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Several studies on the depiction of gender roles in high tech product advertisements have concluded that women frequently are portrayed as passive users of technology while men are shown as masters of technological innovations. I examined ten issues from each of four library and information science trade magazines published in 2007-2008 to discover if advertisements for high tech products in them contain gender role stereotypes or if they more accurately reflect the use of technology by women librarians. Two titles – Library Journal and American Libraries – are more traditional library magazines, while Computers in Libraries and Online are newer publications that focus on the use of technologies in libraries and information science. A content analysis of the technology product advertisements revealed that women and men appeared in the ads with similar frequency and that both genders are portrayed as working with technology at comparable rates. The presentation included a description of the methodology and results, a selection of sample advertisements, and a discussion of the implications and questions raised by the study.


Presented at the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters Annual Conference, March 20, 2009 at Wayne State University.