Last Month London Met University announced plans to sell off the Women’s Library. If a new home is not found by Dec 2012 the University will run the library as a skeleton service, opening only one day a week.
Most feminists based in London and elsewhere will know what an incredible resource this Library is for activists and researchers alike. It holds one of the most important collections in the world, charting the history of women’s struggles past and present.
The Women’s Library fought for many years to have its own building, which provides an important centre for feminists to research, meet each other, and encounter new ideas. Library staff (with their special knowledge of the collections) play a crucial role in helping feminist researchers, curating exhibitions and collecting contemporary feminist zines and campaign material.
In deciding to sell this collection off, the Vice Chancellor of London Met is showing what little respect he has for women’s history and heritage. He is continuing his and the rest of management’s policy of reducing humanities courses at London Met (last year over 70 courses were closed including history and Caribbean Studies).
London Met is a widening participation university with one of the most working-class and ethnically diverse student bodies in the UK. But perhaps these students do not deserve the vibrant research culture and access to knowledge that the Women’s Library currently offers? We can only guess at the motivations of London Met management…
What you can do:
Staff, feminists and researchers are starting a campaign to ensure that the Women’s Library stays open, keeps its building and retains its staff.
• For more information visit firstname.lastname@example.org where you can sign the petition.
• Please also write to Malcolm Gillies, Vice Chancellor of London Met, expressing your concern: email@example.com.
• Write to the campaign telling us what the Women’s Library means to you firstname.lastname@example.org
• Watch this space for next steps in the campaign.