[Libs-Or] Women of Library History - Laura Howey

Diedre Conkling diedre08 at gmail.com
Sun Mar 1 22:41:48 PST 2015

Women of Library History:

Photo from Contributions to the Historical Society of Montana with Its
Transactions, Officers, and Members, vol. 6. Helena: Independent Publishing
Company, 1907

*Martha Kohl at the Montana Historical Society passed along this post from
their blog, Women’s History Matters <http://montanawomenshistory.org/>. The
article was written by independent historian Annie Hanshaw and details
Howey’s rise to the position of head librarian of the Historical and
Miscellaneous Department of the Montana State Library—and her termination
in an astonishing display of sexism and injustice*:

But Howey’s tenure as head librarian ended abruptly in 1907 when Montana’s
attorney general, Albert Galen, published an opinion finding that a woman
could not serve in that position because women did not have the right to
vote. He argued, “It being apparent that the Librarian of the Historical
Library of the State is a public officer, it necessarily follows that, in
order for a person to be eligible to hold such office, he must be qualified
to vote at general elections and for state officers in this State, as
provided by Section 11, Article IX, of the State Constitution.”

Howey was a prominent and popular figure, and Galen’s opinion drew
immediate criticism. The Sheridan Enterprise advised Galen to “Leave Mrs.
Howey alone and get busy on your own affairs.” And the Joliet Journal
jokingly suggested that Howey should replace Galen: “From our observation,
Montana would now be much better equipped in her law department had she
elected a woman like Mrs. Howie[sic] to the office of attorney general.”
[…] Even as the board of trustees chose her replacement, they adopted a
resolution stating their regret that they were legally prevented from
rehiring Mrs. Howey and “their high appreciation of the eminent services
rendered by Mrs. Howey as Librarian.”

Read the entire article at *Women’s History Matters*

How to make a submission:

*Diedre Conkling*

*Lincoln County Library DistrictP.O. Box 2027Newport, OR 97365Phone & Fax:
541-265-3066Work email**: **diedre at lincolncolibrarydist.org*
<diedre at lincolncolibrarydist.org>
*Home email: **diedre08 at gmail.com* <diedre08 at gmail.com>

 “If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change
your attitude.”―Maya Angelou
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