This book analyzes how two social forces-upheaval in the economy and the emergence of the women's movement-acted together to provide a cultural context in which re-entry into the work force became a significant stage in the work process for many women and drastically altered women's work and family roles. Re-entry into the work force emerged as a new pattern of labor force participation for women in the 1950s and has continued as a significant pattern into the 1980s. It provides a detailed account and statistical analysis of the results of Dickson's 1983 survey of women librarians who tried to re-enter librarianship from 1965 to 1983. The survey sought to explore, in detail: (1) the characteristics of job seeking re-entry librarians 1965-1983; (2) reasons for seeking re-entry; (3) the process of job finding; (4) what factors contributed to employment success or failure; (5) the extent to which there were continuities and changes in the re-entry situation during the period 1965 through 1983; and (6) the extent to which the two classes selected for study, the classes of 1962 and 1972, were similar or different in re-entry efforts, success or failure. Among the most significant findings were that 16 percent of the survey population attempted re-entry, and of those only 67 percent were successful and that even those who were successful experienced many difficulties.
Katherine Murphy Dickson is Reference Librarian in Nimitz Library at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.