Thursday, August 30, 2018

“Women, Public Libraries, and Library Unions: The Formative Years.”

Milden, James W. (1977) “Women, Public Libraries, and Library Unions: The Formative Years.”The Journal of Library History, 12(2), 150–158.

 The debate over librarian membership in labor unions, although a thorny issue in contemporary librarianship, is scarcely new in library history. Early attempts to unionize public libraries began about 1917, with union activity at the Library of Congress begin ning three years earlier. Despite the paucity of library unions during those formative years and the absence of widespread support among librarians, the ongoing dialogue between pro- and anti-union sympathizers is significant, not only as a background for under standing current attempts at library unionism, but for discerning librarians' conceptions of themselves, their social role, and their growing concern for the meaning of professionalism. So, too, the story of early library unionism is an important and unwritten chapter in the history of female librarianship.1

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