Women's History Month

By Andrea Gilmer, Bossier Parish Library February 28, 2019

We’re already moving into March now, which is when we celebrate Women’s History Month. The reminder that this was coming up got me curious, and I’m sure many of my readers know what that means: research! This time I started my research with EBSCO’s Biography Reference Center database. Having never used this database myself, I was pleasantly surprised by the relative ease with which I could navigate it. Since I wasn’t searching for a specific person, or even a time period or event in history, I utilized the “Browse by Genre” feature located on the homepage of the database and just scrolled down until I happily discovered a category simply called “Women”.

The list I was taken to was so extensive I didn’t even get past the C’s before I scrolled back up and started clicking on names to learn more, which subsequently led me down several rabbit holes to other women. In the 30 minutes I spent reading about a multitude of women throughout history I learned so much and I barely scratched the surface. First, I clicked on the name Augusta Baker, 1911-1998, who I came to learn was the first African American Librarian to hold an administrative position in the New York Public Library; she was also pivotal in the development of children’s collections in libraries and in storytelling. Incredible! 

I went on to find Nancy Witcher Astor, 1879-1964, the first female member of the British Parliament. And then I found Sirimavo Bandaranaike, 1916-2000, elected the world’s first female Prime Minister and seventh Prime Minister of Sri Lanka and Ceylon in 1960. From there I discovered what Calamity Jane’s real name was (Martha Cannary, in case you’re curious), who was an American Frontierswoman and Scout and lived from 1852-1903.

Another woman whose name I was familiar with but was pleased to learn more about was Nellie Bly, 1864-1922, who was an American Journalist and Industrialist. In 1887 she went undercover to report on the conditions patients of the insane asylum suffered on Blackwell Island by having herself committed. Wilma Mankiller, 1944-2010, was the first woman elected first as Deputy Chief, 1983, and then as Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, 1985. There are so many I still wish I could get to, but I’ll name one more woman before I leave further research up to my readers. For her 2008 film The Hurt Locker, Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win an Academy Award for Best Director.


Don’t forget to spring forward one hour for Daylight Savings on Saturday/Sunday, March 10! (Who needs that extra hour of sleep?) 

Coming Up: 

Aulds         742-2337  

Sunday, Mar. 10 @ 2:00pm – Kids Crafternoon, all ages


Benton       965-2751  

Saturday, Mar. 9 @ 4:00pm – Teen Scene, ages 13-17

Bossier Central       746-1693   

Monday, Mar. 11 @ 11:00am – Cooking for One or Two, ages 18+

Tuesday, Mar. 12 @ 6:00pm – Using Cypress Resume & LA Jobs and Career Center, ages 18+

Tuesday, Mar. 12 @ 4:00pm – Reading Hangout, all ages

East 80        949-2665  

Wednesday, Mar. 6, 11:00am-6:00pm – A Cookie for Your Thoughts?, all ages

Haughton          949-0196  

Thursday, Mar. 14 @ 11:00am – Let’s Learn About Composting, all ages

History Center         746-7717 

Saturday, Mar. 9 @ 1:30pm – Second Saturday Screenings: Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero (PG), all ages

Plain Dealing       326-4233  

Tuesday, Mar. 12 @ 11:00am – Starting Your Own Business with Cohab Group, ages 18+


Tooke        987-3915  

Saturday, Mar. 16, 6:30-10:00pm – After-Hours Teen Lock-In, ages 13-17 (must register prior to event!)

Community Engagement

Saturday, Mar. 16, 3:30-8:00pm – Spring Break Block Party & Food Truck Rally @ Stockwell Road Missionary Baptist Church, all ages