Historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich once wrote, “Well-behaved women seldom make history.” That short statement has since become a rallying cry for women around the world. It’s the perfect quote to keep in mind throughout the month of March as we celebrate Women’s History Month and the many female “troublemakers” who have helped to improve our society and our freedoms. The quote is even featured in a beautiful display located across from our new DVD section and created by our Reference Department highlighting trailblazing women you may or may not have heard of, including Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Nellie Bly. In fact, that’s truly one of the best parts of months like these: discovering lesser-known historical figures. As a librarian in our Children’s Department, I walk by our current display of picture book biographies of women every day, and it’s always exciting to see a new name. For instance, just last week I showed a second grade class a biography of Mary Edwards Walker, a surgeon during the Civil War and the only woman to have won the Medal of Honor. I had never heard of Mary Walker before seeing that book! There’s also the book Pies from Nowhere about Georgia Gilmore, a cook in Montgomery, Alabama who used her talent to fundraise in support of the bus boycotts. Again, I had never heard of Georgia Gilmore. With just a smidgen of effort (ahem, like *checking out a library book*, ahem), we can uncover countless daring, extraordinary individuals who changed our nation.
In conjunction with Women’s History Month and this year’s selection for Long Island Reads, which is the novel The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer, the Levittown Public Library will also be featuring a great array of dynamic programs focused on well-known women and women’s rights. Information for all of our programs and services for March and April can be found in our newsletter, including complete details on registration dates and how to go about signing up or receiving tickets for any of the programs listed below.
If you’re looking to learn something new, we have some amazing informational events during the months of March and April. On Wednesday, March 20th, Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas spoke about her career in a talk sponsored by the League of Women Voters. The following day, on Thursday, March 21st, Marilyn Carmino presented a visual historical account of America’s first ladies, from the period of Eleanor Roosevelt to Jackie Kennedy.
We also have several programs tailored to Long Island Reads, including a lecture from activist Donna Kaz (Tuesday, April 2nd at 7:00 p.m.), a presentation about Dame Helen Mirren from Marilyn Carmino (Thursday, April 4th at 2:00 p.m.), and a talk from Mary Vahey about trailblazing female artists (Tuesday, April 16th at 2:30 p.m.). If you would rather be entertained with music, we will be hosting two concerts from female musicians. On Friday, April 12th at 7:30 p.m. the Ladies of Liberty will use song to tell the story of women’s rights in America. Two weeks later, on April 28th at 2:00 p.m., Rhonda Denet and the Silver Fox Songs Trio will play a tribute to the Queen of Soul, the one and only Aretha Franklin. In addition to the Long Island Reads pick, our next book discussion selection is also by a female author and centered on female characters: Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. The discussion for that book will take place on Monday, May 13th at 1:00 p.m. Discussions for The Female Persuasion will take place Monday, April 8th at 1:00 p.m. or Tuesday, April 16th at 7:00 p.m. Author Meg Wolitzer will be speaking at the Plainview-Old Bethpage Library on Sunday, April 7th at 2:00 p.m., so be sure to check the Long Island Reads website for information about ticketing.
The next time you’re at the Library, remember to take an extra moment to discover one of the many incredible women from the past or present unafraid of breaking a few rules along the way.