“For most of history, anonymous was a women.” - Virginia Woolf
March is Women’s History Month. Its origins as a national celebration in 1981 when Congress passed Pub. L. 97-28, authorizing the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week”. In 1987, after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress then passed Pub. L. 100-9, designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month”.
Anne Carroll Moore was a library pioneer.
She was born in Limerick, Maine on July 12, 1871. For a young woman of her day, she pursued a somewhat unconventional path. Moore attended the Library School at the Pratt Institute and following her 1896 graduation, she became a children’s librarian of the Pratt Institute Free Library. After ten years at Pratt, she assumed the position of Superintendent of Work with Children in the New York Public Library. Moore wrote to the American Library Association in 1899 to ask for the creation of a Children’s Division. One long year later, she was elected president of the new Children’s Library Section. She went on to receive two honorary degrees: one from the Pratt Institute for distinguished achievement in 1932 and another honorary degree from the University of Maine in 1940. She was a regular columnist for the Horn Book Magazine, which contained criticism of children’s books. She retired from the NYPL in 1941. She was a major influence in library children’s services not only in the U.S., but in Japan, Russia, Sweden, India, and many other countries. She passed away in 1961 and is buried in Limerick, Maine.
National Service Dog Month: Sharing the Value of Guide Dogs and Organizations That Bring Them to People Who Are Visually Impaired
By Kevin Damask, staff writer with the Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired
For millions of Americans who are blind or visually impaired, having a guide dog gives them greater independence to perform everyday tasks.
As we honor National Service Dog Month this September, it’s important to emphasize the value of service dogs and the organizations that work to bring them to individuals in need.
National Service Dog Month, previously known as National Guide Dog Month, was established in 2008 by actor and animal advocate Dick Van Patten, who also ignited a fundraising drive to help service dog training schools in the United States. National Service Dog Month honors guide dogs, seeing-eye dogs, service pets, and other assistance pets.
In Madison, the OccuPaws Guide Dog Association has provided guide dogs for people who are visually impaired since 2005 at no cost to the client. OccuPaws President Barb Schultze said the organization trains dogs from the time they are puppies to a point when they believe a dog is ready to be placed. Volunteers can help raise puppies prior to their arrival to a client’s home. OccuPaws currently has 24 dogs in training.
“We are accredited by the International Guide Dog Federation who puts a seal of approval on guide dog organizations that produce good guide dogs,” Schultze said. “We are audited by them every five years. What’s really great about getting international accreditation is that our veterans who receive dogs can now get them paid for through the Department of Veteran Affairs. It’s so important to get accreditation because it allows us to help others.”
OccuPaws takes about two weeks to place a dog with a client, making sure their home is adapted and the dog fits well with its new owner. After a dog is placed, OccuPaws checks in with clients frequently to make sure the transition is going smoothly.
“We don’t just place them with the client and say goodbye,” Schultze said.
When thinking about life with a guide dog, there are several important factors to consider. A person who is visually impaired that doesn’t leave home regularly may be better suited with a white cane for assistance instead of a dog, according to Schultze. The cost of taking care of a dog for several years also has to be considered.
Schultze said a client’s familiarity with their neighborhood also helps when they are training the dog to guide them throughout the community.
“You also have to consider if you like dogs and are comfortable around them,” Schultze said.
Besides servicing Wisconsin, Occupaws also provides trained dogs to residents in communities within 75 miles of the state’s borders.
The organization welcomes volunteers and donations. OccuPaws also hosts fundraisers throughout the year to support its services.
“We’re always looking for people to raise puppies, so if you’re interested, please let us know,” Schultze said.
For more information on OccuPaws, go to www.occupaws.org or call 608-772-3787.
By Mary Ann Stemper
Those who have attended all three monthly book circles since they began in February report an unexpected benefit; they are reading more. “I’ve read more in the last two months than I read in two years,” one said. Others agreed. People who like to read also like to talk about and share books.
The selections for Saturday, April 2 were from books that friends had recommended; a wide variety of authors and books held the spotlight for 90 minutes.
Children’s author and illustrator Patricia Polacco was a favorite of a daughter who taught second grade for many years. Books like Thunder Cake, Thank You, Mr. Frater and The Keeping Quilt reflect the author’s rich story telling heritage from her Ukrainian Russian mother and her Irish father. Ironically, one of the participants has the same Ukrainian background. Small world.
A son in law recommended a bestselling nonfiction selection by Erik Larson, Dead Wake; The Last Crossing of the Lusitania. Larson has made a career of well-researched books about historical events including Isaac’s Storm about the Galveston Tidal Wave.
Ordinary Acrobats recommended itself from an end cap of sale books. It’s an interesting blend of the author’s own experience and the history of the circus. Nearly all participants had strong childhood memories of the circus.
Ordinary Grace was endorsed by a friend on the strength of its beautifully written prose. Like many of the St. Paul author’s mysteries, this one is set in northern Wisconsin but has a spiritual depth not found in his earlier works. When speaking of language, Richard Russo’s Empire Falls got a mention. It’s been mentioned at a previous book circle
The very popular, The Book Thief was judged by a friend and her daughter as about the best book they ever read. Set in WWII, it reminded the presenter of Anthony Doerr’s prize winning recent bestseller, All the Light You Cannot See also set in WWII. She remains lukewarm to both but thought they were worth reading. It is amusing that the local library can’t seem to keep The Book Thief on the shelf; someone keeps stealing it. She offered two slim volumes about WWII, Eli Wiesel’s Night and John Hershey’s Hiroshima both old and unforgettable reads.
Kendra Elliott’s Vanished accompanied one reader and her granddaughter who recommended it to New Orleans on her Kindle. It was perfect for travel, engaging but not demanding of total attention.
T.C.Boyle’s The Tortilla Curtains was suggested by a friend who said it was different from his other books and set memorably and dramatically in a Malibu Canyon flood.
A fan of cop stories offered two favorite authors, Tony Hillerman who writes about Navajo policing and Nevada Barr who favors crime solving in the National Parks.
Session 4 is set for 9:30 on Saturday May 7. Taking a Challenge selections in May will be either a Book that Scared You or A Book that Has a one Word Title.