HOUSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY: MONTH OF WOMEN’S HISTORY 2010

For those of you who live in Houston, Texas, the Houston Public Library, in honor of International Women’s Day (March 8, 2010), has an excellent collection of books, information, and events  extolling the many contributions women have made.

The books showcased range from science, nature, history, spirituality and religion, fiction and non-fiction, and also Black women’s impact on history. Included in the acknowledging of women’s histoy are the “Family Day” events scheduled for the month, with the readings of a griot on March 13, 2010 as The Griot, Kijana takes audiences on a time trip through the history of Black American Women, at the Gregory School as well as the scheduled appearance on March 20, 2010 of Ms. Barbara Bullard, who speaks of her late grandmother Annie Mae, the author of the lovely book, I Am Annie Mae. I own an earlier version and a later version of Ms. Annie Mae’s book.

Listed below are contact numbers/links for more information on the Houston Public Library’s roster of events and books to read in this celebration of women’s history.

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Women’s History Month 2010
“I do not wish women to have power over men; but over themselves.”
~ Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Our Favorite Books for Women’s History Month

The Mercury 13: The Untold Story of Thirteen American Women and the Dream of Space Flight – by Martha Ackmann
Publisher: Random House
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 2003
ISBN-13: 9780375507441
ISBN-10: 0375507442
Call Number: 629.450082 A182
Profiles the thirteen extraordinary women, all pilots who passed the same battery of tests as the Mercury 7 astronauts, who were chosen as America’s first female astronauts but who were refused the opportunity to participate, in a fascinating study that includes interviews with the surviving candidates, space program insiders, and other notables.

The Far Traveler: Voyages of a Viking Woman – by Nancy Marie Brown
Publisher: Harcourt
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 2007
ISBN-13: 9780151014408
ISBN-10: 015101440X
Call Number: B G979B
Offers a dramatic reconstruction of the life and times of Gudrid, a Viking woman who, according to Icelandic sagas, arrived in the New World, spent three years there, and gave birth to a baby, before sailing home some five hundred years before Columbus, drawing on the latest archaeological data, scientific research, and cutting-edge technology to trace her odyssey.

Portrait of a Priestess: Women and Ritual in Ancient Greece – by Joan Breton Connelly
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 2007
ISBN-13: 9780691127460
ISBN-10: 0691127468
Call Number: 292.61082 C752
Archaeologist Connelly gives us the first comprehensive cultural history of priestesses in the ancient Greek world. Connelly presents the fullest picture yet of how priestesses lived and worked, from the most famous and sacred of them–the Delphic Oracle and the priestess of Athena Polias–to basket bearers and handmaidens. Along the way, she challenges long-held beliefs to show that priestesses played far more significant public roles in ancient Greece than previously acknowledged.

Lighting the Way: Nine Women Who Changed Modern America – by Karenna Gore Schiff
Publisher: Miramax Books/Hyperion
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 2006
ISBN-13: 9781401352189
ISBN-10: 1401352189
Call Number: 920.720973 S333
Provides an inspirational and illuminating study of nine women who transformed modern America through their battle against inequity and social injustice, including Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Mother Jones, Alice Hamilton, Frances Perkins, Viriginia Durr, Septima Clark, Dolores Huerta, Dr. Helen Rodriguez-Trias, and Gretchen Buchenholtz.

Women and Literature

Guilty Pleasures – by Laurell K. Hamilton
Publisher: Berkley Books
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 2002
ISBN-13: 9780425187562
ISBN-10: 042518756X
Vampire hunter Anita Blake (known by the vampires she kills as “The Executioner”) is hired by the most powerful vampire in the city to find out who has been murdering innocent vampires, in a new hardcover edition of the first Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, novel.

“Laurel K. Hamilton mixes erotica, horror and romanticism in a uniquely feminine way. Her books contain the best elements of hard boiled detective novels, erotic noir, and gripping horror in a way that has been often imitated but never duplicated since she arrived on the scene. Although she writes with a strong feminine voice, I am an avid fan, which I can only say about a handful of other women writers.”
~ Craig Bertuglia, Youth Services

If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho – by Sappho
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 2002
ISBN-13: 9780375410673
ISBN-10: 0375410678
A critically acclaimed poet and classicist presents a dramatic new translation of the poetry of Sappho, presenting all the extant fragments that exist of the ancient poet’s works in both English and the original Greek and furnishing an incisive introduction to Sappho’s life and times.

“Most people think of women as the subject of Sappho’s poetry, but one of my favorite fragments (62) deals with the tragic death of Adonis.”
~ Sarah Borders, Programming

The Handmaid’s Tale – by Margaret Atwood
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 2006
ISBN-13: 9780307264602
ISBN-10: 0307264602
A chilling look at the near future presents the story of Offred, a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, once the United States, an oppressive world where women are no longer allowed to read and are valued only as long as they are viable for reproduction.

“Ironically enough, Atwood’s world became a reality in a Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. With mandatory, hideous blue burkas, the inability to work, and the required public escort of male relatives for all women, many Faridas became real live Offreds.”
~ Saima Kadir, Emerging Technologies

Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus – by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 2008
ISBN-13: 9780199537167
ISBN-10: 019953716X
Shelley’s suspenseful and intellectually rich gothic tale confronts some of the most important and enduring themes in all of literture–the power of human imagination, the potential hubris of science, the gulf between appearance and essence, the effects of human cruelty, the desire for revengeand the need for forgiveness, and much more.

“Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein has always been a favorite of mine. It is rich for interpretation from a feminist perspective, and for its view of the creature as a symbol of the woman struggling to gain knowledge and participate in society.”
~ Jennifer Schwartz, Programming

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Women’s History @ HPL
Ring Neighborhood Library

Did You Know?

HPL’s Ring Neighborhood Library is named for Elizabeth L. Fitzsimmons Ring, a social reformer and early advocate of the Houston Public Library.

Elizabeth Ring’s work with the Ladies’ Reading Club in 1899 was instrumental in persuading the City of Houston to fund the Houston Lyceum library, which later became the Houston Public Library. She was also a tireless advocate for state-supported libraries, and her efforts led to the creation of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

In addition to this Ring, as the leader of Houston Federation of Women’s Clubs, mounted a successful campaign to procure a Carnegie Library for Houston. Elizabeth Ring served as a library trustee from 1900 until her death in 1941. The Ring Neighborhood Library was dedicated in memory of her service and support in 1964.

For more information, check out the article on Elizabeth L. Fitzsimmons Ring from the Handbook of Texas Online. The Ring Neighborhood Library is currently closed for renovation and is scheduled to reopen this summer.

Other notable women in HPL’s history who have been honored with named buildings include Julia Ideson, Amanda E. Dixon, Eleanor K. Freed, Belle Sherman Kendall, Adele Briscoe Looscan, Eva Alice McCrane, Lucile Y. Melcher, Nettie Moody, Nena E. Stanaker, and Alice McKean Young.

HPL’s Named Buildings

Read more about Julia Ideson, HPL’s first librarian, in the March/April issue
of the link!
(Available in Early
March 2010)

 


Women’s History Month with the African American Library at the Gregory School

Family Day at the Gregory School: “The Griot”
Saturday, March 13 | 3 PM

As The Griot, Kijana takes audiences on a time trip through the history of African American Women.

Family Day at the Gregory School: “I Am Annie Mae” presented by Barbara Bullard
Saturday, March 20 | 3 PM

Ms. Bullard shares the personal story of her late grandmother, Mrs. Annie Mae Hunt with passion and enthusiasm. She paints a vivid portrait of what life was like for so many Southern Black working women. Annie Mae was born in 1909 in conditions that had changed little since slavery but nothing could take away her determination.

 

© 2010 EBSCO Publishing, Powered by The Title Source TM

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