Cultural Crusaders: Women Librarians in the American West, 1900-1917

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9780826315304: Cultural Crusaders: Women Librarians in the American West, 1900-1917
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"I have found just the work for me, for I love it more all the time." Thus wrote one of several hundred professionally trained women who carried the gospel of books and libraries throughout the West during the early twentieth century. Pioneers in a profession, they regarded the West as a fertile field for their cultural crusade which included establishing traveling libraries in rural areas, participating in community-building activities, and professionalizing existing public and academic libraries and as a place where they could develop as independent women.
Passet uses extensive archival material to provide a picture of the women librarians' experiences. She explores their education, family relationships, degree of autonomy, and reactions to the West. Her account is enlivened throughout by the words of the women themselves. It is further enriched by brief biographies of four women exemplifying the combination of personal and professional goals that motivated many women librarians to move west.

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About the Author:

Joanne E. Passet is associate professor at Indiana University in Library and Information Science, American Studies, Education, History, and Women's Studies.

From Library Journal:

Passet (library and information science, Indiana Univ.-Bloomington) explores the missionary spirit and zeal of women librarians in the American West. Inspired by the goals of Progressive-era reforms, educated, middle-class women, went West to organize, catalog, and distribute books and often to create libraries. Cultivating a library spirit and a love for books, they brought culture to sparsely populated regions. Passet describes the golden age of library development and focuses her study on the women's impressions of the West and their changing personal and professional aspirations. Primary sources include letters, alumni files, and institutional archives; they offer a refreshing look at women in the West and their roles in community building. Recommended for general readers and libraries with women's studies collections and Western Americana collections.
Patricia A. Owens, Wabash Valley Coll., Mt. Carmel, Ill.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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