Our activities

The Feminist Library is a space where researchers, activists and interested members of the public can learn about and make feminist history. We have links with a variety of other community organisations.

Training

In 2010, the Feminist Library ran the Librarians for Tomorrow training programme in radical librarianship. Funded by Awards for All, the project provided training in various aspects of radical librarianship for 15 unemployed or underemployed people interested in librarianship and information management.

“Beyond providing us with the history and tools of radical librarianship, the 2010 training programme brought together a group of women of disparate backgrounds with a common goal – to maintain and preserve feminist scholarship and to actively promote a feminist future. It has been a joy to discover the amazing collection and inspiring collective that make up the Feminist Library.” Becky Aizen, Librarians for Tomorrow participant and current volunteer

Community space

A number of like-minded groups use the Feminist Library as a place to meet, plan and work. We regularly host the London Feminist Network book group. During the education cuts protest on December 9th 2010, the library acted as a safe space to which Woodcraft Folk members could come to warm up and recover.

“I am really pleased that we have been able to establish a link with the Feminist library this year. It is a fantastic resource which we used as a safe space to support young people protesting. It is great to know we could use it to support our educational work with young people in the future”. Kit Jones, The Woodcraft Folk

Events

Following the resounding success of our 35th Birthday Benefit, we have started running a series of Upstairs at the Feminist Library arts events.

The first ‘Upstairs…’ event was held on January 20th 2011 and featured Acton Bell, Portia Winters, Kat Austen, Helen McCookerybook, Elizabeth Carola, and The Kitchen Quartet.

Research

The library continues to act as a vital resource for researchers working on topics including women’s history, feminist publishing, and political activism. A growing number of users are researching the history of the Feminist Library.

“I used the Feminist Library for my masters research when I found my university libraries lacking in some core texts from the early years of the women’s movement. The first time I walked in I couldn’t believe it – I had been so used to switching between different libraries to consult the always limited collections on the ‘women’s’ shelves, and here was an entire library, full with every book I’d even seen referenced and so many more. The fiction section particularly excited me, to have women’s and feminist novels collected together and accessible in that way is something really unique.” Tekabe Addis, masters’ student.

If you would like to use our space for an event or meeting please email us at admin@feministlibrary.co.uk

What next?

Over the next year, the Feminist Library can achieve even more. We want to host book launches to celebrate the new wave of feminist scholarship in the UK and beyond. We want to expand our links with schools and young people, as the threat to public education resources continues. In order to continue our work, we need your help.