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April 1, 2014 > National WomenÕs History Month at the Alameda County Library

National WomenÕs History Month at the Alameda County Library

Did you know that March is National WomenÕs History Month?

WomenÕs History Month had its origins as a national celebration in 1981 when Congress passed Pub. L. 97-28 which authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as ÒWomenÕs History Week." In 1987 after being petitioned by the National WomenÕs History Project, Congress passed Pub. L. 100-9 which designated the month of March 1987 as ÒWomenÕs History Month." Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the President to proclaim March of each year as WomenÕs History Month. Since 1995, Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama have issued a series of annual proclamations designating the month of March as ÒWomenÕs History Month.Ó

This yearÕs theme is: Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment. The Alameda County Library has many books and movies by and about women with these qualities.

In our teen collection you will find some amazing stories, like A Step From Heaven by An Na.

This is the story of Young Ju, a young Korean girl who we see grow from a toddler in Korea to a high-school graduate in California. It was a very personal story for Na, who was born in Korea and grew up in San Diego. A Step From Heaven was her first novel and it won the 2002 Michael L. Printz Award from the Young Adult Library Services Association of the American Library Association for excellence in literature for young adults.

"Both intimate and universal, this powerful story of Young Ju's coming of age is rooted in the conflict between her traditional Korean immigrant family and the need to find her place in the United States," said Judith A. Druse, chair of the 2002 Printz Award Selection Committee. "Each chapter is a stirring story, and together these lyrical vignettes create a heartfelt account of every teen's struggle between family and self."

In the childrenÕs room you can find wonderful biographies and non-fiction sharing untold stories of women, such as Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream by Tanya Lee Stone.

From the bookÕs annotation, ÒWhat does it take to be an astronaut? Excellence at flying, courage, intelligence, resistance to stress, top physical shape, any checklist would include these. But when America created NASA in 1958, there was an unspoken rule: you had to be a man. This is the tale of thirteen women who proved that they were not only as tough as the toughest man, but also brave enough to challenge the government. They were blocked by prejudice, jealousy, and the scrawled note of one of the most powerful men in Washington. But, even though the Mercury 13 women did not make it into space, they did not lose, for their example empowered other young women to take their place in the sky, piloting jets and commanding space capsules. Almost Astronauts is the story of thirteen true pioneers of the space age.Ó

In the adult non-fiction collection, you can read more about these women in The Mercury 13: The Untold Story of Thirteen American Women and The Dream of Space Flight by Martha Ackmann.

In the adult fiction collection you can find Sue GraftonÕs strong female private investigator, Kinsey Millhone, solving mysteries from ÒAÓ is for Alibi, to Z. The latest book is ÒWÓ is for Wasted, available in regular print, Large Print, e-Book, Audio Book on CD and as a downloadable e-Audio Book.

In our media collection there are women artists found in every musical style, as well as performing in, and creating some of the best movies and documentaries.

There have only been four women nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director and all four movies can be found in our DVD collection: Lina Wertmčller for Seven Beauties (1976), Jane Campion for The Piano (1993), Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation (2003), and the only winner of the Oscar, Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker (2009).

Women of character, courage, and commitment are an important part of our history; they can be found in all collections in the library. Celebrate National WomenÕs History Month with the Alameda County Library and share womenÕs stories.

Tracey A Firestone
Branch Manager
Union City Library

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