Monday, April 9, 2018

Library Week @ Sullivan Lexington Library

National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April to raise awareness about libraries.  The first National Library Week (NLW) was observed in May, 1958 with the theme, "Wake up and Read!".  The ALA council voted in that year to continue the annual celebration.  Now, sixty years later, National Library Week continues to be observed. The library's theme for National Library Week 2018 is, "Librarians Can Do It!," and the library staff has created a display to showcase the many ways your librarians can help you. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Who was...

Juliette Gordon Low?
Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low grew up in the southern United States after the U.S. Civil War and married an Englishman named Willie Low. After her husband’s death, Daisy Low met Robert Powell, the founder of the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides. Low came back to her hometown of Savannah, GA, and she brought the Girl Guides, calling them the Girl Scouts of America, with her. Soon, the Girl Scouts grew beyond Savannah, and when Low passed away in 1927, the Girl Scouts was a national organization.
Cordery, S.A. (2012). The Remarkable Founder of the Girl Scouts. New York: Viking. p. x.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Who Was...

 Sojourner Truth?

“That man. . . says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud puddles, or gives me any best place, and aren’t I a woman?” From speech at Women’s Rights Convention, Akron, OH. [1851]

Ms. Sojourner Truth was born into slavery in New York in the late 18th century. Her first owners spoke Dutch, and that was the language Ms. Truth and her family spoke as well. Before she gained her freedom from slavery (slavery was abolished in New York state on July 4, 1827), Ms. Truth was sold numerous times. Her last master broke his promise of freedom, so Ms. Truth took her infant child and ran away leaving behind her husband and two other children. Ms. Truth learned that one of her children was illegally sold into slavery in Alabama. She fought for her son’s freedom and won. Ms. Truth continued to fight against slavery, prison reform, and for equal suffrage for men and women.  Ms. Truth spoke with President Lincoln and the Michigan state legislature about these causes before she passed away in 1883.The quote above is from a speech she gave at a Women’s Rights Convention in Ohio in 1851. 
Sources: (2018, February 27). Sojourner Truth Biography. Retrieved from:

O’Brien, G., (Ed.). (2012). Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, 18th ed. New York: Little, Brown and Company. pp. 416.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Who is...

Dolores Huerta?

A mighty force in the world of migrant workers, Ms. Huerta was born in New Mexico in 1930. She earned her education in California, and she taught for a brief period. Ms. Huerta began working for the Stockton Community Service Organization (CSO), an organization that also employed César Chávez. In 1962, Mr. Chávez and Ms. Huerta founded the National Farm Workers Association. Her work with the organization led to several pieces of legislation in California, including the Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975. Ms. Huerta almost lost her life during a protest against presidential candidate George H.W. Bush when an officer used a baton on her so forcefully that her ribs were broken and her spleen ruptured. Despite being in her late 80s, Ms. Huerta continues to work. She has received numerous awards and recognitions for her efforts, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which President Obama gave her in 2012.
For more information:
A documentary about Ms. Huerta will air on KET, March 27 at 9:00 p.m.
Dolores Huerta Foundation

Sources: (2018, February 26). Dolores Huerta Biography. Retrieved from

Dolores Huerta Foundation. (n.d.). Dolores Huerta.  Retrieved from:

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Who is...

Jacqueline Woodson?
“I do not know if these hands will be Rosa’s or Ruby’s gently gloved and fiercely folded calmly in a lap, on a desk, around a book, ready to change the world. . .”  From Brown Girl Dreaming [2014].

Woodson’s words are from her National Book Award and Newbery honor award-winning autobiographical book, Brown Girl Dreaming. As a writer, Woodson has penned poems, young-adult and adult novels, and picture books, and though Ms. Woodson won the Margaret A. Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006 (an award given for writing), she has continued to pursue writing quality literature for young people. Ms. Woodson has had to persevere through her parent’s divorce and racial prejudice, and yet she, and her work, have risen above those difficulties. To learn more about Ms. Woodson, read her memoir Brown GirlDreaming or visit the following sites:

Woodson, J. (2014). Brown Girl Dreaming. Nancy Paulsen Books, an Imprint of Penguin Group: New York. P. 5.   
Patton, J. R. (2006). Jacqueline Woodson: Poetry in Motion. Teaching Pre K-836(7), 46-48.

Woodson, J. (2014). Brown Girl Dreaming. Nancy Paulsen Books, an Imprint of Penguin Group: New York.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Who Was...

Neroli Fairhall?

New Zealand Olympian Neroli Fairhall, a woman who competed in horse-related sporting events prior to a horrific motorcycle accident which paralyzed her, did not give up competing in athletic events. She trained to be an archer and competed in national archery championships. In 1980, she qualified to attend the Olympic Games in Moscow. Sadly, due to the boycott of the games, Ms. Fairhall did not attend the 1980 Olympics. Ms. Fairhall competed in the double FITA archery competition in 1982, earning a gold medal. Then, in 1984, Ms. Fairhall qualified for the Olympics in Los Angeles. While she did not medal at the 1984 Olympics, Ms. Fairhall still made history as the first Paralympian to compete. Ms. Fairhall continued her athletic pursuits earning five national titles and participating in four Paralympics.

Source: New Zealand Olympic Committee. (2018). Neroli Fairhall. Retrieved from:

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Who Was...

Dr. Wangari Maathai?
Dr. Maathai was the first woman from a Central African country to earn her Ph.D., she was the first woman be a professor in Kenya, and she was the first woman from an African country to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Perhaps her greatest legacy was the Green Belt Movement that she began in 1977. Dr. Maathai gave women trees to plant because, “she saw tree-planting in a broader perspective which included democracy, women’s rights, and international solidarity.” The Nobel committee said of Maathai that, “She thinks globally and acts locally.”

Check out our blog post from a few years ago: 

Source: (2018). Wangari Maathai-Facts. Retrieved from:

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Who Was

Madame C.J. Walker?

“The girls and women of our race must not be afraid to take hold of business endeavor and, by patient industry, close economy, determined effort, and close application to business, wring success out of a number of business opportunities that lie at their very doors.” –Madame C.J. Walker, 1913 in A’Leila Bundles, On Her Own Ground, p. 153.

Sarah Breedlove came into the world in 1867 in Louisiana. The hard-working, widowed Ms. Breedlove moved and found steady work in St. Louis, MO, to support herself and her young daughter. Then, to solve her own hair loss problem, Ms. Breedlove, the woman who would later take the name Madame C.J. Walker (Charles Joseph Walker was her second husband’s name), developed hair products. She moved her business to Denver, CO., to avoid competition in St. Louis, and expanded her product line and her business, training a sales force of women who sold her products. Ms. Walker was so successful as an entrepreneur that she became a millionaire and a philanthropist. Her efforts extended to her advocacy for the early Civil Rights movement as well. When Madam C. J. Walker passed away in 1919, she left funds to the NAACP and the Tuskegee Institute.
Smith, C.A. (2005). Market Women: Black Women Entrepreneurs: Past, Present, and Future. Westport, CT: Praeger. p. 75.

Vare, E. A., & Ptacek, G. (1993). Madam C.J. Walker. Women Inventors & Their Discoveries, 50.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Who Was:

Elizebeth Smith Friedman

Mr. Fagone brings a private and humble woman to the forefront in his engaging biography of Elizebeth Smith Friedman. Though not a household name like J. Edgar Hoover, the United States owes a lot to Mrs. Friedman because of her work as a cryptographer for the U.S. government. Her code-breaking training began at a private civilian compound in Illinois where she had the task of deciphering messages supposedly hidden in Shakespeare’s plays. The college-educated Friedman became suspicious that Shakespeare’s plays had any hidden secrets because only the woman who trained her could find the secret codes, and her results could not be replicated. Elizebeth shared her suspicions about her Shakespeare work with a scientist named William Friedman, who worked at the compound doing genetics research.

William and Elizebeth married and left the compound in Illinois for Washington D.C., where they were employed for the rest of their careers. Both of them studied the art of cryptography and developed methods that their successors could use. They also collected cryptography materials so that they and others could learn. As part of the Coast Guard staff, Elizebeth aided the government in breaking organized crime syndicates that ran rampant during Prohibition. The skills she honed prepared her for cracking the communications of the Nazis working in South America during WWII. Though not publicly credited for her efforts, records in the National Archives demonstrate the impact she had on the national security efforts of the United States. Fagone includes some of the codes and methods Elizebeth used to break the codes throughout the biography. Those interested in U.S. history, intelligence, and women’s history will find Mrs. Friedman’s biography a compelling story.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Who is?

Malala Yousafzai
“The terrorists thought that they would change our aims and stop our ambitions, but nothing changed in my life except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage were born.”

Malala Yousafzai came into the world in July 1997. In her home country of Pakistan, Ms. Yousafzai went to school, even though the Taliban did not want girls to be educated. For years, Ms. Yousafzai spoke out against the oppression by the Taliban and defended the right for girls to have an education. In 2012, on her way home from school, a man got on Ms. Yousafzai’s school bus and shot her in the head. She survived the attack, and went on to speak at the United Nations less than a year after the Taliban tried to take her life away.
Ms. Yousafzai has written a book titled, I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, which chronicles her life and experiences. She also received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, the youngest person in the history of the prize to have this gotten this award. The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, appointed Ms. Yousafzai as a U.N. Messenger of Peace in 2017.

Source: (2018, February 26). Malala Yousafzai Biography. Retrieved from:

Monday, March 5, 2018

Who is?...

Alice Walker
“Our mothers and grandmothers have, more often than not anonymously, handed on the creative spark, the seed of the flower they themselves never hoped to see.” From The Third Life of Grange Copeland [1970]

Alice Walker is author of the Pulitzer prize-winning novel, The Color Purple. Ms. Walker grew up in Georgia, and graduated as the valedictorian of her class. She went on to graduate with a degree from Sarah Lawrence College. Before earning her living as a writer, Ms. Walker was a social worker, a teacher, and she was a civil rights activist. Ms. Walker married a Jewish man, and their marriage was the first legal interracial union in Mississippi. During her career, she has published over 20 works, and she continues to write. Her website lists a poem she wrote in 2018.

To learn more check out the following sites:
Alice Walker’s official website

Sources: (2018, February 27). Alice Walker Biography. Retrieved from:  

O’Brien, G., ed. (2012). Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, 18th ed. New York: Little, Brown and Company. pp. 860.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Women's History Month at the Library: She Persisted

Each March, the Sullivan Library and Learning Resource Center celebrates Women’s History Month with a book display featuring items from the collection. Our theme this year is “She Persisted” featuring women who broke barriers and persisted in their efforts. In addition to the display, the library staff will make posts on our social media presences about these featured women. Follow our blog, “library news you can use,” and our Facebook page.
For more information about Women's History Month visit: 

The National Women's History Project

Come in the library and view our display.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Harriet Tubman

Ermeberger. (n.d.). Harriet Tubman in Auburn, NY. 
Retrieved from:

Harriet Tubman, “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”

Ms. Tubman was born Araminta Ross. During her lifetime, Ms. Tubman served as a conductor on the Underground Railroad and led more than 100 people to their freedom. Ms. Tubman also worked as a nurse and a spy during the Civil War and fought for equality for African Americans and women. The U.S. Treasury Department announced in 2016 that it would place Harriet Tubman’s image on the $20.00 bill in the future.

To learn more about Ms. Tubman, visit the sites below or borrow a DVD about the Underground Railroad from the Sullivan University Library.

Brown, D.L. (2017, September 1). Whether She’s on the $20 Bill or Not, Harriet Tubman Made Men Pay for Underestimating Her. The Washington Post. Retrieved from:

Harriet Tubman Biography. (2018, February 13). The website. Retrieved from:

Harriet Tubman Quotes. (n.d.). Retrieved January 25, 2018, from Web site:

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Thurgood Marshall: Supreme Court Justice

“Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on.”

Justice Marshall, the first African American justice appointed to the United States Supreme Court, also argued the Brown v. Board of Education case in front of the Supreme Court. Justice Marshall graduated from Lincoln University and graduated top in his class from Howard University’s law school. President Lyndon Johnson appointed Marshall to the post of Solicitor General in 1965, and then in 1967, President Johnson appointed him to the U.S. Supreme Court. As Solicitor General, Justice Marshall participated in the famous Miranda v. Arizona case. When Justice Marshall passed away in 1993, he lay in state in the Great Hall of the Supreme Court.

For more information:
Justice Marshall on 

Justice Marshall from the Oyez site 

Borrow books about Thurgood Marshall from the Sullivan University Library.

Miranda v. Arizona. (n.d.). Oyez. Retrieved February 13, 2018, from

Thurgood Marshall Quotes. (n.d.). Retrieved January 25, 2018, from Web site:

United States Courts. (2018) Justice Thurgood Marshall Profile-Brown v. Board of Education Reenactment. Retrieved from: