March has several designations that relate to libraries – March into Literacy Month and Women’s History Month in particular. We promote and celebrate literacy year round of course; our support for Women’s History Month is not quite as obvious.
National Women’s History Month traces its origins to March 1857 when a group of female New York City factory workers staged a protest over their working conditions. It wasn’t until 1981 that Congress designated the second week in March as National Women’s History Week. In 1987 it was expanded to the entire month.
Each year a Presidential Proclamation is issued in recognition of the month. This year it also commemorates the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, a global celebration of the “economic, political, and social achievements of women past, present, and future.” It is to remind us that although progress has been made, there is still much work to be done before women achieve true parity with men.
In keeping with this 100th anniversary and as an emphasis of the current administration, the first federal report since 1963 on the welfare of women in America has recently been issued.
We have many materials in our collection that provide historical background and perspective. Most are in the subject headings of Women history and Women’s rights – history.
Come visit soon for materials on this topic or most any other!
Caroline Bartlett Crane, a KPL Women’s History essay