You might think that by 2022 we’d be finished playing “catch up” in telling the true stories and revealing the radical work women/womxn have done historically; that enough books have been published, purchased and displayed. Or you might argue that we are only just getting started.
While many of us believe women’s/womxn’s work truly deserves to be highlighted year-round, every Spring “Women’s History Month” does provide an important opportunity to pause and celebrate the often overlooked, forgotten or misunderstood people who have changed our lives for the better. As librarians, we do this by carefully curating book displays throughout our libraries.
In fact, selecting current themes like the #MeTooMovement and also evaluating our library collections for gaps — where are the books on radical Asian-American women/womxn? — is a kind of cathartic Spring ritual that librarians across the country collectively engage in. In searching out these books, we ask ourselves: how far have we come in telling these stories? What’s missing from our collections? What work remains to be done?
This year you’ll find on display at Skyline College Library a collection of books about “Rad Women/Womxn”: anarchists, writers, artists, musicians, teachers and political leaders all across the ethnic and LGBTQ+ spectrums (front foyer case). Book displays inside the Library highlight recent 2019-2022 memoirs by American women/womxn (above the graphic novels), both new and classic histories of women/womxn who were pioneers in their fields, and groundbreaking novels of the 20th and 21st centuries (front and center).
If you were educated to believe that Rosa Parks was just a tired woman who didn’t want to give up her seat on the bus, drop by the Library for some eye-opening reading revealing the true stories of women/womxn who have changed our world! Some new titles include Rosa Parks: In her own words, Michelle Obama’s Becoming, and Kathy Park Hong’s Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning. Not to be overlooked: When women invented television. Check back soon for a critical biography of Japanese-American activist Yuri Kochiyama, Heartbeat of Struggle.
Last but not least, we want to hear from you. Which books would you like to see added to our collection? Faculty can fill out this form: https://smccd-czqfp.formstack.com/forms/library_materials_request_form
All others, please send us a note: firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you.
Article by Jessica Silver-Sharp