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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Women's History Month: Displays and Resources

Women's History Month 2011

I thought I would do a round-up of lists and resources for Women's History month before March slips away from me.

First, at the BPL, our fearless leader Kathy did an amazing job with the annotations to go with our Women's History Month display.  This year we focused on "Fictional Stories About Real-Life Historical Women."  She described each woman and then suggested a book.  Click here for the full list.  And that cool picture is from the artwork John, our display guru, created for the display.

What is great about these books is that they appeal to male and female readers.  Women's History month is great, but we don't want to alienate half of our patrons with a major display.

Women's History month is also the time of year when the entire literary community discusses what exactly makes something Women's Fiction.  I will not take up the topic with our class until the first week in April, but recently, I came across this article about the current state of chick lit and a re-definition of women's lit.  The links here are updated, thought provoking, and educational.  Even if you are a big Women's Fiction fan yourself, I suggest taking a look here.

The reigning expert on Women's Fiction in the library world is Illinois librarian (and my friend) Rebecca Vnuk.  She has two books that are worth looking at as you help your Women's Fiction Readers: Women's Fiction Authors: A Research Guide (Author Research Series) and Read On...Women's Fiction: Reading Lists for Every Taste (Read On Series) and she is currently working on another Women's FIction book for the Genreflecting series.  You can read her women's fiction blog here.

Finally, a few words about romance, since it is very popular with female readers.  I have said it before, and I will say it again, my favorite romance resource is Smart Bitches, Trashy Books.  Along with their irreverent but extremely helpful book, Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches' Guide to Romance Novels, Sarah Wendell and Cany Tan have helped me to help many romance readers.

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