Debra Orado, Witherle Memorial Children’s Librarian
Awareness months. Did you know that was a term? Each month of our calendar year is dedicated to either celebrating contributions or bringing an issue to light. March is Women’s History Month. This year it celebrates all the women who have told their stories. It recognizes “women, past and present, who have been active in all forms of media and storytelling including print, radio, TV, stage, screen, blogs, podcasts, news, and social media.”
March has been designated as National Women’s History Month by a presidential proclamation. What started as a week of observance put in place by President Jimmy Carter in 1980 became a month when congress in March of 1987 passed Public Law 100-9, forever making March Women’s History Month.
What I find most interesting about this movement is that its roots are in the education sector. Women’s history was virtually an unknown topic in the K-12 curriculum or in general public consciousness for that matter. To address this situation, the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County (California) Commission on the Status of Women initiated a “Women’s History Week” celebration for 1978. Over one-hundred community women participated by doing special presentations in classrooms throughout the country and an annual “Real Woman” Essay Contest drew hundreds of entries. The finale for the week was a celebratory parade and program held in the center of downtown Santa Rosa, California. The idea caught on and soon organizations, school districts, and community organizations all around the country decided to celebrate and honor the achievement of women in our country. And the rest I guess you could say is herstory!
Take some time this March to honor one of the brave women who came before. Witherle Library’s collection of books on women and their accomplishments is vast. To help you browse through the books available to borrow, go to the library’s Women’s History Month virtual bookshelf available on our website. If you have a favorite book that we do not have in our collection, please do not hesitate to share it with us.