@ Your Library 3.27.18

Best wishes, Krista!


@ Your Library

By Beverly Ewart



March: If you have ever read Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, or the novel March by Geraldine Brooks, you will know that the surname of the main protagonists in both stories is March.  If you have not read these novels, the first is about the lives of four young women coming of age in nineteenth century New England just at the end of the Civil War. The novel by Geraldine Brooks chronicles the adventures and moral testing of their father while he is away from the family, fighting for the Union.

Jo March, from Little Women, epitomizes for me the ideal feminist (ideal person) - a loving, intelligent, wise, courageous person who is willing to stand up for herself and others in order to do what she feels is right, even when it conflicts with the status quo.  In her honor, and to recognize Women’s History Month, I wanted to dedicate this column to books about real women who have epitomized the ideal of which Jo March was a literary representation.

It turns out that I am also dedicating this column to an ideal feminist in her own right, Krista Briggs, our Young Adult Librarian. Krista has been serving for 12 years on staff at Canton Free Library, building a successful program for teens and young adults, while simultaneously pursuing a Masters of Library Science degree from Syracuse University.  The degree was awarded in December, 2017, and, three months later, Krista has been offered the position of Librarian at Gouverneur Correctional Facility!

Gouverneur Correctional Facility has offered this position to the right person.  Krista says her vision is “To make the prison library a place of normalcy, humanity, and a resource for re-entry to people serving their time.”  

We will miss you, Krista Briggs!

Books about real women:

  • Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, From Missiles to the Moon to Mars by Nathalia Holt - During World War II, when the brand-new minted Jet Propulsion Laboratory needed quick-thinking mathematicians to calculate jet velocities and plot missile trajectories, they recruited an elite group of young women--known as "computers"--who, with only pencil, paper, and mathematical prowess, transformed rocket design and helped bring about America's first ballistic missiles. But they were never interested in developing weapons--their hearts lay in the dream of space exploration. So when JPL became part of a new agency called NASA, the computers worked on the first probes to the moon, Venus, Mars, and beyond. Later, as digital computers largely replaced human ones, JPL was unique in training and retaining its brilliant pool of women. They became the first computer programmers and engineers, and through their efforts, we launched the ships that showed us the contours of our solar system. For the first time, this book tells the stories of these women who charted a course not only for the future of space exploration but also for the prospects of female scientists. Based on extensive research and interviews with the living members of the team, Rise of the Rocket Girls offers a unique perspective on the role of women in science, illuminating both where we've been and the far reaches of where we're heading.--|adapted from dust jacket.

  • Hidden figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly. - Before John Glenn orbited the earth or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as "human computers" used pencils, slide rules and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space. Among these problem-solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation. Originally relegated to teaching math in the South's segregated public schools, they were called into service during the labor shortages of World War II, when America's aeronautics industry was in dire need of anyone who had the right stuff. Suddenly, these overlooked math whizzes had a shot at jobs worthy of their skills, and they answered Uncle Sam's call, moving to Hampton Virginia and the fascinating, high-energy world of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory.

  • Women in Science : 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World - written and illustrated by Rachel Ignotofsky.  A collection of artworks inspired by the lives and achievements of fifty famous women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, from the ancient world to the present, profiles each notable individual.  

  • Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World by Susan Hood - "Fresh, accessible, and inspiring, Shaking Things Up introduces fourteen revolutionary young women--each paired with a noteworthy female artist--to the next generation of activists, trail-blazers, and rabble-rousers. From the award-winning author of Ada's Violin, Susan Hood, this is a poetic and visual celebration of persistent women throughout history. In this book, you will find Mary Anning, who was just thirteen when she unearthed a prehistoric fossil. You'll meet Ruby Bridges, the brave six-year-old who helped end segregation in the South. And Maya Lin, who at twenty-one won a competition to create a war memorial, and then had to appear before Congress to defend her right to create. And those are just a few of the young women included in this book. Readers will also hear about Molly Williams, Annette Kellerman, Nellie Bly, Pura Belprè, Frida Kahlo, Jacqueline and Eileen Nearne, Frances Moore Lappè, Mae Jemison, Angela Zhang, and Malala Yousafzai--all whose stories will enthrall and inspire. This book was written, illustrated, edited, and designed by women and includes an author's note, a timeline, and additional resources. With artwork by notable artists including Selina Alko, Sophie Blackall, Lisa Brown, Hadley Hooper, Emily Winfield Martin, Oge Mora, Julie Morstad, Sara Palacios, LeUyen Pham, Erin Robinson, Isabel Roxas, Shadra Strickland, and Melissa Sweet."--|cAmazon.

Library Programs:

Baby Storytime happens on Tuesdays from 10-10:45am. Children ages 0-18 months and their caregivers are invited to experience books and participate in bounce rhymes, songs, finger plays, and social/play time. There is no registration necessary for this program.

Toddler Story Time (18-35 months) meets Monday mornings 10:30am-11am and runs in 4-week sessions. Registration is required, so please be sure to contact Valerie White at 315 386-3712 ext. 4.  There are still openings in the Toddler Story Time sessions in April  and May, for which children ages 18-35 months may be registered.

Preschool Storytime meets Wednesday mornings from 10:30-11:15 am. This popular program features books, flannel board stories, songs, finger plays, movement, and crafts. Preschool Storytime is designed for 3-5 year olds and their caregivers. No registration is needed.

The Junior Writers’ Group at the Canton Free Library meets from 3:30-4:50 pm the second and last Thursday of every month. This creative and lively group is for children ages 8-12 who like to have fun with words. Children should bring paper and a writing instrument. Questions? Contact Linda Batt 344-6592 or linda.batt06@gmail.com

The deadline to register teams for the Canton Battle of the Books is Saturday, March 31st. Registration forms may be emailed or returned directly to Valerie in the Children’s Room.

Teen Programs:

Teens! Due to the departure of our loving Young Adult Librarian, there may be some changes to teen program schedules in the coming weeks. Keep your eye out for changes in future columns and up-to-date postings on Facebook!

Anime Club is a binge day this week! Join us as we chill out in our jammies and watch anime together from 10:00am-5:00pm.

Casuals Wielding Dice meets each Monday and Wednesday from 3pm-5pm at Canton Free Library. Join Game Master David Crowell for imaginative adventures involving critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork, and creativity!  

Hours: Canton Free Library is open Monday 9:30am - 8pm, Tuesday 9:30am - 5pm, Wednesday 9:30am - 8pm, Thursday 9:30am -5pm, Friday 9:30am -5pm, and Saturdays from 10am -3pm. Please note that the book drop remains open 24/7 for returns. Rensselaer Falls Branch Library is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 3pm -6pm. Morley Branch Library is open Tuesday and Thursday 1pm -6pm.

For more CFL news, “like” the library page on Facebook.  Find new additions to our collection on our website: cantonfreelibrary.org. To renew your current checkouts, login to  ncls.org; you may also renew via email at canlib@ncls.org, or by calling (315) 386-3712.

Celebrate intrepid women @ your library!