One year to save the Feminist Library
Jess McCabe // 25 February 2007
Some readers might know this, but several of the bloggers at the F Word, including myself and Louise, are involved in volunteering at the Feminist Library.
We had an emergency meeting over the weekend, and have come to the conclusion that we will try and keep going for one more year.
We are still looking for volunteers and other offers of help, so interested readers can email us at email@example.com. We also have a MySpace page, so add us as a friend!
Sunday 25 February 2007
ONE YEAR TO SAVE THE FEMINIST LIBRARY
At an emergency meeting of the Feminist Library management committee,
volunteers and supporters, it has been decided to give ourselves a
year to try and keep the collection together.
If no suitable home – either autonomous or as part of another
organisation – is found for the library by February 2008, the
collection will be split up and dispersed to suitable libraries and
archives across the country, and the Feminist Library as an
organisation will be dissolved.
Despite the efforts of a number of dedicated volunteers, and a change
in management, the library has not been able to get itself out of the
crisis induced in 2003 by a sudden vast increase in its rent. The
Feminist Library management committee decided to call an emergency
meeting in a last ditch attempt to garner support from the feminist
community to stop this valuable collection of many thousands of books,
pamphlets and ephemera, collected since 1975, from being lost.
At the well-attended meeting, held on 24 February, a great deal of
support was voiced for the library, and it was decided to make one
last attempt to save the collection. Seven new volunteers came forward
to join the management committee. Taking guidance from the meeting,
that the library should retain its autonomy if possible, the
reinvigorated management committee will give itself a year to explore
the various options and see if it is possible to retain a viable
feminist library, either independently, or within another
In addition, a number of volunteers put themselves forward at the
meeting to open the library to the public once again, carry out
administrative duties and put together a new website.
One member of the management committee, Gail Chester, said: “It was
gratifying to see such a strong turn out of feminists who support the
library and want us to keep going.”
Jess McCabe, who also sits on the management committee, added: “The
feminist community has demonstrated it wants us to keep on plugging
away at keeping the library open, and that’s what we intend to do.”
Photo (not of the Feminist Library!), by 0olong, shared under a Creative Commons license