Celebrate Women’s History Month at the Library


By Lisa Pavlock, Fauquier Public Library

The origins of Women’s History Month can be traced back to 1978’s “Women’s History Day” in Sonoma County, California.  A few years later, Congress passed a law authorizing the week of March 7 Women’s History Week.  In 1987, the entire month of March was designated Women’s History Month – a time to celebrate the contributions women have made to the United States and their achievements throughout the course of American history.

There are many ways to observe Women’s History Month, like watching movies about women and their accomplishments or reading books with strong female characters.  Make your local library your first stop as you celebrate Women’s History Month.

Explore the History of Women’s Rights
Whether researching for a school paper or broadening your understanding of the pivotal role women have played in history, the online tools Biography in Context and Gale in Context | Elementary provide biographical information on hundreds of notable women.

Did you know that First Lady Abigail Adams was an early proponent of equal education for women? Or that the atmospheric warming effect of greenhouse gases was first described by scientist, inventor and women’s rights activist Eunice Foote over 150 years ago?  Explore Biography in Context to learn about these and hundreds of other women who made significant contributions to American life.

Elementary-age children can explore the kid-friendly Gale in Context database, filled with news articles, pictures and videos. A quick search for “women’s rights” will return pictures, biographies and 100’s of news, book and magazine articles.

Find both Biography in Context and Gale in Context | Elementary at https://fauquierlibrary.org/research/.

Learn About Women Who Changed History
For centuries, women have risked their lives to challenge injustices.  Universal Class looks at the lives of 20 women over four centuries who worked to correct the wrongs of an imperfect society.  “Twenty Women Who Changed American History” is just one of over 500 online continuing education courses available with your library card from Universal Class. Explore them all under “learn” at https://fauquierlibrary.org/digital/.

Watch Movies About Women in History
Love a good movie? Grab the popcorn and pop in one of four DVDs from the Movie Marathon: Extraordinary Women and watch the stories of exceptional women unfold.  Learn about Harriet Tubman’s work on the Underground Railroad in Harriet or the early life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg in On the Basis of Sex.  The kit also includes Hidden Figures and Jackie.  Search for “movie marathon” in the library’s catalog.

Stream About Women and Society
With over 30,000 selections to choose from, Kanopy is sure to have something for just about everyone.  This month, explore the rich selection of documentaries about women and society covering everything from female jazz and big band instrumentalists to the work of Rachel Carson, who launched the modern environmental movement. Start watching at https://fauquierlibrary.kanopy.com/.

Read About Extraordinary Women
The best historical fiction novels envelop readers in unforgettable time capsules. Whether focused on an actual person of historical interest or on a fictional character through a tumultuous time in history, historical fiction is another way to observe Women’s History Month. Here are just some of some new and recently published historical fiction novels that will introduce you to extraordinary women:

Coming of Age Stories

Spies & Servicewomen

Entertainers & Artists

Stop by the nearest Fauquier Public Library to explore these and the many other available resources, including about 50 online databases. Most are available 24/7 and all are free with a valid Fauquier Public Library card. Don’t have a library card? Learn how to apply at https://bit.ly/fplapplyonline.

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