In carefully selected case studies of white and Black middle-class American women, Pawley, a professor emerita at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Information School, provides a detailed exploration of the “largely untold history” of women who used their involvement in print-centered organizations to reshape their lives beyond the unpaid domestic sphere (1). The first three chapters of the book trace the histories of primarily domestic women who held active roles in institutions of print culture such as journalism and radio broadcasting while the last three focus on the lives of women whose full-time employment helped to shape the developing public library system. While Pawley’s main argument is that involvement in print-centered organizations provided these women with opportunities to gain agency, she simultaneously delineates the racial and gender inequality embedded in and replicated by these structures. Through a meticulous examination of institutional records and official documents, Pawley’s book is a valuable addition to the historiography of print culture and library and information studies.

About Author

Madelaine Russell (madelaine.russell@mail.utoronto.ca) is a Master of Information candidate at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Science (Honours) from Lakehead University in Interdisciplinary Studies as well as a Bachelor of Education from Lakehead University. Madelaine has worked as a teacher and teacher librarian at the elementary and secondary levels and as a public library children’s programmer. Her areas of research include gendered information behaviour and equitable access to information.

Recommended Citation

Russell, M. (2024). Book review: Organizing Women: Home, Work, and the Institutional Infrastructure of Print in Twentieth-Century America, Christine Pawley. School of Information Student Research Journal, 14(1). Retrieved from https://scholarworks.sjsu.edu/ischoolsrj/vol14/iss1/4