The Round Table on Women's Issues snapshot project: the status of women in libraries internationally

Pat Gannon-Leary, Sandra Parker

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This project was commissioned by the Round Table on Women's Issues (RTWI) at the 66th IFLA conference. The Round Table on Women's Issues is a sub-division of IFLA which concerns itself extensively with questions and issues that have special relevance for women in the library profession and in the user community. Further it develops programmes designed to enhance the opportunities and the image of these two groups of women. The Round Table on Women's Issues promotes the collection, research, publication and dissemination of information on the status of women in librarianship. Another concern is to identify discrimination in all forms, and disparities in resources, programmes, and opportunities relating to women in librarianship. At the 66th Conference, members of the Round Table discussed the Association of Research Libraries' Annual Salary Survey, 1999-2000 and noted that the average salary for female directors (USD 132,000) in United States university libraries was slightly higher than the average salary of male directors (USD 125,000) (pp. 16-18). There is now the highest number of women in top administrative positions than there has been before: 54 women out of a total of 111 directorships. This was of course the good news.The bad news was that the overall salary for women in research and academic libraries in the USA was still only 94 percent that of men. During the 19 years that statistics have been gathered women have been gradually closing the earnings gap, as in 1980 they earned only 87 percent, but it is a slow process. Overall, men represent only 35 percent of the workforce among professional librarians. The Round Table felt it would be interesting to discover how this compared with salaries in other countries and other sectors. This could form the basis for some comparative statistics if other members of the group could follow up. Although aware that delegates at IFLA conferences were not representative of the profession as a whole, it was felt that it might be possible to conduct a 'snapshot' project of delegates, women officers and committee members at IFLA's 67th conference to ascertain the status of women librarians internationally. Sandra Parker and Pat Gannon-Leary from the Information Management Research Institute, University of Northumbria School of Information Studies, obtained an IFLA small grant to undertake this work and to report on findings at the 68th IFLA conference.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-23
JournalIFLA Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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