Monday, February 26, 2007

One year to save the feminist library - Press Release

"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 organisition. 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." "

If there is anyone reading this blog who can offer any sort of help to the Feminist Library please contact me. What we really need is a viable and affordable space to house the collection, financial assistance, publicity and volunteer womanpower. If there are any skills or time that you believe that you could offer, it would be greatly appreciated. This is the last chance to save this valuable resource and piece of history for future generations.

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