08 March 2019 Blogs

Women Leading the Way for Libraries

Women are leaders. Throughout history women have led social movements, fought for equality, spoken out for justice and consistently represented what it means to be strong, creative and intelligent. Women never stop because the need for change is always there.

Change that propels those forward who are fighting for equality. This is needed for future generations of girls and women alike. Each year, we celebrate women with International Women's Day on March 8th. The theme for 2019 is, "Think equal, build smart, innovate for change." The more women are supported as entrepreneurs, activists and innovators, the closer we are to a more equal world. While there are countless numbers of women who have trailblazed history and made an impact, today we wanted to recognize libraries dedicated to women's rights and some amazing women who have made a difference for libraries around the world. Libraries Dedicated to Women Glasgow Women's Library in Glasgow, Scotland, has a rich history in supporting women's rights. It states on its digital homepage it "is the only [a]ccredited [m]useum in the UK dedicated to women's lives, histories and achievements, with a lending library, archive collections and innovative programmes of public events & learning opportunities." An additional intiative known as Women on the Shelf encourages patrons to sponsor either a section of the library, book or shelf in honor of a woman important to them to raise money for the library. The Women's Library LSE in London, England, historically has focused on preserving women's suffrage and other feminist movements. It was founded in 1926 as the Library of the London Society for Women's Service and is continuously a place where women can meet and speak openly about key issues. The library houses an extensive collection of materials dedicated to women's rights and gender equality. Francesca Bonnemaison Library in Barcelona, Spain, was created as the first women's library in Europe. Francesca Bonnemaison wanted women to have access to cultural and educational classes that would push them forward for better opportunities and lives. Her work helped women build valuable skills and knowledge they could use to secure brighter futures. Women Innovating for Libraries Jane Wadden Turner (1818-1896) holds a special title as the first woman hired by the Smithsonian Institution as a library clerk in 1857. From 1866-1869, she served as the head clerk of the Smithsonian's International Exchange Service and was responsible for managing scientific publications for 1,744 institutions around the world. Sadie Peterson Delaney (1889-1958) pioneered helping immigrants and children through bibliotherapy in the 1920s. By definition, bibliotherapy is "the use of books as therapy in the treatment of mental or psychological disorders." She began her career at the "135th Street Branch of the New York Public Library" and later became the "Chief Librarian at the Veterans Hospital" in Tuskegee, Alabama. Alice Lougee Hagemeyer (1934-) is a deaf librarian who started Deaf Awareness Week at D.C. Public Library in 1974. Her efforts led to the American Library Association and the National Association of the Deaf joining together in 2006 to designate the dates March 13-April 15 as National Deaf History Month. How are you celebrating #InternationalWomen'sDay? Let us know in the comments or Tweet us @ProQuest. Subscribe via email to Share This and never miss a post.