March is Women’s History Month, and we have several programs and collections at the McAllen Public Library to celebrate this important month. However, you should know a little bit about the history of this month first! It officially began as just one week of March in 1981, and in 1987, Congress lengthened it to the whole month of March. The Library of Congress officially recognizes this month in coordination with other government cultural institutions. Their website explains that “The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in commemorating and encouraging the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history.” Although it did not become officially recognized until 1981, the origins of this month of recognition can be traced back to March 8th, 1857, “when women from New York City factories staged a protest over working conditions. International Women’s Day was later observed in 1909. In 1981, the U.S. Congress designated the second week of March National Women’s History Week, and in 1987 Congress expanded it to a month-long observance.” This website from the American Library Association has more resources on the history of this important month.
Why is it important to recognize the important work that women do? Well, that is far too big of a topic for this library blog post, but as we all know, women’s important and active roles in society have been underappreciated in most cultures, to varying degrees, throughout history. National Women’s History Month is a small step towards righting the wrongs that women have faced in the past. Although there is still much work to be done and women still face unequal treatment compared to men in many contexts, society has made much progress this past century in recognizing the important contributions of women. Any female readers can compare their life circumstances to their own grandmothers’, and see the progress that we have made. The progress that we have made thus far should give us the courage and inspiration to keep moving forward.
In honor of this important month, we want to inform you about several programs and collections we have here at the McAllen Public Library.
Check out our collection of e-books and audiobooks about important women and women’s issues on the Libby and OverDrive apps. You don’t even need to leave your house! All you need is a McAllen Library card and PIN number.
Check out the hundreds of books we have on women’s history in the McAllen library system. Also check out our book display at the Main Library!
The MPL Writing Circle meets once per month. In a workshop setting, members aged 18+ are encouraged to share their writing, no matter the genre, format or style. Join us to celebrate Women’s History Month and the writing and techniques of a variety of female authors.
This event and discussion features scholarship and a creative writing conceptualization of how Mexicanas, Chicanas, or Latinas experience horror, such as illness, structural inequality, and social injustice, in the Texas-Mexico borderlands. Panelists will also explore how Latinas address such horrors to bring about a more desirable, utopian present and future. Coffee and light refreshments will be served.
In honor of Women’s History Month, MPL is hosting an event dedicated to bringing awareness of family and domestic violence to our community. Family and domestic violence crosses cultural and gender barriers- don’t be afraid to make an appearance; this is a judgement-free and commitment-free environment.