Dissertation Information for Carole Elizabeth Nowicke
- Carole Elizabeth Nowicke
- Library and Information Science
- Indiana University (USA) (1998)
- Shirley A. Fitzgibbons
- Thomas E. Nisonger
- Wendy Gamber
- Frederick J. Stielow
- Verna Leah Pungitore
MPACT Status: Fully Complete
Title: Not built by Jack--but by you and me: The Schoolcraft Ladies' Library Association, 1879-1920. A study of women's reading culture in rural southwestern Michigan
Abstract: The Schoolcraft Ladies' Library Association was founded in 1879 and is still in operation. Library and literary associations founded by women flourished in the late 19th century and persisted, particularly in Michigan, long after the need for access to reading materials should have been filled by public libraries. Literary clubs functioned as a source of continuing education for women at a time when higher education was not readily available. Ladies' library associations often served their communities as circulating libraries, and some provided the core collections of fledgling public libraries which were often started by these same women's groups.
This case study, using historical methodology describes the early years of the association, the reading habits of members, and the content of the book collection. Research into demographic characteristics of the membership demonstrates that the group included women of widely differing social status, ages, and educational backgrounds. Reading diaries kept by members of the group show personal reading habits ranged from popular fiction to history, biography, the sciences, and language study. Meeting programs and minutes of the L.L.A. demonstrate the variety of study programs undertaken by the association and a change from multi-year study of one subject in 1879 to yearly topics from the late 1880's through the 1920's.
For the early part of their history the L.L.A. rented space, in later years they met in homes of various members, and kept their growing book collection in one members' house, and in 1896 the Ladies' Library Association built a brick library and meeting place.
The study explores the relationship of the association to its members and its community within the framework of settling the frontier, feminization of culture and education for women, the development of libraries in Michigan, and small town culture. The study addresses a gap in the literature of libraries in America, that of the role of social and subscription libraries, particularly in small communities, and of the reading habits and cultural and self-education practices of the women who belonged to them.
MPACT Scores for Carole Elizabeth Nowicke
A = 0
C = 0
A+C = 0
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2008-01-31 06:08:07
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