Tag Archives: women’s history

March is Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month. With all that is happening, this celebration was neglected. But I don’t think it should be forgotten. Since the library is closed, there’s no access to the book display celebrating the month. So, look at some of these resources from the comfort of home.

The designation of a month to acknowledge women was a long road: from labor movements, to local celebrations, to presidential proclamations.

In February 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued the first Presidential Proclamation declaring the Week of March 8th, 1980 as National Women’s History Week:

“From the first settlers who came to our shores, from the first American Indian families who befriended them, men and women have worked together to build this nation. Too often the women were unsung and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed. But the achievements, leadership, courage, strength and love of the women who built America was as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well.

As Dr. Gerda Lerner has noted, ‘Women’s History is Women’s Right.’– It is an essential and indispensable heritage from which we can draw pride, comfort, courage, and long-range vision. I ask my fellow Americans to recognize this heritage with appropriate activities during National Women’s History Week, March 2-8, 1980. I urge libraries, schools, and community organizations to focus their observances on the leaders who struggled for equality – – Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Lucy Stone, Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Harriet Tubman, and Alice Paul. Understanding the true history of our country will help us to comprehend the need for full equality under the law for all our people.”

Finally, in 1987, March was designated as Women’s History Month.

This year’s theme marked the struggle for the right to vote and the passage of the amendment 100 years ago. Did you know that women first got the right to vote in the Wyoming Territory in 1869?

Gaining the right to vote was a long struggle. The movement was linked to the anti-slavery movement of the early 1800s. Many abolitionists were women who had no voice in government and when they tried to express their opinions, they were ignored. The idea of women’s suffrage was a controversial topic at the Seneca Falls convention (1848). Some participants argued that the condition of society and the state of their immediate communities were of equal concern to women as to as men. And that women should have an equal say in how such matters were governed.

The Library of Congress has some of its exhibits available online. Take a look at “Rosa Parks In Her Own Words” to see her struggle for Civil and Women’s rights.

The New York Historical Society’s “Women and the American Story”  is an ongoing project spotlighting women’s contributions which you can discover by theme or time period. The Smithsonian Institution’s  online contribution to the topic is “Because of Her Story”. You can peruse the collections by themes such as Work, Health & Wellness and Activism. There are videos to complement some of the artifacts. The Smithsonian also offers some musical aspects of the movement for women’s rights.

The Music Division of The Library of Congress has selections of sheet music about the women’s suffrage movement covering the years 1838-1923. If you have the time, try them out on your piano or other musical instruments!


Time magazine offers brief biographies of some remarkable women who we should, but might not, know. Time also presents possible covers of overlooked women had might have been selected as “Person of the Year”.

We all have more time inside. Check out some of these sites. And when the library reopens, we will help you find the perfect book to expand your knowledge or satisfy your curiosity.

-posted by Brenda, Reference Services

Our March Displays

Award Winners is the subject of our first display on the main floor. It showcases winners of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Nobel Prize for Literature, and the Man Booker Prize. You may have already read some of these books, but there are some great ones you might have missed.


March is Women’s History Month and the theme of our second main floor display. Read about the women’s movement and their struggle for their place in society, the right to vote and equal employment opportunities. The display includes biographies of famous women, such as Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Malala Yousafzai, Indira Gandhi, Rosa Parks, Condoleezza Rice, Sandra Day O’Connor, Gloria Steinem, Eleanor Roosevelt and others.




The subjects of our 2 mini displays* are:

The Art of the Novella- A selection of classic novellas from Melville House publishing.

Robert Goddard-  Books from the 2019 CWA Diamond Dagger Award winner, the highest honor in British crime writing.

*mini-displays are subject to change during the month

On the third floor, our health librarian’s display is National Nutrition Month. The display has books covering healthy eating topics, such as how to stay healthy, what foods to avoid for various illnesses, and nutritional guides for children. The display also includes lots of handouts on eating and snacking for wellness.

Dreams of Far Away Places, also a display on the third floor, is for those who suffer from wanderlust. Learn about some exotic travel destinations and get some ideas for a trip or a travel adventure, or you may just want to read and be entertained by other people’s tales of travel.

-posted by Betty, Reference Services

Women’s History Month

You’ve probably heard of Abigail Adams, Joan of Arc, and Clara Barton but what about Margaret Bayard Smith, Beatrice of Sicily and Varina Howell Davis?*

There is a book display on the library’s third floor celebrating Women’s History Month. Not all of the books deal with women who are well known. Some were powerful and influential in their communities but others were not.  Many of them never made the history books. Marjorie and Ben Lightman’s Biographical Dictionary of Ancient Greek and Roman Women takes you back to ancient history. Look at the wonderful pictures of pioneer women in Women of the West by Cathy Luchetti. Another collection of stories about the lives and role of American women is Donna Lucey’s I Dwell in Possibility: Women Build a Nation 1600-1920 and Gail CollinsAmerica’s Women looks at the ordinary lives of ordinary women who immigrated here as early settlers, fought for suffrage,  participated in the civil rights movement and joined  the feminist revolution .  If you like American history and politics read Cokie Roberts’ Founding Mothers and Bonnie Angelo’s First Mothers.   Joan Druett’s Hen Frigate introduces women who sailed with their sea captain husbands. Elizabeth Leonard’s All the Daring of the Soldier profiles some of the brave women who were spies or who disguised themselves as men so they could fight in the Civil War. Some American women made their mark overseas; for example, the three Jerome sisters married into British aristocracy (Elisabeth Kehoe’s The Titled Americans).

*Do you want some information about the women mentioned in the first paragraph? Margaret Bayard Smith (left) was a well known hostess and writer in the early days of Washington DC; she commented on Presidents from Jefferson to Madison to Jackson (Catherine Allgor’s Parlor Politics). Beatrice of Sicily (center) and her sisters were all Queen Consorts in the 13th century– Marguerite in France, Eleanor of England and Sanchia of the Romans. I read about their lives and accomplishments in Nancy Goldstone’s Four Queens (on my Kindle!). The life of Varina Howell Davis (right), the granddaughter of the revolutionary war governor of New Jersey and the wife of the president of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, is detailed in Carol Berkin’s Civil War Wives.

– posted by Brenda, Reference Services