Synopsis | Mrs. Magavero: A History Based On The Life Of An Academic Librarian
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Tags: Synopsis Book Mrs. Magavero: A History Based on the Life of an Academic Librarian J B Fitzpatrick Library Juice Press 9780977861750
Added: 4 months ago
From: Toshi Scier1971
Mrs. Magavero: A History Based on the Life of an Academic Librarian
Jane Brodsky Fitzpatrick (Author)
Paperback: 104 pages
Publisher: Library Juice Press (December 4, 2007)
Filomena Magavero was an academic librarian at SUNY Maritime College in the Bronx, New York, where she contended with a level of sexism that defined professional life for female librarians in the mid 20th century. This book is the story of an "everywoman" of academic libraries and a library history from the perspective of a woman in her position at the time. Included are a very useful literature review on women in mid-20th century librarianship and an oral history interview with Mrs. Magavero.
Mrs. Magavero: A History Based on the Career of an Academic Librarian
Author: Jane Brodsky Fitzpatrick
Published: December 2007
Printed on acid-free paper
Filomena Magavero worked for fifty years at the Stephen B. Luce Library at SUNY Maritime College in the Bronx. For twenty five of those years she was the only professional woman on the campus. Mrs. Magavero: A History Based on the Career of an Academic Librarian describes the career of a strong and dedicated librarian in the mid 20th century through an oral history, and uses her story as a window into what was happening in the library profession in the pre-feminist era. Neither the library profession nor society as a whole, during her first two decades at the college, offered any encouragement or support for equal pay or better status.
A very useful review of the library literature relating to the status of women, including articles, surveys and studies by librarians in journals, books and dissertations, focuses on the years Magavero worked at the Maritime College. A brief history of the Maritime College itself, part of a unique group of institutions, is also included. Through this placement of Filomena Magavero’s oral history in the context of what was occurring in the library profession at the time, the reader will see that women librarians were in fact a "Disadvantaged Majority" through this time period. Even the American Library Association (ALA) did not pay serious attention to women's issues until the mid-1970s. Moreover, there was little or no library literature or research focusing on women in the profession. What was written dealt mainly with public librarians, because women were a minority in academic libraries. Women were more prominent in the lower-status libraries and less likely to advance to positions of leadership in academic (higher-status) libraries.
Examining the library profession from a feminist standpoint, for the period roughly corresponding to Magavero's career, from 1949 to 2003, adds to the history of women librarians in the middle of the twentieth century in the United States. With the Second Wave of feminism came an expansion of research into women's history which produced an entirely new method of discovering and understanding women in history. Major texts which redefined historic methodologies from a feminist standpoint, but the history of women in academic libraries remains hidden in archives and special collections. This oral history should stand as another small step towards further research into the hard to find, but existing, women’s history in libraries in the United States in the 20th century, and hopefully will bring more memoirs and biographies into the public eye.
Jane: My name is Jane Brodsky Fitzpatrick. I'm 57 years old. Today is November 3rd, 2005, and we are at Grand Central Terminal in New York City, and I was a co-worker with Filomena for about ten years.
Fil: And my name is Filomena Magavero. I'm 83 years old. Today is November 3rd, 2005, and I am at Grand Central Terminal with Jane Fitzpatrick who was my co-worker for ten years.
Jane: Fil, librarianship, as we know, is historically a profession dominated by women. Can you tell me when you decided to go to graduate school and particularly to library school?
Fil: Okay, I went to Columbia after World War II. I had always worked in libraries, my high school library, and my college library. But when I went to Hunter to get my Bachelor's Degree, I thought I wanted to be a teacher. When I did teacher training in my last year at Hunter, I was disenchanted. I graduated from Hunter in 1943--World War II--I graduated in January of '43, so World War II had already been going for over a year, and I thought at that time, "I really don't want to go into teaching, I want to do something in the war effort like everybody else was doing at that time," so I looked for a job that would make me happy doing something other than teaching.
And one of my teachers recommended that I try doing some work with translating, because my major in college was Romance Languages, and I was quite proficient in Italian and French, which I was hoping to teach. But I never got there. So I looked for something that would do that for me, and I found out that The Office of Censorship was looking for translators.
What they were doing, they were looking to intercept mail coming out of enemy countries at the time, and reviewing the mail to see whether they could obtain any intelligence in those countries before our troops invaded, or whatever.
So I applied for the job, and it took a little while before the job came through, and in the meantime I looked for my great love [laughs]--I looked for a job at The New York Public Library until I was called by The Office of Censorship. And it didn't take long, maybe, maybe about six months, and I was called by The Office of Censorship, and I worked there until 1945 when the war was over.
And at that time I decided it was--I was pretty sure by then that what I needed to do was to get a degree in a librarianship. So I went to Columbia, and I was admitted, and I started in Columbia, and I guess it must have been September of '45, graduated in June of '46, and my first job as a librarian was at King's Point. And I went there as an assistant cataloger.
King's Point is to this day the Federal Merchant Marine Academy. Fort Schuyler is the state school for merchant marine studies. At King's Point I was not the only woman professional. The head cataloger, who was a Navy--she had been in the Navy, so she had some expertise with naval personnel and she knew how to handle herself quiet well with them. And they respected her very highly. And I was her assistant, and it was fine.
I enjoyed that very much; it was a beginning job. I wasn't being paid much, I think it was something like--oh, I don't know, very little. Because I stayed there for about a year and a half or so, and was offered a job at Hunter College, for what I thought was a monumentally high [laughs] salary, eighteen hundred dollars a year. And the librarian at the time said, "You have to take it, Fil, you can't give that up." And it was head of the catalog department at Hunter College. And even though I was reluctant to leave King's Point, because I enjoyed working there, I liked the atmosphere and everything, and--but I did go to Hunter, and I stayed there about fifteen months because I didn't like the atmosphere [laughs].
But while I was there I met Terry Hoverter. And Terry Hoverter was the librarian at Fort Schuyler, which in those days was called The New York State Nautical School. So he was looking for a cataloger, and he said, "You know I'm going to have a vacancy pretty soon, would you like to consider coming to Fort Schuyler?" and I said, "Yes, I might," and I told him that I had worked at King's Point. And I said it's my understanding that the curriculum is very similar, and I do have cataloging background from King's Point, and also from Hunter. So he said, "Well, why don't you come out for an interview," and so I did that.
I went out there in the middle of a snowstorm [laughs] and I thought, "God, I'm never going to do this everyday," because there was no transportation. Fort Schuyler is on a peninsula of Throg's Neck. Throg's Neck is a section of Bronx, New York, and Fort Schuyler is on a peninsula way out into Long Island Sound, really. And we had just had a terrible snowstorm, and I had to walk from where the bus dropped me off to the fort which is easily about close to a mile walk, and in snowdrifts and all of that, and--but I did it, and you know he was happy to see me [laughs] arrive. And we had a nice meeting, and he said, "You know if you want the job you can have it." He said, "I'm really--I really need somebody, and my cataloger is leaving," so I said, "Yes, I'll take it. I'll take it." So we agreed that I would start on March 1st, 1949, which I did.
Now in those days, Fort Schuyler was really a male bastion, and I was coming on as the only professional woman. They had women as clerks, but I was the only professional woman. And the library was manned by the director, Mr. Hoverter, and I was the only other professional person in the library at the time. And I was interested because I was familiar with the book collection; it was very similar to King's Point, and I felt I could handle it without, you know, too much indoctrination. And I thought, "You know, I'll take it." And the most important thing of course was again the salary was higher than I was getting at Hunter. And all these things, you know, made it easy for me to make a decision. So I took it, and I didn't realize what I was really in for. [laughs] But it was okay; as I said I knew what I was getting into, and so I started on March 1st, 1949.
Now I went in with graduate studies. In those days Columbia was not giving you a Master's for the Library Degree, but still it was a graduate degree, I mean it was beyond your baccalaureate. So, I arrived there, and if you check, and this is something that can be checked very easily, if you check the catalogs of the era you will notice that one-third of the faculty at the time had degrees--not degrees--had had their studies only at the schoolship level.
Maritime College started on a schoolship. It started on the Saint Mary's in 1874. The Saint Mary's was kept until 1908. In 1908 we got the Newport, and then these people that I encountered there--and those were two-year courses on the Saint Mary's and the Newport. They were two-year courses-- they were professional courses in seamanship and marine engineering-- no academic studies at all. Now a lot of the faculty at that time, one-third, which is a considerable number, one-third of the faculty had their education only on the schoolship--two years. They [laughs] were high and mighty people. And here I am, with much more education, and I was hired as a clerk. Now I questioned that of the librarian at the time, you know. I thought, "Why should I be in the clerical line?" He said, "Well, there's nothing I could do, you know this is the way it is," and you know I accepted. As I said the money was better than I had before, so I took it.
But I didn't realize that these people [laughs] would start treating me like a clerk, and always did, and were mean-spirited about it, you know they really were. I had no restroom facilities. I had to walk two blocks outside of my office. In the winter I had to put on a coat, a hat, and boots to go and wash my hands [laughs]. And these men had--what they used to call them 'heads'--in the navy, a bathroom is a 'head.' They had 'heads' one on top of the other on two separate levels in the fort, and I had to walk two blocks outside, you know, and it was a little ridiculous. I thought that was kind of mean that they couldn't see it my way, but they never did. They just you know continued to--you know--one of--I call--I shouldn't even call them professors, they really weren't, [laughs] but they would come over and throw a piece of paper at me and say, "Type this," you know and I would say, "But, I don't type" --you know [laughs], that kind of thing.
And so I was--I coped with it for thirteen years. Believe it or not, for thirteen years I was in a clerical line. And as I said to Jane earlier, "In a way I think I did an injustice to the profession, not only to myself, but to the profession." Because I wasn't an activist. I really didn't know how to handle those guys. You know macho-ism was exuding [laughs] all over the place, and I just didn't know how to handle it. I used to go home and I used to tell my husband [laughs]--I used to cry on his shoulder, and he used to say, "There's nothing I could do for you. If you can't take it, leave, you don't have to stay there." But I said, "They're not going to run me out. I like my job."
I loved my job. My job was so--was just so fantastic. I went there as a cataloger, but, I took over the duties of government documents. I took over the duties of periodicals. I was the first periodicals librarian. I collected archival material, wherever I could find it. I did all of that. It was so--it was so varied, it was so interesting, I just loved it, and I thought, you know, "I'm not going to let these guys run me out of here, just because they want to treat me as clerk." So the way I handled it was to just ignore them; I just totally ignored them. I had nothing to do with them. I didn't have a single friend on the faculty, and I didn't care, it didn't bother me because I was busy with my work, and happy with my work. And that was really--that was for thirteen years.
Then in nineteen--in the 1960s, I think it was, that The Higher Education Act was passed. I'm not sure exactly what it was called, but it was something like that. And things began to change. But I have to say one other thing; librarians all around the university, all around SUNY, didn't have it much better than me. The only difference was that in my case, on top of not getting equal pay [laughs], for [laughs] for what they doing, there was sex discrimination, really. That's what it really amounted to, and they didn't have that. They didn't have that because you know they didn't have the situation that we did, an all-male faculty.
But in the 1960s then, with The Higher Education Act passed, and things began to change. We got a lot; our budget increased by leaps and bounds. We were able to get much more money to do a lot of things that we were doing by hand. We were writing out the [laughs] catalog card--the subject headings on catalog cards, we were writing them in hand, you know, and now all of a sudden you know we could get printed cards, and so you know it was really-- things had--were really changing drastically. And at that time too the librarians all around the university were beginning to feel like maybe they had some clout because there was much more money around, so they formed an association, The State University of New York Library Association, and so of course we were--I felt like I was a charter member of that because I really wanted to get in on something.
And so that began to change things, and I think it was around nineteen-I don't know maybe '61 or '62, we were all told that we could go into a 'professional line,' rather than a clerical line if we wanted to. So again, [laughs] I was called into the office, and the business officer said to me, "You really want to do this? You really want to get out of a clerical line? You have protection as a clerk, you know, civil service protects you," he said, "but if you go into a professional line, you work at the pleasure of the president." And I said, "Well, I don't care. I mean I'm doing my job, I know I'm doing my job, and I'm doing it well, so I'm not afraid of working at the pleasure of the president." So I said, "I'll take my chances." Oh, he was very-- you know he really was trying to discourage me. But I think he was doing it--I think he had my best interest at heart, I really believe that. I think he just was afraid that maybe you know the president [laughs] might get up on the wrong side of the bed one day and decide to get rid of a librarian. But anyway I did go along with it, and I went over to the professional line, and that was the end of my stay as a clerk--well I wasn't a clerk, but in a clerical line.
But just to point out some of the--you know mean spirited things that happened at that time. One time, for instance, I had to sit in for the librarian at a meeting where they were expecting a visitor from Albany, and all the department chairs were supposed to attend that meeting, and [Terry] could not go for some reason--he asked me to go. Well I went to the--I knew I was going to be miserable, but I figured I had to go, he asked me to go, and when I get there, [laughs] they all look at me and one of them finally said, "What are you doing here?" And you know I just ignored him. I knew I was going to say the wrong thing, whatever I was going to say, so you know they're looking at each other kind of laughing, and again he said, "What are you doing here?" So I said, "Well, I'm sitting in for Terry," and that's all. I could barely eat. [laughs] I remember that meal; I'll never forget it. [laughs] I could barely eat. I thought this is hard. I don't know what went on at that meeting. Afterwards, when Terry said, "Well, what happened?" I said, "I don't know. I just don't know what happened. I wasn't listening to a thing." [laughs] I was so miserable.
But that was the kind of thing, you know, I had to put up with. And you know I didn't have-as I said we didn't have restroom facilities at all, and it was only because one day we had--we received a gift--and if anybody knows anything about gifts that you get from somebody's attic or basement, it was moldy, and dusty. And I think I had to put on my hat and my coat to go to the restroom, really just to wash my hands, maybe four or five times that day, because the material I was working with was so dirty. So that by late afternoon, when I made maybe the fourth trip, I just walked into the admiral's office--because in those days the president of the Maritime College was not called 'president,' he was called, 'admiral' all the time. So I walked into the admiral's office, with my black hands, [laughs] and I held them in his face, and I said, "You know I've made this trip here, maybe four times today, just to wash my hands," and he saw I was practically in tears, so he said, "Sit down, Fil."
And so and I explained what happened, I said, "You know we don't have a washroom in the fort for the women." And I said, "that's awful." So he said, "Okay, I'll do something about it." So the next day-- was a man of his word, I must say, that was Admiral Durgin--the next day, he came over, he took me into the men's head, and he said, "What if we covered the urinals?" [laughs] So I said, "I don't care what you do. You could leave them just the way they are, just put a latch on the door, and when I'm in there, I'll lock myself in." So he said, "No, we'll fix it up, and this will be your Ladies Room." And he did. So I finally got a ladies room, after two years, after two years, I finally got a ladies room [laughs] which was good [laughs].
Jane: No, this is fine. This is exactly what I wanted to hear and the stories that we need to know about what it was like to be the only woman on campus, I just...
Fil: No, but one of the main things, of course, about library work back then, when you had a small staff, you know a librarian really was a jack of all trades, I don't mean--I mean professionally. As I said, I did everything there, everything, and I was involved in all of the professional collections that we had. And for--even to the very end--but--and the other thing was that when we had a vacancy, when we finally had a vacancy, in--oh, I forgot one very important thing. I started in March of 1949. In June of 1949 Mr. Hoverter hired a reference librarian, but he was male, so he came in as a professional. He came in as a professional. And I questioned that, I said, "You know, Terry, I was here before him." [laughs.]" He said, "There's nothing I could do about it. There's nothing I could do about it." So, Fred O'Hara, was an officer, got a bigger salary, was part of the 'club,' [laughs] was a 'member of the club,' [laughs], and there I was [laughs]--no but that was interesting.
But, I got off the point. I was going to say something else about the work, but--but no it was--it was a real challenge, but as I said, if I didn't enjoy it as much as I did I never--I never could have done it. And only because I have to give my husband a lot of credit, because you know he was--he was really so much support for me. You know as I said he was the only one I could complain to, and he always said, "You don't have to do it. Get out of there if you can't take it." And you know I--but it was really--it really was you know mean, because it wasn't necessary. I wasn't looking for their jobs, you know, and I just wanted, you know, respect? I hate to use that word. It sounds so old-fashioned, but I wanted to be treated the way I thought I should have been treated. And as I said I had more education than one-third of them at least, but they couldn't accept that, they just couldn't.
And in those days the school was so military. They all wore uniforms, you know, and so rank was so important to them. You know if you were clerk you were a clerk, and that's all there is to it. You could never aspire [laughs] to be anything else. But that was too bad. That was really too bad.
But, you know, that passed. Like everything else, things change. And in 1973 the college changed totally, because up until then even the student body was all male. And in 1973 we finally got our first female cadets, so things relaxed even a lot more at the college. And you know it was really--it's really a different school than it was when I first started there.
The thing about our library--I really ought to say--put in a plug for the library--the library developed over the years one of the finest maritime collections in the country. We had-- that was another thing I enjoy so much--that we had researchers from all over the country corresponding with us, you know looking for information on ships, all kinds of ships, not just ocean-going vessels, but sailing ships as well because our periodicals collection went back to the 1800s, and you know they were so--you know they were so complete that people did--now of course with computers you can get this information anywhere, but it was fun without computers because you know it really brings out the sleuth in you [laughs].
I used to love digging into those things, you know trying to find an elusive fact that they wanted to know about a particular vessel, and we can do it because we had the resources. And after awhile you know people knew that and it was fun to get a phone call asking for me by name, you know because I had done something for somebody else, you know? But it was really great fun. I was sorry when the computers came in. [laughs]
Jane: Now when did they hire other women librarians in the library and what was the ...
Fil: In the library? Alvina came in 1969.
Jane: Oh, and she was the first woman in the library?
Fil: She was the first other one.
Jane: And there was faculty rank already at that point? When did you get faculty rank about?
Fil: I would say in the '60's probably.
Jane: So before then it was an all-male, even in the library, except for you?
Fil: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.
Jane: I know there were not many library directors, because they lasted for a long time, and they were always ...
Fil: They were--well there were a couple of women upstate, there were a couple of women upstate, but those are the big colleges, you know like Binghamton, and Albany, where they had a staff of you know maybe fifty-sixty people. You know their situation was really entirely different than what we experienced in the little places, you know like Fort Schuyler, where you know as I said--you know for a long time I was the only one.
Jane: Now were you head of reference services, did you...?
Fil: Well--all right I was cataloger for thirteen years. Then when one of the reference librarians left--oh, this is another thing [laughs] that's interesting. When the reference librarian left I asked to--I figured, you know, it would be fun to try something else. So I asked if I could be transferred to be a reference librarian. And let me tell you what he did. [laughs] This was not Mr. Hoverter, this was Dr. Whitten. He went around canvassing all the department chairs, "What would you think if we put Fil Magavero at the reference desk." I mean shouldn't she be behind the scenes as a cataloger for the rest of her life? You know, that kind of thing, that kind of stupidity. You know when I think of it now, nobody else would have taken [laughs] it as long as I did, but I was too chicken. [laughs]. But it's fun to look back on it. You know what? I outlived all of them, that's all I can say. [laughs] They're all gone, [laughs] and I was still there. [laughs]
Jane: But you had a very long commute. You never wanted to...
Fil: I did--no...
Jane: ...work in a library closer to home?
Fil: No, and I never got a car either, I never got a car.
Jane: I know that. [laughs]
Fil: No, you know, well I learned what to do on my commute too. I always had something I had--could read, you know, and so no that didn't bother me, I got used to that. But I was always the first one in, I always got there by 7:30, and I was probably always the last one out [laughs]. But, no that was okay, I really loved the job, I really did. And I loved working with the cadets, I really did, I still have people calling me. Just the other day Bill Steffenhagen called me from Oregon, [laughs], and Frank Critelli, from Washington, D.C., calls me.
You know I really--I think I helped a lot of them, because in those early years we didn't have--we never--I don't know whether we have a psychiatrist on campus now, but in those days I was certainly not a psychiatrist, but I was an advisor, let me call it that, I was an advisor. I was the only one--they had no liberty during the week, they only had liberty on weekends and only if they didn't have demerits could they leave on a weekend. So they were really tied to the campus, and if they had problems, whether they were physical, financial, social, whatever, they--I knew so many of them well, they worked in the library, or I knew them because I worked with them on research problems, or you know whatever. So they would come and they would tell me their sad tales, and I tried to help them as much as I could, and that was another thing, that was another one of my jobs [laughs], you know but--which I enjoyed doing if I could help them.
Some of them--you know in those days those first--in the '50s--most of those kids were first in their families to go to college, and most of them were from blue-collar families. And I identified with them, I knew exactly where they were coming from. And I thought, "Boy, they need help, they need help." Even if only to listen to them, you know? And in those days too the school was so regimented, it was so military. You know if you were caught cheating it was an automatic dismissal. If you--you know if you told a lie--you know that kind of thing. And I remember one kid, I'll never forget him, his name was Jim Conklin, and he came to me one day and he said, "I have a serious problem." I said, "What?" He said, "The kid next to me in the last exam was cheating." I said, "Are you sure?" He said, "Oh, I'm sure, and I have proof." I said, "What do you mean you have proof?" So he said, "He copied every word from my paper, and I know that because at one point he asked me what a particular word I had written down was."
So I said, "Well, Jim, if you have proof, you know what you have to do." He said, "I know, but I don't know if I could do it." He had to turn him in, because if you caught somebody cheating and you didn't turn him in, you were considered as much a cheat. And he said, "If I don't turn him in, I'm going to flunk this course, because how can I prove otherwise that I didn't cheat from him." So, I said, "Well, I'm not going to tell you what to do, you know what to do, those are the rules."
But you know it was very difficult, and those were the kinds of things that kids needed, they really did, they couldn't go to a teacher because they knew, you know, that they were going to get their 'F' right off the bat, so they needed somebody to kind of you know lead them along.
And there were so many other problems. This one kid who was married--they couldn't be married at the time, but this one kid, Joe Cook, was married with a couple of kids. "What am I going to do? I have to make some money, and I have to make the cruise, and I have to go on the cruise, so how am I going to make money to support my family?" And I said, "Well, you can't have it both ways. You're going to either have to ask your family to help you out, or you're going to have to fess up, you're going to have to come out and say what happened." [laughs] You know there was so many of these social problems that they went through, and they were all, you know pretty much--I mean in today's world you'd have to say that they were poor kids, poor, you know financially poor. And this was there first shot as trying to do something good for themselves, and some of them were botching it up, and you know what could you do?
Jane: No, I think The Maritime College is still--has a lot of students like that.
Fil: Oh, I'm sure they do, I'm sure they do.
Jane: One more question? Do we have time. Just kind of to sum up, there were like SUNYLA- other library associations, and I know you said you talked to your husband when you were having all these problems, did you ever talk to other librarians in other libraries, or in any of these associations about--
Fil: We never had any travel money. I never knew librarians from other campuses in those days. It wasn't until SUNYLA came out [to the Maritime College campus], that was already, thirteen- fifteen years later that I was able to make contact with librarians from other parts of SUNY.
Jane: And do you have any friends in libraries in other parts of New York City, or--
Fil: Oh, yeah, and most of them were in special libraries though, because those are the libraries I dealt with mostly. Our collection, even though we were a four-year college, we dealt with a great many people in the industry, and so our collection, even though we had all of the--all of the necessary English literature, and American literature texts and all of that, our most important collection was what we had in the maritime industry.
And so most of the libraries I dealt with were special libraries, and they had different problems entirely. They were considered--you know--like secretaries more, I guess, I don't know, I really don't know, but their collections were really so--so specialized. No it was--as I said it wasn't until the '60s that we really began to mingle with other libraries in SUNY, or CUNY even.
Jane: Well, I think whether on purpose, or by circumstance, you were a pioneering woman in that man's world of a maritime college, and I'm just glad that you were able to...
Fil: [Is laughing] That wonderful world--[laughs]
Jane:...to share all those experiences with us, because although a lot of that still exists there, I think things have--you know--changed.
Fil: I don't know, does it still exist to that extent? I mean, I hope not.
Jane: Not to that extent, no. I certainly didn't have that when I was a librarian there.
Fil: No, it was kind of--yeah--it was foolish, it really was foolish when you think of it.
Story Corps staff member: Do you resent it still? Do you have...
Fil: No I don't. No I don't, because I learned to cope with it, I really did. I turned them off completely, I really did. I really ignored them. They ignored me of course [laughs]. That's how it all started, but I learned how to ignore them too, so it really wasn't--no I didn't resent it. I thought to myself I probably never should have done it knowing I couldn't handle it, you know in a more forceful way--I just didn't know how to do it, and I probably shouldn't have gotten into that. As I said in some ways I feel that maybe I did a disservice to the profession, because had I been--you know more of an activist, had I been more forceful, and--not demanding, but in speaking out about what I wanted, it might have made things easier for other librarians, but I didn't do it.
Jane: Well, that was a tough nut to crack at Maritime, you know.
Fil: Well, it was for me, it really was for me. But as I said I didn't--I never felt like I wanted to leave, because I meant--I don't know whether I said that in the piece, but I think I mentioned it to you, earlier, I never felt that I was harassed physically, I never felt that, I never felt that they were going to [laughs] trip me when I was walking along the street or anything like that. But I did feel that they were--that they were mean, that's the word that really comes to mind all the time. I always used to think, "That's so mean," [laughs], but they were mean, they really were, and they didn't have to be, but...
Jane: But you stayed in touch with so many of them anyway, and you were always very dedicated to...
Fil: Not with them. Not with them, because a lot of them are gone now. But some that--I only made two friends on the faculty really, one was Joe Longobardi, and the other was Norm Wennagel. They were the only two that I really became friendly with, but otherwise I never did make friends with any of them, because I just felt--I really didn't think--if they offered me friendship I really didn't think it was sincere, I think they were just--you know--"Well, let's be nice to Fil, because now she's on the faculty," [laughing] kind of thing. I really didn't think it was friendship. But those two guys were really good.
Jane: And did it change at all when they started hiring female faculty as teachers?
Fil: Well, I don't know. Maybe it did. As I said, I never really got close to any of them. It probably did for some of them. And then you know they had the cruises. That was another thing, and in the early days women weren't allowed to make the cruise. By the time women were allowed to make the cruise I was already in my sixties, you know, so I wasn't going to go on a cruise then. And--but all those things you know that you couldn't do, and you could do, and so--Finito?
Jane: Thank you very much, that was a wonderful group of stories that you told us.