This article examines the backgrounds, education, and careers of the first group of students in San José State University’s School of Library and Information Science. It finds that the 1928-1929 cohort were typical of the students attending teacher’s colleges in the early 1900s and represented the first generation of women pursuing higher education and professional careers following the passage of the 19th amendment in 1920. The study also explores the challenges working women faced during the 1930s, particularly the Great Depression’s impact California librarians.

About Author

Dr. Debra Hansen is a professor at San Jose State University's School of Library and Information Science. She currently teaches courses in the history of books and libraries, historical research methods, and information and society. She earned an MLIS from UCLA and a doctorate from the University of California, Irvine, where she specialized in 19th century American social and women's history.