Monday, 19 March 2012

womens library facing closure

The Women's Library in London holds a special part in my heart. I've been given the opportunity, their support, and the space to host a couple of exhibitions there over the years, they home & archive the UK womens comix zine collection that I donated a few years ago, they have a wonderfully unique space for great events and discussion, and not to mention, above all else, all the important resources they house, archive and preserve. It's such an important centre for women's history (in all its forms and shapes) in the UK. It's therefore with extreme sadness that I read the below this week.
From my inbox...

UNISON statement on the Library’s Special Collections

It is with profound regret that UNISON learned yesterday of the University’s Board of Governors’ decision to seek new homes for The Women’s Library and Trades Union Congress Library Collections.

Social justice, the strides towards equality and the campaigns fought by those unwilling to accept injustice lie at the heart of these collections and they have given our students a real opportunity to engage with these movements and personal histories. These special collections truly emphasized the now seemingly lost intention of London Met Uni’s original aims to widen participation and to promote social justice by offering our students these truly unique resources.

The dedicated staff at both Libraries – who were not involved in these decisions in any way, despite seeking input into the reviews that lead to this decision – will now look to the future. We still believe in the value of the stories documented and want to thank everyone who has supported us so far.

Save the Women’s Library Facebook group -
(not an official group but started but fellow librarians – I think)

Petiton - Save the Women's Library at London Metropolitan University

Target: Secretary of State for Education

Sponsored by: Rudi's Save Our Libraries Campaign

Ugly rumours are circulating that the magnificent, purpose-built, Women's Library at London Metropolitan University may have its opening hours and facilities drastically curtailed, or even be closed altogether. This Library is one of the most magificent specialist libraries in the world, having started life as the Fawcett Library in a poky, cramped, dark basement at Old Castle Street. With money from the Lottery it has become something that previously women - and men - could only have dreamed of. Women have visited from all over not just Britain, but the world. It is a national asset. Whatever the University's problems - which we hope will be resolved - under no circumstances should the Women's Library suffer in any way. Please join, and PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE pass this onto your friends.

There isn’t any information on the Women’s Library web site as yet although they did close unexpectedly for part of Thursday and all day Friday – but that may be a coincidence.

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