Why Women Love The Library

I’m not real clear why this is a women-only issue, but the American Library Association and Woman’s Day magazine are teaming up on a national essay contest.

The topic, according to the Westport Public Library:  “Why is the Westport Library important to you?”

(I assume women can insert the name of their own library — I don’t think all women in America will write about Westport.)

From now through May 9, women ages 18 and up are invited to send in stories of 700 words or less.  (Why the age limit?  Beats me.)

Winners will be published in the March 2011 edition of Woman’s Day. Seems far in the future, but who am I to judge?

The fact that Westport Public Library director Maxine Bleiweis is a woman is probably not a winning topic.

This seems like a great topic.  Not that Westport women need help figuring out what to write, but the Westport library offers an incredible array of services: job seekers’ forums, Kindles to check out, intriguing events (examples:  a mother-daughter self-defense workshop, and a presentation on packing healthy school lunches), a superb children’s library, an enticing cafe and a well-stocked DVD section, to name just a few.

Still stumped?  How about the library’s yeowoman’s work during last month’s storm?  Entire families camped there for days.  It was the place to go to read, socialize, use the internet, charge cell phones, and of course dry your hair.

If you’ve got severe writer’s’ block, check out last year’s winners here.  Then get cranking, ladies.  Tell the rest of the country how wonderful our library is for all Westporters, regardless of age, race or economic status.

And gender.

(Send submissions to womansday@ala.orgClick here for more information, including official rulesTo share your entry with the Westport library staff, email mbleiweis@westportlibrary.org.)

5 responses to “Why Women Love The Library

  1. The Dude Abides

    Why just women? Seems rather discriminatory in these days of equal rights, NOW mandates and state approved ERA amendments. Maybe I will renew my membership at Augusta!

  2. Oh Dude,

    And to think that we were getting along!!! Equal rights???? On paper perhaps, but until women are paid the same as men for the same position, there is nothing equal.
    But to get to the point of Dan’s article, perhaps it is because women (generally) spend more time at the library with their small children. When my children were small, I was there at least three times per week and when they began school, more often. Men that work in Manhattan during the week (which I venture is a good portion of Westport) simply can’t go.
    And, by all means, renew your membership at Augusta!!

  3. The Dude Abides

    Nah, too expensive. Longshore will do. Actually, you are correct on the pay. Women make 70 cents to every dollar for the men. In the immortal words of Steven Corbert: “Then why don’t we hire more women??”But women now comprise over 50% of the work force so they are on that train too. I visit the library nearly every day to do research (books still are my thing) and many men are frequent visitors including those who appear to be working (i.e. suits). Also, considering that 1/3 of all journalists (64% men) have been laid off in recent years, why not let the men contribute to the essay competition??? If you are gonna talk the talk, you gotta walk the walk. Equal is equal.

    P.S. Now that I know you are a woman, I guess I gotta be nicer.

  4. Dude,

    You don’t have to be nicer, I would just like to think that I am conversing with a gentleman. There seem to be so few these days!
    I appreciate the fact that you acknowledge difference in salaries.
    Actually, years ago, the whole trend of men being paid more was alleged to be, that most of them were married and supporting their families. Women were housewives, looked after the children and had to be taken care of. At least, that’s what they wanted women to believe!
    Where single women factored in that scale is beyond me.
    Nevertheless, you should be able to contribute to the contest. I don’t really think that the contest is intended to leave men out – I just think that the powers that be didn’t think that manly men would be interested in writing for Woman’s Day magazine!

  5. The Dude Abides

    I think Dan can swear to my character. I do this blog as an intellectual exercise. No more, no less. But as a former attorney turned writer, I tend to like to argue. I am also the son of a feminist, married to one for 33 years and have bred a super charged daughter. Thus, my empathy goes out to those underpaid in comparison with their male counterparts. Such battle is finding different issues as many women who leave the work place to have children are finding it more and more difficult to return to their positions. A good book on the subject is “Women Economics” written by two television anchors who tried to juggle both roles as mothers and career woman. Interesting read. That being said, I completely agree with you that all such writers, regardless of gender, should be granted access to the competition. As proof, I will enter. Will let you know how that turns out.