Women’s History Month: A Resource Guide

March is Women’s History Month. This month offers an opportunity to explore the stories and perspectives of women, both past and present. The Princeton Public Library aims to include such topics in programming and content throughout the year, and this month serves as a chance to focus our efforts.

What we now know as Women’s History Month can be traced back to the 1970s, when grassroots efforts in the United States to organize an annual observance  of women’s history gained traction. Organizers selected March for the observance to correspond with International Women’s Day, which dates to 1910. In the 1980s, responding to advocacy from the non-profit organization National Women’s History Project (now known as the National Women’s History Alliance), a combination of Congressional resolutions and presidential proclamations designated an annual Women’s History Week. Congress designated March as Women’s History Month in 1987 and renewed this observance annually until 1995, when yearly presidential proclamations replaced the Congressional resolutions. The U.S. president has announced March as Women’s History Month every year since. The National Women’s History Alliance selects an annual theme for Women’s History Month.


Programs at the Library

Music journalist Katherine Yeske Taylor, joined by fellow journalist Tom Beaujour, launches Women’s History Month with a discussion of her recently released book “She’s a Badass: Women In Rock Shaping Feminism.” In this book Taylor’s interviews of 20 significant women in rock provide an in-depth look at what it took for them to succeed. Interviewees, include Ann Wilson (Heart), Gina Schock (The Go-Go’s), Suzanne Vega, Amy Ray (Indigo Girls), Orianthi, Amanda Palmer, as well as others. This event is March 6 at 6 p.m. at Labyrinth Books and is presented in partnership with Labyrinth Books and co-sponsored by Princeton University’s Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies.

Learn about the work of the League of Women Voters of Greater Princeton on March 7, when they will be tabling in the library’s Lobby from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Drawing on membership not only from Princeton, but also from Cranbury, East Windsor, Hightstown, Montgomery, Plainsboro, Robbinsville, Rocky Hill, South Brunswick and West Windsor, the League of Women Voters describes itself as a “nonpartisan, grassroots civic organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.” The League is non-partisan in that it never supports or opposes candidates for public office or political parties.”

On Wednesday, March 13, from 3-5 p.m. there will be a screening of “Radioactive” (PG-13; 1 hour, 43 minutes), a biopic of Marie Sklodowska-Curie and her Nobel Prize-winning work that changed the world. Directed by Marjane Strapi, written by Jack Thorne, and starring Rosamund Pike as Marie Curie, the film is based on the 2010 graphic novel “Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout.” Tea and cookies will be served starting at 2:45 p.m.

On March 21 at 6 p.m., the library hosts Kara Alaimo in conversation with Jane Carr for this year’s Marchand Lecture, an annual event dedicated to “inspiring excellence in community-based leadership” and held in honor of Phyllis Marchand, Princeton Township’s longest serving mayor and a leader and leadership mentor in the community for five decades. Alaimo’s book, “Over the Influence: Why Social Media is Toxic for Women and Girls—and How We Can Take It Back,” demonstrates how social media affects of the lives of women, girls and nonbinary people, even as it provides brilliant advice for getting over the influence. Alaimo calls on women “to recognize and call out the subtle (and not-so-subtle) sexism, misogyny and misinformation we find online and to use our platforms for empowering ourselves and other women.” The event in the Community Room will feature a signing by the author, hosted in partnership with Labyrinth Books.

The recognition of Women’s History Month continues with a screening of “The Color Purple” (PG-13; 2 hours, 21 minutes) on March 22 at 4 p.m. in the Community Room. Based on the stage musical adaptation of Alice Walker’s novel, this 2023 musical drama spans decades in the life of an African American woman living in the American South during the early 1900s. Celie faces many hardships in her life, but ultimately finds extraordinary strength and hope on her journey to independence.

Author Rachel Shteir is joined by Maria DiBattista on March 24 to discuss her book “Betty Friedan: Magnificent Disrupter,” a new portrait of the author and activist who is considered to be the mother of second-wave feminism. The biography of Friedan, celebrated author of “The Feminine Mystique,” is the first in more than 20 years, and it draws upon Friedan’s papers and interviews with family, colleagues and friends to develop a new analysis of her life and work. Doors will open at 10:45 a.m. for coffee and pastries at this Book Brunch event. The talk begins at 11 a.m. and a book signing hosted in partnership with Labyrinth Books will follow.


Learn about Women’s History

See below for lists of nonfiction and historical fiction, geared toward adult readers and centered around the experiences and perspectives of women.

For teens, kids, and the youngest readers, below are lists of books that highlight varied narratives and perspectives of women.

Online resources include:


Resources for Educators

See the materials below for potential starting points for engaging learners. You’ll find lesson plans, digital tools, curricula, and more.

Content made possible with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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