Avon Park Library Library Columns

Strong Women by Vikki Brown

Library Lines“Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.” (author unknown). This is just one of many quotes celebrating how phenomenal women can change the world. With March being Women’s History Month, what better time to celebrate the accomplishments of women than right now?

According to the Women’s History Month website (https://womenshistorymonth.gov), this month long dedication actually began as a week long celebration in 1982. In 1987, Congress was petitioned by National Women’s History Project and so began the month long celebration of women and their achievements. Not only do we celebrate the women that paved our way, but we encourage the trailblazing women of today, and guide the women that will break barriers in the future.

A fun fact about the Heartland Library Cooperative is that the librarians of each of the seven libraries (Avon Park, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Lake Placid, Okeechobee, and Sebring) are all women leaders. Yet another fun fact is that the leaders, as well as the director, of the Community Programs departments of Highlands County are also all women leaders. This department, in addition to libraries, houses Healthy Families, Human Services, Veteran’s Services, and the Children’s Advocacy Center. While there are many more local women leaders, these women mentioned above are the creative minds behind some of the ideas at the libraries you visit.

Speaking of the Heartland Library Cooperative, we have plenty of new releases celebrating women. For those interested in games or gaming, we have Women in Gaming: 100 Professionals of Play by Meagan Marie. The book highlights women gamers and the challenges they overcame as women gamers. Covering women gamers from the 1970’s until now, readers are sure to be inspired by at least one of the stories. Women of Invention by Charlotte Montague is another anthology of spectacular women. These creative women inventors changed the world with devices ranging from the windshield wiper to the Barbie doll. Some of these women were pioneers in their fields and were pushing limits and breaking boundaries to bring us some of the inventions we may even take for granted today. These women not only created gadgets to make lives easier, but, in many cases, did it without the support of the communities around them.

Supporting young women and girls is just what one of the stars in the popular television show Big, Bang Theory, Mayim Bialik, PhD, and real life neuroscientist is doing in her “free time.” She wrote the book, Girling Up. Girling Up discusses female body changes, why your crush makes your stomach flutter, or how to ease your anxiety about that major test coming soon. Through her written words, Dr. Mayim Bialik is guiding girls in topics that may be scary for them to ask, or possibly have no one to ask. Bialik isn’t the only female supporting other females, the book Girl Squads: 20 Female Friendships that Changed History by Sam Maggs is full of stories of women cheering on and helping other women. This squad-centered book shares examples of great female teams ranging from athletes to warriors and all of them in between.

There are inspiring and brave women all around us showing us what it means to be honest, caring, and inquisitive. They are erasing stereotypes and questioning norms. They are firefighters, military members, politicians, teachers, mothers, doctors, lawyers, librarians, and SO MUCH MORE. For stories of more inspiring women, check out the books Fly Girls by Keith O’Brien, and For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics by Donna Brazile, Yolanda Caraway, Leah Daughtry, and Minyon Moore with Veronica Chambers. If you just can’t get enough learning about awesome women in history, libraries are full of biographies and anthologies of astonishing females.