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March 1, 2021 | Devin Cook

It’s Women’s History Month!

Women’s History Month began in 1987 after the National Women’s History Project petitioned to expand Women’s History Week, which corresponded with International Women’s Day. Because last year’s celebration of the women’s suffrage centennial was cancelled by the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, “the National Women’s History Alliance is extending the annual theme for 2021 to ‘Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to Be Silenced.’”

In the past year, we’ve seen women, especially women of color, hardest hit by job loss and financial hardship due to COVID-19. And because schools were switching to virtual learning to stop the spread of COVID-19, many mothers were forced to stay at home to not only parent but also teach their children, unemployed or not. Though mothers were three times more likely to lose their job than fathers during the pandemic, a third of US women say they were responsible for all childcare and housework despite also working. Needless to say, women faced many challenges disproportionately in this past year–physically, financially and emotionally. 

Women’s History Month comes at a time when many American women feel burnt out. After years of fighting for equality, equal pay, equal recognition, “women are more time-squeezed than ever because they’re still expected to do more than their share of work in the home as well.” (PEW) Yet women have made history in the last year alone, including the election of Vice President Kamala Harris, the first woman VP, first Asian-American VP, and the first Black VP. From Stacey Abram’s fight against voter suppression in Georgia, to Lizzo being the most nominated music artist of the 2020 Grammys, to Serena Williams breaking the U.S. Open record, women, particularly non-white women–notably, Black women–made history in 2020 despite the turmoil. 

This Women’s History Month, celebrate the women in your lives by educating yourself on women’s issues and history, and supporting women creators! We’ve got some non-fiction and fiction reads we recommend, movies, and more. 

Adult Non-Fiction:

Adult Fiction:

Young Adult Titles:

Juvenile Titles:

Early Titles:

Don’t forget to check out our Facebook page and Youtube channel for Women’s History Month themed virtual Story Times for your little ones!

To celebrate National Women’s History Month, we’re hosting McLib Live with Dr. Melissa A. McEuen, Professor of History, Transylvania University. Join us for McLib Live — Kentucky Women: Their Lives and Times on March 17 at 7:00 PM via Zoom! Dr. McEuen will introduce a few of the many Kentucky activists, artists, and others in the past who transformed the commonwealth and the nation. In the areas of health care, social justice, education, politics, the arts, and cultural development, Kentucky women made their communities safer, healthier, and more equitable places to live.

This month’s Rainbow Book Club pick is also in honor of Women’s History Month. On Monday, March 22nd at 6 PM join us via Zoom for a book discussion of All About Love by feminist icon bell hooks. Click here to place the book on hold, or check out digitally on Hoopla!

Want some iconic movies to watch in honor of Women’s History Month? Here are new titles and some classics that feature women voices. Click the titles to find out more and place a hold!

Support women artists! Listen to some tunes by women. Here are our music recommendations, including a Women’s History Month playlist, free to stream on Freegal with your library card!

For some local women’s history, check out the digital collection of Mary Wheeler, Western Kentucky folk artist, and learn about her “life and studies of the roustabouts and chambermaids that worked on packet boats during the late 19th and early 20th century.” Browse our other historical digital collections at digitalcollections.mclib.net, including the Marylee Comisak Collection, a Paducah native who served as a Cryptographic Technician in World War II, decoding messages.

As we move further into 2021, it’s important that young women, especially young girls, see fair representation of women and their role in society. Consider donating to our local domestic abuse shelters, which predominantly serves women and their children. Take time to educate yourself on women’s issues, women’s history, and women’s contribution to the workforce as they continue to be more impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic than men.

Celebrate Women’s History Month with us this March by attending one of our programs, or placing a hold on one of our suggested titles above!