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Welcome to February!
February is Black History Month. This month-long holiday is important because many of us are woefully unaware of the depth, breadth, and relevance of Black history. While we still work to remind our loved ones and colleagues that the need for racial justice is as present and persistent as ever, it’s also difficult for us to comprehend just how recently so much of Black history has taken place. While we look at black-and-white images from the Civil Rights Movement like a long-lost period in American history, we must remember that some of our parents and grandparents watched these events unfold, a century after the abolition of slavery in the United States.
Although we certainly don’t need an awareness holiday to embrace and honor Black history, this month is an opportunity to reconcile with the past, pave the way for a more just future, and celebrate all the amazing historical figures, past and present.
~Sherry

Resources:

  • Did you miss Monday’s Youth Media Awards Press Conference? Don’t fret! Watch a recording of the live streamed event online and feel part of the celebration that announced the recipients of the Newbery, Coretta Scott King, Caldecott, Printz, and other prestigious awards and honors for children’s and young adult books and media.

  • Black History Resources from Britannica Education Every February, the U.S. honors the contributions and sacrifices of African Americans who have helped shape the nation. To help your students celebrate the rich cultural heritage, triumphs, and adversities indelible in our country’s history, Britannica Education has compiled a selection of teaching and learning materials adapted to fit multiple grade levels.

  • Authentic Representation in Rural Picturebooks : (See attached pdf) Only 9 percent of the rural US workforce is in agriculture, with 91 percent having livelihoods in service, tourism, government, education, manufacturing, mining, health care, and energy. Yet much children’s literature continues to present settings where family farming dominates the rural economy, neglecting the diversity of rural work. Librarians serve children in specific locations; as they seek to help children make cross-cultural connections and develop skills necessary to function in a culturally pluralistic society, they must consider a book’s authenticity and specific geography.

  • ALA Conference:

  • WIPPS Releases Lincoln and Marathon County Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Welcomeness Survey Report Participants were asked to express their opinion on how welcoming their community is, as well as their personal attitudes toward people of different backgrounds.

Continuing Education:

Consumables:

Diverse Holidays in February:

February is Black History Month in the United States and Canada since 1976. Carter Woodson, the twentieth-century historian, created Black History Month. He believed Black Americans were not adequately represented in the study of American history. Carter Woodson also hoped for the day when Americans would accept Black history as a part of American history.

February 1:  National Freedom Day, which celebrates the signing of the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery in the United States in 1865

February 1:  Imbolc, a Gaelic traditional festival marking the beginning of spring

February 2:  Candlemas, a Christian holiday that celebrates three occasions according to Christian belief: the presentation of the child Jesus, Jesus’ first entry into the temple, and the Virgin Mary’s purification

February 3:  St. Blaise Day (The Blessing of the Throats), the feast day of St. Blaise of Sebaste celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church and some Eastern Catholic Churches

February 3:  Setsubun-Sai (Beginning of Spring), the day before the beginning of spring in Japan, celebrated annually as part of the Spring Festival

February 3:  Four Chaplains Day commemorates the fifty-fifth anniversary of the sinking of the US Army transport Dorchester and the heroism of the four chaplains aboard.

February 4:  Transit Equity Day is a national day of action celebrated on civil rights hero Rosa Parks’ birthday each year. This day is an opportunity to promote the idea that public transit is a civil right for everybody, including people living with vision loss.

February 5:  Lantern Festival, the first significant feast after the Chinese New Year; participants enjoy watching paper lanterns illuminate the sky on the night of the event.

February 5:  Maghi-Purnima, a Hindu festival especially for worshippers of Lord Vishnu. Devotees take a holy bath on this day and also carry out charity work.

February 6: Tu B’shvat, Jewish New Year of the Trees, and the beginning of the agricultural cycle.

February 14:  St. Valentine’s Day, a Western Christian feast day honoring one or two early saints named Valentinus. This holiday is typically associated with romantic love and is celebrated by people expressing their love with gifts.

February 15:  Parinirvana Day (or Nirvana Day), the commemoration of Buddha’s death at the age of 80, when he reached the zenith of Nirvana; February 8 is an alternative date of observance.

February 18: Lailat al Miraj, Commemorates Prophet Muhammad’s nighttime journey from Mecca to Jerusalem where he ascended to heaven, was purified and given the instruction for Muslims to pray 5 times daily.

February 18: Maha Shivaratri, A celebration of the wedding night of Lord Shiva and his consort Goddess Parvati.

February 20:  Presidents Day, a federally recognized celebration in the United States that honors the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln’s birthdays, as well as those of every US president.

February 21: Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras. Historically, on this day, people were meant to use all the fats in the home before Lent in preparation for fasting and abstinence.

February 21: Losar, Tibetan New Year festival. During the ceremonies, people burnt a large quantity of incense to appease local spirits, deities, and protectors. Later this religious festival developed into an annual Tibetan Buddhist festival.

February 22: Ash Wednesday, is a holy day of prayer and fasting in many Western Christian denominations. It is preceded by Shrove Tuesday and falls on the first day of Lent.

February 26–March 1:  Intercalary Days or Ayyám-i-Há, celebrated by people of the Bahá’í faith. At this time, days are added to the Bahá’í calendar to maintain their solar calendar. Intercalary days are observed with gift-giving, special acts of charity, and preparation for the fasting that precedes the New Year.

February 26:  Meatfare Sunday (The Sunday of the Last Judgment), traditionally the last day of eating meat before Easter for Orthodox Christians.

February 27: Clean Monday. After the consumption of big amounts of meat during Meatfare Sunday, Clean Monday comes to clean and purify the body and soul and prepare believers for Easter.