTF gave a brief report on the project status. Deloris Fistchung (unclear on spelling) will lead the project. 12 People signed up for the project. Keith Michael Fields, ex. director of ALA, will get us a list of all speakers at ALA in the last 3 years. Hope for info on race & ethnicity, but probably isn't collected. Have results by next midwinter.

  • FTF and Women Make Movies. Theresa Tobin announced that FTF will how one of films from Women Makes Movies at Annual (Saturday night 8-10). COSWL & ALA


  • Jennifer Grady from ALA- APA updated the committee on their salary survey and talked about the possibility of collaborating with COSWL. John Moorman pointed out that APA salary survey doesn’t have enough responses statistical significance and he volunteered to work with APA. Sharyn Ladner mentioned APA survey doesn't have the gender break down.

  • The issue of salary postings in American Libraries (AL) was addressed. AL doesn’t require salaries in job postings because there is a possibility to hurt its revenue on job ads. According to Lorelle Swader, a few years ago a resolution was proposed to require salary postings on job descriptions but council recinded the resolution. Lorelle said there is ALA policy to post salary information but that policy is not enforced. COSWL, FTF, and APA will work with HRDR on enforcement.

  • Ms. Grady mentioned that APA has been providing a workshop on salary negotiations and will have one at this annual as well. Ms. Grady will be the liaison to COSWL and COSWL will have a liaison APA.

Resolution on Caregiver Taskforce

  • June might not be able to present the resolution due to her illness but Diedre Conkling or Thersa Tobin from FTF will present on behalf of COSWL

2008 Annual Program

  • Title: "I will be late again & I need to leave early: Balancing caregiving and work"

  • Program description: "Women comprise 46% if the total U.S. workforce but 61% of caregivers. More than half of working caregivers say they have to go into work late and leave early or take time off during the day to provide care. COSWL is launching a campaign to raise awareness of caregiving issues and their affects on the lives, work, family and health of many librarians. Please join COSWL's 2008 annual program, a panel of scholars, policy-makers, and activists."

Future program

  • Maybe a follow up on caregivers?

  • Maybe something related to salary announcement?

Booth at Annual

  • FTF and WSS might not be able to contribute funds for the booth this year but are interested in future years. Regardless their funding status COSWL booth will accommodate FTF and WSS.

  • Ms. Swader will put a place holder for a table and booth.

  • If the budget allows, COSWL will have a banner for the booth.

  • Request people send photos of where they are and where they’d like to be.

Intro to women’s issues at annual

This year is COSWL’s turn of facilitating intro to women issue at annual. The possible topic can be caregiving issues.

COSWL Publicity: Writing article about COSWL

  • Library Worklife on caregiving (monthly publication)

  • Press release to Lorelle

  • Cognotes: 1st issue by May

  • Contact ASAP at conference and they might come

Possible Survey

  • Denise Davis, bounce any survey off them—committee of research and statistics

  • Survey before annual

  • Could go back to press release

  • Use blog to collect this info, too


  • Blog transferring to wordpress; Lauren is taking the lead on this.


  • COSWL Needs a Wiki for various projects, but could communicate with FTF and WSS to have one wiki for all three areas. Communicate with Diedre Conkling from FTF to initiate.

Emerging Leaders Project

  • COSWL wants to collaborate with EL leaders project. COSWL can offer them a list of possible projects (i.e., image of women in ALA publications). Lauren can be the point person between COSWL and EL projects.