Librarianship in California: the Irrepressible Expansionists

Between 1880 and 1920 middle-class women chose to enter the workforce as teachers, nurses, social workers, and librarians. In effect, these professions became feminized, which on one hand provided women with untold opportunities to influence policy and shape the early development of these occupations. On the other hand, these pioneering professionals, limited by their gender and social constructions of femininity, confronted the sexual double standard head on; few women reached the top of their fields as administrators, and all women faced wage inequities.

There are numerous studies that explore the role of women in the fields of social work, nursing, and education, and though there are a growing number of studies on librarianship, library women have been largely overlooked by women historians and remain to be ...

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