The Feminist Library’s Manifesta for the next 35 years
‘There is no door-to-door education that takes feminist thinking out of elite colleges and off the history page to tell folks, especially women, what it’s all about, how and where they can join, learn and transform their lives.’
However, since 1975, there has been the Feminist Library, which was set up by a group of women concerned about preserving the writings and the knowledge of the Women’s Liberation Movement. The library was set up during the height of the Second Wave, as there was a political imperative to provide a space for women to organise, agitate, network and share ideas in a clearly feminist space. That political imperative remains to this day.
Despite the dominant media message that there is no need for autonomous, intersectional feminist spaces, we know differently. Although feminism has achieved much, there is still much to fight for. The Feminist Library can and will provide this space.
The library is controlled by the people who use it. We intend to support today’s feminist movement by providing a space to meet and organise and research — not only to read the words of women who have gone before, who will always have the power to inspire us, but to continue collecting the output of a wide range of feminists today. The library’s continued existence is indicative of a strong contemporary movement, a movement proud of its history, which recognises the commitment, passion and diversity of us all, and the power of our words to inspire action and bring true and lasting social change.
The Feminist Library wants to be a force for good, a living breathing space with a growing collection of work that reflects the diversity of the movement we serve. We want feminists to support the library, and use it, thereby contributing to a movement as determined as ever to bring about total liberation from the forces of oppression, exploitation and hierarchy. We want feminists to send us their work so that ideas can be shared freely with the whole movement; and to use our space. We need feminists to rally behind the library and actively support us, so that together we can ensure that the Feminist Library continues to thrive, and so that we can preserve a vibrant network of feminist publishing and activism long into the future.