CHICAGO - Throughout the month of March, the American Library Association's (ALA) Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship (COSWL) will recognize and celebrate women's historic achievements with National Women's History Month. The observance also provides an opportunity to honor women within our families and communities.
National Women's History Month traces its origins back to March 8, 1857, when women from New York City factories staged a protest over working conditions. International Women's Day was later observed in 1909. In 1981, the U. S. Congress designated the second week of March National Women's History Week, and in 1987 Congress expanded it to a month-long observance.
COSWL was established by the ALA Council on July 23, 1976, to officially represent the diversity of women's interests within ALA and to ensure that the Association considers the rights of the majority (women) in the library field.
Over the years COSWL has helped develop evaluative tools, guidelines and programs in cooperation with other ALA units to enhance opportunities and the image of women in the library profession. In 2008 the committee created the COSWL Cause Blog, which highlights news and items of interest related to women's issues. COSWL is also on Facebook and Twitter. Other groups within the ALA that represent women's issues include the Social Responsibilities Round Table Feminist Task Force (SRRT-FTF) and the Association of College and Research Libraries Women's Studies Section (ACRL-WSS).
For additional information on National Women's History Month, please visit the National Women's History Project at http://www.nwhp.org/. For more information on COSWL, visit http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/committees/ala/ala-coswl.cfm.