Mike Winter writes \"Most of us learned in library school, or on our own, that librarianship became \"feminized\" in the US in the latter part of the 19th and the early part of the 20th centuries.The sources are writers like Dee Garrison, who wrote Apostles of Culture (1979) but there are many others.
I wonder if in fact this long-established trend is now in the process of being reversed. In a recent book by Christine Williams (Still a Man\'s World), the numbers from the census bureau suggest that this trend probably peaked about 1930 and has been falling slowly since then. According to these figures librarianship went from being about 90% male, in the period before 1870, to being about 90% female, in the period ending about 1930. But since that time, the mix has been shifting, and it seems like at present the only subfields where this historic trend still holds is in public and school librarianship.
If this is accurate (and partly this depends on whether or not the census numbers are valid)I suspect it is because in the postwar period a number of subfields developed more rapidly than the earlier ones (academic, research, and special librarianship, for example) where there are far more males.
But maybe even more important than this historic shift of numbers, if that is what it is, is a cultural shift in which librarianship is being increasingly defined in terms much more favorable to males than to females. This is very clear from Williams\' book, where it is very convincingly argued that being male is a great advantage in librarianship and other female-intensive occupations. Much of this has to do with automation, networking, and other male-dominated technical fields. What do others think about this?\"