DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!


Nov 18 2015

A Woman in Charge

by Hope L

Hill2Will 2016 be the year that a female takes the highest office in the United States of America? Is America ready for a woman president? How about a First Gentleman?

A few weeks back I attended a speech Hillary Clinton gave at Clark Atlanta University. I wondered why, at age 68, this very controversial yet very famous person would even want to go through the rigors, the barbs, the glad-handing, the clawing–let’s face it–the virtual pain in the neck that is running for POTUS and then fulfilling that role should she win. It has greatly aged all 43 men who have come before.

HillSo, I decided to check out Hillary Clinton. I mean, literally, to research whatever I could find out about her.

And, of course, to learn more about Hillary Rodham Clinton is to learn more about Bill, for the road to the presidency and Hillary’s meteoric rise (well, it wasn’t exactly an overnight thing–she’s been in politics most of her life in one capacity or another) to presidential candidacy is almost as much about William Jefferson Clinton as it is about Hillary.

Or, is it the other way around? Was Bill’s meteoric rise to the presidency due in large part to Hillary?

CarlRight now I’m reading A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton by Carl Bernstein.

If you’re interested, DCPL has other books about Hillary Clinton. Click here to see what’s available–as we wait until next November to see who the new person in charge will be.



Mar 3 2014

Women’s History Month

by Joseph M

March is Women’s History Month, and the library is a great place to learn more about the countless contributions of women throughout the ages. In addition to a wide selection of biographical materials showcasing the lives of numerous notable women, DCPL has many titles appropriate to the theme. Among these are Celebrating women’s history : a women’s history month resource book, as well as one that I’m currently enjoying, The Great Women Superheroes.

Of course, there are many other ways to observe Women’s History Month. This morning when I was listening to WABE (the local NPR station) I heard a bit about Storycorps Atlanta, and how they are encouraging people to come and talk about the great women in their lives. Neat idea, right? How will you celebrate?


Aug 18 2010

A Victory Worth Remembering

by Joseph M

Sojourner TruthAmong the most significant American sociopolitical developments of the 20th century was the achievement of national women’s suffrage, as codified 90 years ago in the 19th amendment of the U.S. constitution. Ratified by the states on August 18, 1920, the 19th amendment enshrined the right to vote as an essential liberty of all adult citizens, regardless of gender. This triumph was the culmination of a tremendous amount of activism and struggle, and the library is a great place to explore the stories of the courageous women who helped bring about this landmark piece of legislation.

Interested in learning more about the lives of women’s suffrage activists like Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony? You can get more information from the Biography Resource Center, one of many great reference databases available on our website and accessible with your library card.

Another noteworthy suffragette, Carrie Chapman Catt, founded The League of Women Voters in 1920. The group is perhaps best described by their mission statement: “The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.” Their website has a wealth of resources to explore and is well worth visiting.

While we’re on the subject of voting, did you know that you can get a voter registration form from the library?  Be sure to check out our Voting and Elections subject guide, a handy resource with links and answers to all your questions about the upcoming elections.


Jul 28 2010

Lives In Nature

by Dea Anne M

Today marks the birthday of Beatrix Potter who is perhaps best known as the author/ illustrator of such charming classics as The Tale of Peter Rabbit and The Tailor of Gloucester. What you may not know is that Beatrix Potter was very well known during her lifetime as a naturalist. She was highly respected as a mycologist and was one of the first people to suggest that lichens were composites of fungi and algae as opposed to autonomous organisms. In spite of the esteem in which her scientific work was held, her paper “On the Germination of Spores of Agaricineae” had to be presented to the Linnean Society by her uncle since women were barred from attending meetings.

Beatrix Potter came of age during the Victorian Era, a period of time characterized by sweeping social reforms, increasing industrialization, and widespread curiosity about the natural world.  Women shared in this curiosity, and though restricted by law and custom from taking center stage, quite a few Victorian women made a name for themselves within the realm of the natural sciences. Some of these women include:

Jemima Blackburn (1823-1909) – Scottish painter and naturalist.

Mary Treat (1830-1923) – American naturalist and correspondent of Charles Darwin.

Margaret Fountaine (1862-1940) – British lepidopterist and world traveler.

Perhaps the most unusual of these sisters in science was Mary Anning (1799-1847) a British fossil collector and paleontologist. Unlike many of the other women pursuing scientific studies during the Victorian era, Mary Anning had limited financial resources and was largely self educated. Still, she was widely recognized during her lifetime for her work with fossils and she made many important finds. Her very interesting life has made its way into works of fiction including The French Lieutentant’s Woman by John Fowles and, most recently, Remarkable Creatures: A Novel by Tracy Chevalier.

For more on Beatrix Potter, check out these titles from DCPL.

Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature by Linda Lear.

The Journal of Beatrix Potter, 1881 to 1897 compiled by Leslie Linder.

For more about women in science, check out:

Hypatia’s Heritage:  a History of Women in Science from Antiquity through the Nineteenth Century.

She’s Such a Geek!: Women Write About Science, Technology, & Other Nerdy Stuff.

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Mar 5 2008

March is Women’s History Month

by Heather O

Whma Noticing the lack of K12 and public education, the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County (California) Commission on the Status of Women initiated a “Women’s History Week” celebration set for the week of March 8, 1978. Due to the success of the week and the spread of women’s history celebrations across the country, in 1981 Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Rep.  Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) co-sponsored the first Joint Congressional  Resolution to establish a national women’s history week. Public schools began establishing curricula for women’s history week, and several states and local governments sponsored events for the week-long celebration. In 1987 the National Women’s History Project successfully petitioned congress to expand to the entire month of March, and since 1992 every U.S. President has declared March to be Women’s History Month.

A couple of books to start with:

America’s women : four hundred years of dolls, drudges, helpmates, and heroines by Gail Collins

The essential feminist reader edited and with an introduction by Estelle B. Freedman

Herstory : women who changed the world edited by Ruth Ashby and Deborah Gore Ohrn ; introduction by Gloria Steinem

33 things every girl should know about women’s history : from suffragettes to skirt lengths to the E.R.A. edited by Tonya Bolden

Web Links:

National Women’s History Project

Library of Congress Women’s History Month page

Smithsonian Education- Women’s History resources