Melvile Dewey: The Role Of Women In Public Library

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Long before Melvile Dewey came around and implemented his decimal system, personal library collections typically were curated and and managed to some degree by men. Considering that the form of public libraries that gave rise to the ones we have today, did not come into existence until the mid to late 19th century, it is surprising that women were allowed into these institutions. However, even from the birth of the field of librarianship, women had to assert their right to be there. In order to turn the spotlight and focus on women’s achievements in the library field, I will be targeting women from different time periods. These women include Mary Cutler Fairchild, Regina Andrews, Dorothy Porter Wesley, Henriette Avram, Marcia Bates, Carla Hayden. …show more content…
Later in her career, she would become the first African-American to head a public library in New York City. There, Regina flourished in her new social circles as Regina and her flatmates hosted salons for influential writers and thinkers from the African-American community in the city. Some notable people include Zora Neal Hurston, Langston Hughes and W.E.B. Du Bois and as a result, the library at 135th Street flourished as well. The library not only hosted workspace for the community but also boosted “its collection of books and artifacts relating to the study of black culture, a collection that would provide a lasting connection between a people and their history” (Anderson, …show more content…
She later applied and was hired for the Office of Information Systems Specialist. She was tasked to “analyze cataloging data for computer processing which eventually resulted in the design of the MARC format” (Pattie, 1998). MARC stands for Machine Readable Cataloging Format and is digital format for cataloging records using specific sets of tags, indicators, and subfields. While there has been 21 different updates to the MARC Format, Avram has been there all the way to ensure it’s complex success. She worked with the ALA to see that it was not only a national standard, but also an international standard so that libraries around the globe would be able to communicate on a formatting level. Regardless of her degrees earned, Avram achieved becoming a “towering figure in library automation and bibliographic control” (Rather & Wiggins,

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