News Flash

Library Evergreen

Posted on: February 1, 2023

February is Black History Month

February Is Black History Month

February Is Black History Month
by Sara, CCPLS Technical Services Librarian

February is Black History Month, which was first designated nationally in 1976 by President Gerald Ford. There are many ways communities across the United States celebrate, such as hosting special events, promoting Black creators, and reading books. Frederick Douglass said, “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” This sentiment is at the core of libraries and their mission to protect everyone’s freedom to read and it reflects the reason to recognize and celebrate the many Black authors and leaders who have changed history. Campbell County Public Library and Wright Branch Library have great collections of celebrated Black history makers and authors like Martin Luther King Jr. and Toni Morrison who many people are familiar with, and our collections also have other great stories about Black people you might like to learn about:
•    Fearless Mary: Mary Fields, American Stagecoach Driver by Tami Charles (children’s biography)
•    She Was the First!: The Trailblazing Life of Shirley Chisholm by Katheryn Russell-Brown (children’s biography)
•    Let ‘Er Buck!: George Fletcher, the People’s Champion by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson (children’s biography)
•    Towers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes (children’s fiction)
•    The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict (adult fiction)
•    The Great Debaters (DVD)
•    Good Hair (streaming film, Kanopy)

Black librarians also have a history worth celebrating, from the American Library Association’s (ALA) first Black president to the first woman and Black person to lead the Library of Congress.  

Clara Stanton Jones held many firsts in her career as a librarian in Detroit, MI when she was hired as the first Black and first female director of the Detroit Public Library system. During this leadership role she began a movement in the city to develop library branches and outreach programs to encourage inner-city residents to utilize library services. In 1976, Jones became the first Black president of the ALA and used her one-year term to advocate for complete library access for the disadvantaged. (blackpast.org/african-american-history/jones-clara-stanton-1913-2012)

Dr. Carla Hayden was sworn in as the first Black and first woman to be the 14th Librarian of Congress on September 14, 2016. This well-educated librarian began her career in 1973 at Chicago Public Library (CPL) in the children’s department, moved on to be an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh,
and returned to Chicago to be the chief librarian at CPL until 1993. Her
commitment to outreach services earned her Library Journal’s Librarian of the Year award in 1995 for implementing an after-school center and career counseling for Baltimore teens. (loc.gov/about/about-the-librarian)

Your local libraries are full of information about the unique and fascinating people who played important roles in our country’s history. Whether you are looking for children’s, young adult, or adult books, DVDs to watch, or videos to stream, your librarians are here to provide all citizens of our community “personalized, consistent, high quality, one-on-one service that conveys personality and love of the library while not compromising patron privacy.” (CCPLS “In This We Believe” statement)

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