Archives—September 2019

Award Winning Author Mary Doria Russell Coming to Houghton

Publicity photograph of author Mary Doria Russell. A woman poses and smiles by a fence.
Acclaimed author Mary Doria Russell. Photograph by Don Russell.

Award winning author Mary Doria Russell will be coming to Houghton for two special events centered around her recent novel The Women of the Copper Country. The Portage Lake District Library (PLDL) and the J. Robert Van Pelt and John and Ruanne Opie Library (Van Pelt and Opie Library) are excited to host her for a two-part presentation series.

A formal lecture will take place on October 8 at 7 pm in the East Reading Room of the Van Pelt and Opie Library on the Michigan Tech campus. A social hour and book signing will follow the presentation. A second event, an informal book talk and book signing, will take place at the PLDL on October 9 from 6-8 pm. Refreshments will be served at both events and all are welcome to attend!

The front cover of the book, The Women of the Copper Country.
The front cover of Mary Doria Russell’s latest novel, The Women of the Copper Country.

The Women of the Copper Country centers on the life of American labor activist, Annie Clements, as well as paints a broader historical portrait of the lives of local people in the midst of a turbulent labor movement and social landscape. The historical novel is startlingly relevant today and would be of great interest to the campus and local communities. Some of the research for her book was conducted with assistance from the Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections. 

For more information about the events please contact Katie Edson (906) 487-1636, Lindsay Hiltunen (906) 487-3209, or Michael Stanitis (906) 482-4570. The author’s visit is made possible by a travel grant from the Friends of the Michigan Tech Library and The Women of the Copper Country Planning Committee.


Forbidden Books!

Who doesn’t like reading a book deemed so dangerous it shouldn’t be read?

At the end of September every year, the American Library Association and Amnesty International partner together to host Banned Books Week. They highlight books previously and currently challenged in bans across the United States.

In the spirit that people should be able to read whatever they want, the map shows nearly 50 countries with books currently banned (or were banned in the recent past). The map shows that, unfortunately, freedom of information is still being curtailed around the world.

Here is a map and in this linked article you’ll find a brief description of each book and why it’s too dangerous to read.


Constitution Day 2019: Celebrating in Partnership with the Van Pelt and Opie Library, LWVCC, and riseUP

Constitution Day, September 17 annually, commemorates the adoption of the US Constitution, and every year it is celebrated at Michigan Tech and in the community.  This year we celebrate the 19th Amendment, which removed restrictions due to sex from the Constitution.  The 19th reads:  The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

On September 17, 2019 we celebrate the 19th Amendment to the Constitution through the showing of the film, “Iron Jawed Angels,” which tells the tale of the last decade of the seven-decade struggle to gain voting rights for all women citizens in the US.  The film will be shown at 7:30pm in the East Reading Room of the Van Pelt and Opie Library on Michigan Tech’s campus.  The fight for women’s voting rights peaked during World War I, and the adoption of the 19th Amendment was anything but obvious.  Other hot topics at the time were discriminatory racial practices, prohibition, immigration, labor safety and rights, and industrialization.  Following the film there will be an informative discussion led by Michigan Tech Social Sciences Lecturer, Susanna D. Peters, J.D.  Please join us for this educational event.

The Constitution Day film showing is co-sponsored by the Van Pelt and Opie Library, the League of Women Voters of the Copper Country, and riseUP, recognizing the Importance of Women’s Suffrage Everywhere-Upper Peninsula, a local group organizing a year-long educational program surrounding suffrage rights and acquisition of full citizenship rights by all populations.  More information on these groups will be available at the film showing.