Read and discuss book about women in World War II at “Finding Her Voice” Book Club

Learn the untold stories of women who helped with critical intelligence information during World War II during the “Finding Her Voice” Book Club on Wednesday, Nov. 13, at the Hayes Presidential Library & Museums.

The “Finding Her Voice” Book Club will discuss “The Debs of Bletchley Park” by Michael Smith from noon to 2 p.m.

Joan Eckermann, Hayes Presidential special events and volunteer coordinator, will lead the discussion. The book focuses on women who worked for allied intelligence in England during the war.

Admission is free. Participants are welcome to bring their lunch.

The book club, which meets periodically through March, is part of the Hayes Presidential’s “Finding Her Voice” program. This special program runs in conjunction with the centennial of women’s suffrage and includes special exhibits in the museum, the book club and other programs being planned to celebrate and learn about women’s history. A different Hayes Presidential staff member will lead each book discussion.

The rest of the book club schedule is as follows:

  • Wednesday, Dec. 4 – “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte. Rediscover the classic novel by Charlotte Bronte. When “Jane Eyre” was published in England in 1847, (under Bronte’s male pseudonym, Currer Bell), it was ground-breaking in so many ways.  Contemporary critics described Jane and the novel as “coarse” and “unfeminine.” Yet, the novel soared in popularity. Set against the backdrop of 19th century England and an intriguing mystery, the novel features a strong female as its central character.  Jane Eyre is an orphan, raised by a cruel relative who sees Jane as nothing but a burden. Society and Jane’s family dismiss her from their ranks because she is poor, small and unattractive. Jane, however, uses her plucky, indomitable spirit and sharp wit to carve out her own place in the world. Christie Weininger, executive director, will lead this discussion.


  • Wednesday, Jan. 29 – “The Women’s Suffrage Movement” by Sally Roesch Wagner. This anthology includes writings of the most well-known suffragists, such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, and accounts of those often overlooked because of their race, from Native American women to African American suffragists, including  Ida B. Wells and the Forten sisters. Dustin McLochlin, curator, leads this discussion.


  • Wednesday, March 18 – “The Hello Girls” by Elizabeth Cobbs. This book shares the story of the first official U.S. Army female officers, who worked for the U.S. Army Signal Corps in France during World War I. They joined the army at the same time suffragettes were lobbying for the right to vote. Joan Eardly, education coordinator, leads this discussion.


For updates on “Finding Her Voice,” visit The program includes special exhibits “Demon Rum & Cold Water: The Two Sides of Temperance” and “Women of Spiegel Grove.”

            “Finding Her Voice” is sponsored by title sponsor the Reed Fund of The Toledo Community Foundation and major sponsors The Randolph J. & Estelle M. Dorn Foundation and ProMedica Memorial Hospital. “Finding Her Voice” is made possible in part by Ohio Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

            The Hayes Presidential Library & Museums is America’s first presidential library and the forerunner of the federal presidential library system. It is partially funded by the state of Ohio and affiliated with the Ohio History Connection. The Hayes Presidential Library & Museums is located at Spiegel Grove at the corner of Hayes and Buckland avenues.

For information, call 419-332-2081, or visit Like HPLM on Facebook at @rbhayespres and follow on Twitter and Instagram at @rbhayespres.