Sheroes at The Library: Women of Strength and Courage

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By Marilyn Jones

The Merriam Webster Online Dictionary defines the word shero as "a woman regarded as a hero" and the word hero as "a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities." Most of us can rattle off a list of our male heroes without blinking an eye, but how many of us have taken the time to think about and shown our respect and appreciation for the female counterpart of a hero.

What Would Michelle Do? CoverIf someone asked who your sheroes were, what would you say? Would you first mention some of the unsung women in your life your like your mother, aunt, or grandmother? How many people would think of any of the following names: Mother Teresa, Rosa Parks, Indira Ghandi, Oprah Winfrey, Golda Meir, Maragret Thatcher, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Marie Curie, Amelia Earhart, Coretta Scott King, Hillary Rodham Clinton, or Mae C. Jemison.

There is not enough room here to list every woman in the world who have shown strength and courage. This list could go on and on perhaps for ever. Plus there is not enough room to write about their achievements. So, if you want to know more about these women and more, we invite you to visit your nearest Pratt Library branch. Sally Ride Cover

At the library, you will find tons of books and other resources on famous woman. Like Allison Samuels' book, What Would Michelle Do?. In this book Allison Samuels writes about one of her sheroes, First Lady Michelle Obama. Ms. Samuels has created a self-help book for women using Michelle Obama's life experiences as a guide. The book includes a brief biography of the First Lady.

In remembrance of Sally Ride, a space shero, you might want to borrow a copy of Sally Ride: Space Biography by Barbara Kramer. You can also find more information about her life as the first female astronaut on Nasa's website.

Here are some other books from our catalog about extraordinary women:

Barbara Walters CoverA Woman In Charge CoverBound for the Promised Land Cover

Now, I must admit that some librarians have their own sheroes. Although, so far, no one has penned her biography, my very special shero is Dr. Carla Hayden, the CEO of Enoch Pratt Free Library. When she was the President of the American Library Association, she courageously stood up to the FBI by defending and upholding parts of the Patriot Act. For her heroism she was named woman of the year by Ms. Magazine. For breathing life back into the city's library, Dr. Hayden received The Librarian of the Year award from Library Journal. More recently, President Barack Obama nominated Dr. Hayden for the National Museum and Library Services Board. Her energy is boundless. Her love for libraries and reading is what keeps The Pratt a vital part of this city's services. You can find further information about Dr. Hayden in many of our sources at the library—just ask a librarian for assistance. A Google search for her name also returns articles and videos from a variety of sources.

Thank you for reminding us that we can celebrate sheroes not only during March,Women's History Month,but we can always find beautiful women to honor; some may even be unsung!
Posted by: Melanie Townsend Diggs at 8/1/2012 1:35 p.m.

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