Presentation at the GSIC Colloquium

Claude T. Bissell Building.
140 St. George Street, Toronto.

I will be presenting a research paper at the Gender and Sexuality in Information Studies Colloquium at the University of Toronto Faculty of Information (my alma mater) on October 18th, 2014, at 3:15 pm. The one-day conference is sponsored by Library Juice Press.

The title of my essay is “Professionalization and Gender Stratification in Librarianship: An Historical Perspective” and it deals with my favourite subject—history of women in the development of library science education. Here is the abstract: 

Professionalization of librarianship is an historical trend situated in the intersections of gender, prestige, hierarchy, and professional education. Many library leaders sought to professionalize and establish librarianship as a recognized, socially relevant profession by advocating for formal library science education programs in universities in the late 1920s. Their efforts, while advancing librarianship in some aspects, also led to creating a gendered structure in the work of librarians and in marginalizing the scholarly advances of library science faculty.

Essentially, my paper (which is yet to be written) will examine how the notion of professionalism in librarianship has evolved over the years (what did it mean to be a librarian in the 1920s? ’60s?) and its implications for the education and the professional standing of librarians.  

IFLA History of Librarianship Conference

I’m pleased to announce that my paper entitled “Early History of Library Science Education in the Province of Ontario, Canada” was recently accepted as an entry to the IFLA conference, “History of Librarianship.” It will take place on August 25th and 26th, 2014, in Lyon, France. I will be presenting on August 26th. 

The presentation consists of a historical and feminist analysis of the forces and ideals that shaped the education for librarianship in the province between 1911 and 1964. It is also an attempt to enrich the existing scholarship on the history of women’s contributions to the theoretical and intellectual basis of our profession. In particular, I will describe the achievements of Dr. Winifred Barnstead (1884–1985) and Dr. Bertha Bassam (1896–1989), the first two directors of the University of Toronto Library School.

The presentation is based on a research project that was conducted while I was a graduate student of Library and Information Science at the Faculty of Information in the winter semester of 2012.

University of Toronto Schools, 1920.
Beginning in 1928, the building housed the University of Toronto Library School, the first academic institution dedicated to the training of librarians in Ontario.
Wikimedia Commons.