March 2012

Women’s History Month @ your library

Women’s History Month has been celebrated in March since 1987. This year’s Women’s History Month theme, “Women’s Education—Women’s Empowerment,” aims to bring attention to the critical role that rural women play in the global economies of both developing and developed nations. Throughout the month libraries will offer a variety of programs and activities to celebrate. Here are just a few examples of what libraries are doing.

Building Community through Engaged Discussion at Skokie Public Library

One of the best programs we have had at the Skokie (Ill.) Public Library was not my idea, nor the idea of any of our staff. It was brought to us by some members of the Indian community who wanted the library to have a program in honor of Mahatma Gandhi. At the time, the United States was engaged in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We were reading daily about conflict in Sudan and elsewhere in the world. One can feel helpless and ineffectual when confronted with violence on such a large scale. How might Gandhi’s teaching help?

A University Library Remembers the Civil War

The Perkins Library at Duke University is hosting a one-day symposium tomorrow to mark the Civil War Sesquicentennial. Titled “Another March Madness: The American Civil War at 150,” the symposium is open to the public and will feature prominent speakers from Duke University, University of North Carolina, North Carolina State, and Ohio State. Themes to be discussed include the social, cultural, medical, and military aspects of the Civil War:

An Academic Librarian’s “Fine Romance” with Programming

An email message on the Virginia Library Association discussion list hit my inbox back in November 2010 with the subject line, “Traveling exhibitions celebrate life and work of great Jewish artists.” The announcement from the ALA Public Programs Office detailed how interested libraries could apply to host one of these ready-made exhibits focusing on the author Maurice Sendak, the poet Emma Lazarus, or the Jewish songwriters of the early twentieth century.

New for March at EDSITEment

This March, EDSITEment focuses on Women’s History Month; offers a new lesson on the Magna Carta, a new unit on early American foreign policy, and a new launchpad on Benjamin Franklin; takes a look back at March 1968; highlights some of the best humanities on the web; and shares this month’s don’t-miss programs on PBS’s American Experience.

Featured Library: Johnson County Library

To go along with our current theme of civic engagement, this month our featured library is Johnson County Library in Overland Park, Kansas. The library has a long history of hosting community issues and engagement events, starting with a forum on regionalism in 2002. Most recently, the library combined Civil War Sesquicentennial programming with civic engagement to offer a forum on the Kansas-Nebraska Act.

Publicize Your El día de los niños/El día de los libros Events

As libraries throughout the country continue to expand their collections for diverse communities, thousands will celebrate El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), also known as Día, on April 30, 2012. Libraries from coast-to-coast will host celebrations with family programs, including bilingual story hours, book giveaways and other literacy events.