“Nevertheless, She Persisted: Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination Against Women” is the 2018 Theme for National Women’s History Month. Sponsored by the National Women’s History Project, 15 women will be honored throughout the year for their persistence and the impact it has made on our history’s present and future. In the library, we also have an opportunity to spotlight women in our own community and promote materials and resources that inform—not just our girls—but everyone about #girlpower. What can you do to make a difference? Here are four ways to get you started.
Evaluate your collection. When you pull books for your Women’s History Month display, how many stories are present day? Take your diversity temperature. What’s the balance of race, culture, ethnicity, and ability in your collection? Think back to last month’s Black History display. How did women fare in your promotion? Consider the number of female versus male authors and illustrators in your purchase orders. Order selections from the Amelia Bloomer Project.
Evaluate your programming. Who are the people in your neighborhood? Are you inviting successful women of all backgrounds and occupations to speak or read at your library? Who are the women or girls you can invite to teach about jobs related to your makerspace? (And think beyond the grandma who knits.) Start a Girls Who Code program. Do you have a boys’ reading club, but not a girls’ reading club? When you do storytime, how often do you feature biographies of strong women? Are you working with your counselors to provide support for girls in need?
Utilize technology. Create resource lists of books with strong female characters. Maintain a Pinterest board of #ShePersisted or #WomenRock. Include books and current event articles about women who persisted. Create infopics using Adobe Spark with pictures of women and girls featuring a quote. Be sure to use local girls and not just celebrities. Make video interviews of local female heroes and share them on your news program. Check out the #GirlUp app, sponsored by the United Nations Foundation.
Purchase and promote awesome new books. This year’s new titles include a picture book about Harper Lee and how her childhood influenced her writing. Do your kids know that the first female presidential candidate ran in 1884? Find out about her in A Lady Has the Floor: Belva Lockwood Speaks Out for Women’s Rights by Kate Hannigan and illustrated by Alison Jay. Long before Melba Pattillo Beals was one of the Little Rock Nine, she questioned the rules of the Jim Crow South. You can read her story this year. Here are some other titles to put in your JLG Shopping Cart. You can also find past selections in our Women’s History themed list.
From the Spring 2018 Selections
Beals, Melba Pattillo. March Forward, Girl: From Young Warrior to Little Rock Nine. illustrated by Frank Morrison. 224p. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2018. ISBN 9781328882127. JLG Category: Biography Middle Grades 5-8.
Conkling, Winifred. Votes for Women!: American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot. 240p. Algonquin. 2018. ISBN 9781616207342. JLG Category: History High: Grades 10 & Up.
Grandin, Temple. Calling All Minds: How to Think and Create Like an Inventor. 240p. Philomel. 2018. ISBN 9781524738204. JLG Category: Nonfiction Middle Grades 5-8.
Hegedus, Bethany. Alabama Spitfire: The Story of Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird. illustrated by Erin McGuire. 40p. Balzer + Bray. 2018. ISBN 9780062456700. JLG Category: Biography Elementary Grades 2-6.
Saedi Sara. Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card. 288p. Knopf. 2018. ISBN 9781524717803. JLG Category: Nonfiction High Plus Grades 9 & Up.
Yousafzai, Malala. Malala’s Magic Pencil. illustrated by Kerascoët.48p. Little, Brown. 2018. ISBN 9780316319577. JLG Category: Nonfiction Early Elementary Plus Grades K-2.