I wanted to briefly talk about November themes you might be using this month and how you might want to rethink what has been used historically in the past.
We just passed the Halloween season, a season that sees issues of cultural appropriation arise more frequently, and people become aware of the effects of their actions in dressing up and in turn mocking other cultures. This does not end with the month of October. November is Native American Heritage Month and includes the Thanksgiving holiday. Most Americans have no idea of the true meaning behind Thanksgiving, as they are often taught a very fairytale-like version in school (i.e. pilgrims, Native Americans, etc). These images are stereotypical and carry messages of who or what Native Americans are supposed to be and enforces a false history.
Our work in libraries on issues of social justice and equity should be a central thread through all of our educational events and programming. Please take a look at your offerings this month with an inclusive lens. If you want to do something honoring the holiday, take the what-I’m-thankful approach, turkeys, or harvest imagery instead. If you want to take some time to unlearn what you’ve learned about Thanksgiving, you can start with a teacher’s post about Thanksgiving books: Kara Stewart’s “Children’s Books about Thanksgiving” and “Deconstructing the Myths of The First Thanksgiving“.
Know that we are all on this path of learning and growing together. If I can help in any way, I am happy to do so at any time.
Lawn Boy and Gender Queer: The Trend Toward Book Challenges – ALA Intellectual Freedom Blog. Suggestions on how to handle challenges in the moment.
Anti-Racism Toolkit for Organizations – The Coalition for Diversity & Inclusion in Scholarly Communication (C4DISC) recently released their Anti-Racism Toolkit for Organizations, the second installment of a three-part series that includes their Anti-Racism Kit for Allies published last year.
In, Out, & In Between: Supporting & Representing LGBTQ+ Teens in Libraries – Recorded Webinar. This session aims to share strategies to support LGBTQIA+ inclusion and representation through young adult collections, virtual teen resources, virtual programming, and staff professional development.
American Indians in Books for Children and Teens – November 8, 7pm. Dakota County Library is hosting a live virtual program with Dr. Debbie Reese as part of their upcoming Native American and Indigenous series. Dr. Reese’s live virtual presentation will be entitled American Indians in Books for Children and Teens and is scheduled for Monday, November 8 at 7 pm.
Virtual Talk – Books on Ojibwe Culture and the Great Lakes – November 11, 7pm. The Lake Talk is the official kickoff for the UW Wisconsin Water Library’s 2022 Maadagindan! (Start Reading!) book club, featuring books for children and young adults on Ojibwe culture and the Great Lakes. Librarians, teachers, educators, parents, and anyone with interest in diversity in children’s literature are welcome to join. Registration is required for the Lake Talk and available now: https://go.wisc.edu/185v68
ALA President Patty Wong to host ALA Connect Live on equity, diversity, and inclusion – November 18, 1pm. Hosted by President Patty Wong, the first ALA President of Chinese American heritage, the November program for ALA Connect Live will feature a conversation facilitated by Dr. Nicole Cooke about equity, diversity, and inclusion through the lens of programs, initiatives, and scholarships that are impactful, meaningful, and actionable.
Disability Justice in Libraries – November 18, 1pm. Taking a disability justice approach means we have made a choice; we can’t hide behind the idea of neutrality. But what is disability justice? Who is affected by it and what does it mean for library services and collections?
Disability Visibility: First‐Person Stories from the Twenty‐First Century Disabled young people will be proud to see themselves reflected in this hopeful, compelling, and insightful essay collection, adapted for young adults from the critically acclaimed adult book
Diverse Holidays in November:
National Native American Heritage Month celebrates the diverse and rich culture, history, and traditions of Native people. The observance is also a time to educate anyone and everyone about the different tribes, raise awareness about the struggles native people faced as well as in the present. In 1990, President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November of 1990 National American Indian Heritage Month.
National Family Caregivers Month, proclaimed in 2012 by Former President Barack Obama. It honors the more than 40 million caregivers across the country who support aging parents, ill spouses or other loved ones with disabilities who remain at home.
National Military Family Month recognizes the commitment and dedication these families make to their service members. The Armed Services YMCA along with the U.S. Government established Military Family Month in 1996.
National Adoption Month raises awareness and increases outreach concerning the need for permanent families across the United States. President Clinton expanded the awareness week to the entire month of November in 1998.
National Alzheimer’s Disease Month shines a spotlight on the most common form of dementia. In 1983, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month.
November 1: All Saints’ Day, a Christian holiday commemorating all known and unknown Christian saints.
November 2: All Souls’ Day, a Christian holiday commemorating all faithful Christians who are now dead. In the Mexican tradition, the holiday is celebrated as Dia de los Muertos (October 31- November 2), which is a time of remembrance for dead ancestors and a celebration of the continuity of life.
November 4: Diwali, the Hindu, Jain and Sikh five-day festival of lights celebrates new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil and lightness over darkness.
November 6: International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict. On November 6th every year, the UN observes the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict. The day seeks to make people aware of the consequences that war and conflict have on the environment.
November 9: World Freedom Day. In 2001, President George Bush proclaimed World Freedom Day on November 9th to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall. This historic event signified the end of communism in Central and Eastern Europe.
November 11: Veterans Day, a U.S. federal holiday honoring military veterans. The date is also celebrated as Armistice Day, or Remembrance Day, in other parts of the world and commemorates the ending of World War I in 1918.
November 19: International Men’s Day emphasizes the important issues affecting males, including health issues that affect males, improving the relations between genders, highlighting the importance of male role models and promoting gender equality. This holiday is celebrated in over 70 countries.
November 20: Transgender Day of Remembrance, established in 1998 to memorialize those who have been killed as a result of transphobia and to raise awareness of the continued violence endured by the transgender community.
November 25: Thanksgiving in the United States. It began as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. November 25th is also International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. On February 7, 2000, the UN officially designated November 25th as the International day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. This day kicks off 16 days of activism, which ends on December 10th, Human Rights Day.
November 26: Native American Heritage Day, held annually the Friday after Thanksgiving, encourages Americans of all backgrounds to observe and honor Native Americans through appropriate ceremonies and activities. The day was signed into law by George W. Bush in 2008.
November 28-December 6: Hanukkah, a Jewish holiday that is celebrated around the world for eight days and nights. Hanukkah celebrates the victory of the Maccabees, or Israelites, over the Greek-Syrian ruler, Antiochus, approximately 2,200 years ago.
November 28-January 6: Nativity Fast, a period of abstinence and penance practiced by the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches in preparation for the Nativity of Jesus.
November 28- December 24: Advent, a Christian season of celebration leading up to the birth of Christ.
– Submitted by Sherry Machones, Northern Waters Library Service