In 2015 the Feminist Library celebrated 40 years of archiving and activism. But the future is uncertain – due to unsustainable rent increases the building that has been our home for the past 30 years is no longer viable.
On December 23rd 2015, Southwark Council asked for an immediate increase in rent from £12,000 to £30,000 a year. This dramatic increase meant that we faced eviction on 1st March 2016. (Press release here)
We launched a wide-scale campaign to fight the council’s decision, gaining international support, positive media coverage and 16000 signatures to our ‘save the library’ petition. We also held a successful ‘read in’ protest, where members of the public gathered to read feminist books.
We have now reached an agreement that will allow us to stay in our current building for a further six months, until 30 October 2016. Beyond this, we will either have pay the market rate or find new premises.
We have now launched a campaign to find a new, permanent and secure home to house our unique collection, currently at risk of being lost forever.
We are looking for new premises and we need your support.
You can help:
- Donate to our emergency fund and share as widely as possible. Every penny raised will be put towards securing a new home, and the cost of moving our collection.
- Set up a regular donation. Regular donations, even small ones, help us to make future plans.
- Ask your union branch to make a donation to our fund (we can supply a draft motion).
- Put on a fundraising or support event.
- Show support on Facebook and Twitter, and tell your friends how much the library means to you.
- Include a legacy for the Library in your will.
- Visit the library to browse, use our collection for research or arrange a student visit.
- Volunteer: we have always been volunteer led, with collective organising and skill-sharing at the core of our values. Volunteering with us gives you a chance to make an immeasurably valuable contribution, and to meet a like-minded group of people
How to donate to our emergency fund
To set up a regular standing order or make a one-off donation – do this via charity checkout.
Cheques should be made payable to “The Feminist Library” and should be sent to The Feminist Library, 5a Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7XW.
What we do
- We have an incomparable collection of over 7,000 books, 1500 periodical titles from around the world, archives of feminist individuals and organisations, pamphlets, papers, posters, and ephemera.
- We have space for meetings, readings, exhibitions and events, a space which supports and encourages research, activism and community projects
- We are volunteer led, as we have been for all our life
- We are intergenerational, being significant custodians of our feminist heritage, whilst looking to the future
- We are a registered charity, and completely self-funding
- We publish our own zines and support independent producers by archiving and selling their material.
- Our approach is intersectional – we provide a space for different feminisms to co-exist.
But all of this is in danger – our situation is emblematic of the climate of austerity, with many libraries and women’s organisations being forced to close, and pressure on all community resources coming from rocketing property prices, especially in London.
As the feminist movement of today grows, The Feminist Library can safeguard its history, and be part of its future. But we cannot do this without the support of the wider community.
If you have any questions, suggestions, or want to discuss further, please get in touch.
5 Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7XW
020 7261 0879