March Issue

This month, we’re celebrating some our favorite women in fiction – along with the women who write and read them! Click here to browse a list of books by world-famous women authors from A to Z.

New Arrivals

View upcoming releases and place holds on some of the top new books we have ordered that are being released next month.

Staff Spotlight

This month, we asked some of our favorite female staff members to tell us about their favorite female characters. Read on for our book recommendations featuring powerful, compelling, and multifaceted leading ladies!
Binti | Nnedi Okorafor
Binti is a compelling character from the start, sneaking away from her Himba village and onto a transport ship headed to the prestigious intergalactic university she is determined to attend. She spends the beginning of her journey making fast friends and navigating culture shock, only for her world to be turned upside down when a hostile alien force hijacks her ship. But Binti meets disaster with a sharp mind and diplomatic poise, all while navigating a mysterious power bestowed on her by her alien captors.
Sabriel | Garth Nix
Sabriel is a classic YA fantasy novel about a cool necromancer (the titular Sabriel) and her journey into the Old Kindom to rescue her father Abhorsen, who has been trapped in the realm of death by a mysterious and powerful entity. She carries a sick magic sword, binds the dead with enchanted bells, and travels with a sarcastic talking cat named Mogget – what more could middle-school-me ask for? Not to mention that the 1995 cover art by Leo and Diane Dillon (pictured above) makes her look extremely rad.
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
The main character is based on the historical figure Wu Zeitan, the only female emperor in Chinese history. It’s a YA sci-fi re-imagining of her and it involves mecha based on creatures from East Asian myth – plus there’s a romance plot that cleverly subverts the typical love triangle dynamic. It’s rad and everyone should read it!
The Golden Compass | Philip Pullman
Lyra is precocious, impulsive, irresponsible, and very authentically an eleven-year-old girl. The His Dark Materials trilogy is often compared to C.S. Lewis’ classic Chronicles of Narnia (of which Philip Pullman was a very vocal critic), and while I enjoyed both series growing up, Lyra has a spark of mischief and rebelliousness that made her way more interesting to me than Narnia’s Susan or Lucy. It’s also worth noting that the witch queen Serafina Pekkala, also from The Golden Compass, is a close runner up for my favorite female book character.
The Selection | Kiera Cass
America Singer is a strong independent woman, who is selected for the chance to marry Prince Maxon. She however is one of the few girls not to be excited to be chosen for this opportunity. She is a woman with her own thoughts and opinions of the world and will not let anyone tell her how to think or feel about the things happening around her. The selection is the first book in a series.

Of the many ways you can support your libraries, Memorials are a special way to keep your loved one’s memory and legacy alive.

Do you have a senior set to graduate high school who has a love for the library, or a hard to buy for friend who uses the Idea Lab, grandparents celebrating an anniversary who use the Heritage Room? Honorariums are a wonderful way to celebrate an event or achievement and would make a lovely gift!

Notice of your contribution to the Erie Regional Library Foundation will be sent to the individual or family of the person being recognized.

Gifts to the Erie Regional Library Foundation are permanently acknowledged and displayed at all library locations.

Donations can be made online here.

Featured Programs

Visit us this month and take your pick from a plethora of exciting programs on art, music, history, and of course, reading! For a complete list of library events, visit our online events calendar at

All library programs are free and open to the public unless otherwise stated. Programs are made possible through the generous support of the Friends of the Erie County Public Library.

Chapter Book Club

Tuesday, March 7
6:30 PM, Blasco Library

A stepping stone between Early Reader Book Club and Blasco Bookworms, Chapter Book Club is for readers who are ready for more than easy readers, but aren't quite ready for full-length novels. This book club is meant for children grades 2-5 or ages 7-12, depending on their reading level. We will meet for two sessions to discuss Choose Your Own Adventure: DINO LAB. Join us for book discussion, snacks, and activities! Registration is required and space is limited. By registering for this program, you are committing to both sessions of this club.

Spoon Carving Meet-Up

Wednesday, March 15
6:00 PM, Blasco Idea Lab

Join the Erie Spoon Club for their monthly meet up. Want to learn more about carving wooden spoons or are you already a carver and want to enjoy your passion with others?  Stop on down! Use some of the Idea Lab's carving tools to try out this art form. No registration required. Ages 18+ only.

Homeschool Happy Hour: Junior Librarian

Thursday, March 16, 2:00 PM Iroquois Branch
Thursday, March 23, 2:00 PM Lincoln Branch
What happens at the library once you return the books? How do we know where to put the books or where to find them? What does alphabetical order mean? Join us for a deep dive into what goes on at the library, how to best use your library card, and what databases and resources are available beyond books, all while earning your Junior Librarian badge. Ages 5-12. Young children should be accompanied by an adult for this program.

Drawing Workshop: Self-Portrait Drawing

Saturday, March 18
10:30 AM, Iroquois Branch
According to Roman Historian Pliny the Elder, Iaia of Cyzicus (1st Century BCE) was the first woman in recorded western history to render a "portrait of herself executed with the aid of a mirror." In honor of Women's History Month, BRING YOUR MIRRORS and let's draw some 21st Century women! Non-critique sharing time will be available at the end, but isn't mandatory. No previous drawing experience needed. Registration required. All supplies provided. Limited to 5 participants, ages 12 and older.

WQLN Presents: "Becoming Frederick Douglass" & "Harriet Tubman: Visions of Freedom"

Saturday, March 18
1:30 PM, Blasco Library

Join us in Blasco's Hirt Auditorium for biopics about trailblazing scientists, musicians, history-makers and more on the big screen! In partnership with WQLN, the Erie County Public Library is excited to host the Trailblazers Film Series throughout 2023. This month, stop in for a double-feature screening of PBS documentaries “Becoming Frederick Douglass” and “Harrier Tubman: Visions of Freedom.” Free and open to the public. No registration required. All films shown with closed captions. See the event listing for film summaries.

People and Place: Stories Surrounding the Erie Land Lighthouse

Monday, March 20
6:00 PM, Iroquois Branch 

Lighthouses are beacons of historic preservation, drawing visitors from near and far to view their unique structure and beauty. How did these structures serve their communities? Who operated them? Why were they important to Erie's early economy? What do we use the Lighthouse for now? Join us for a short presentation on the people associated with Erie's Land Lighthouse and how this structure helped to place Erie on Pennsylvania's map. Registration required.

D&D for Beginners

Tuesday, March 21
6:00 PM, Blasco Library
Do you want to go on an epic quest? Do you want to make new friends and slay monsters? What about telling a story together and playing a game? Or maybe do some sneaky math? Join us to learn the basics of Dungeons & Dragons, create a character, and play through a basic adventure! Registration is required and space is limited. By registering for this program, you are committing to both sessions of this club. Ages 8-12.

Night of African Gospel Music: A Lecture Recital

Saturday, March 25
4:00 PM, Blasco Library

Come learn about and listen to African Gospel music performed by David Kambowa and the Altar of Worship Choir This concert is a partnership between David Kambowa, Erie Arts & Culture, and the Erie County Public Library and is funded by the Northwestern PA Arts Recovery Grant. Registration not required.

Library Reference Highlight

American Women Speak showcases “more than 150 American women activists from colonial times to the present,” from famous visionaries like Wilma Mankiller, Angela Davis, Helen Keller, and Dolores Huerta, to lesser-known women you may not have heard of. Each entry includes a bit of biographical information plus excerpts from some of their most famous speeches.
This title is part of the Blasco Library’s reference collection. While all items in reference are non-circulating – meaning they can’t be checked out from the building – you can view these items at any time during regular library operating hours.
View All Library Databases

Library Resource Highlight

Looking for a book with a strong woman at its center? Find book recommendations using the library’s NoveList database. Use the “Browse By” function at the top of the page, select “Appeal,” then filter by “Character” and “Strong Female” for a selection of books featuring compelling women leads. NoveList recommends The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by Victoria Schwab, The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

Honorariums & Memorials

Click here to make a donation in honor or in memory of a loved one.
Click here to make a donation in honor or in memory of a loved one.
In Memory of Laird Muir

Given by Mary, Sue, Peg, and the Jack Trost Family

Given by James and Barbara Bemis

Given by Tom, Fay, & Melissa Trost

Given by Nancy Yochim, Thelma Eichenlaub, Judy Friewald, & Gerry Giacomelli
In Memory of Jean Hirsch
Given by Elizabeth Gardner

In Memory of Colleen Borowski 
Given by Sally Morgan
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