Cultural Crusaders: Women Librarians in the American West, 1900-1917
"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 ... Show synopsis "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.