ALA Council Adopts Resolution Supporting Working Women as Caregivers

On January 16, 2008, at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, PA, ALA Council adopted ALA CD#41, Resolution in Support of Women as Caregivers in the Workforce, which read: “That the American Library Association recognizes the responsibility of libraries to help all employees that are family caregivers; and that the American Library Association will form a task force to study and recommend to the Council of the American Library Association specific programs that libraries can use to support their employees who are family caregivers.”

Resolution in Support of Women as Caregivers in the Workforce

WHEREAS, An informal or family caregiver is anyone who provides unpaid assistance to someone else (spouse, child, other relative, non-relative) who is, in some degree, incapacitated or needs help; and

WHEREAS, Women are more likely to be caregivers and to provide more hours of care, to provide more care over longer periods, and to care for more than one person; and

WHEREAS, Women comprise 46% if the total U.S. workforce but 61% of caregivers; and

WHEREAS, 80.9% of ALA members are women; and

WHEREAS, Most caregivers are employed; and

WHEREAS, Significant numbers of women caregivers have decreases in work hours, change from full- to part-time employment, and quit or retire early with long-term effects from wage reductions, and lost retirement benefits, training/promotion/assignment opportunities, and stress-related health problems; and

WHEREAS, Working women caregivers may suffer economic hardships due to caregiving, being 2.5 times more likely to live in poverty when they become elderly than women who had never been caregivers; and

WHEREAS, Caregivers have significant impacts to physical health compared to non-caregivers, such as increased risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, immune system compromise, and death; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the American Library Association recognizes the responsibility of libraries to help all employees that are family caregivers; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That the American Library Association will form a task force to study and recommend to the Council of the American Library Association specific programs that libraries can use to support their employees who are family caregivers.