The FWSA supports the campaign to ‘save The Women’s Library‘. Please follow the link and sign the petition.
Mary Kennedy, Executive Committee member of Friends of the Women’s Library has written the following letter to the FWSA.
“On Wednesday 14 March, London Metropolitan University’s Board of Governors announced that they will be seeking a new home, custodian or sponsor of The Women’s Library’s collections.
If a new home is not found by the end of December 2012, the Library will move to opening hours of one day per week for a period of three years, with a further review at the end of that period. We will keep you informed of further developments, and we are in the process of contacting key stakeholders.If you have any suggestions of potential custodians, or any queries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
This decision is, we understand, related to the difficult financial position of the University. The view of the Board of Governors is that the University is better able to ensure the long term future of the Library by seeking a new home, custodian or sponsor. The Deputy Chief Executive of the University, Paul Bowler contacted Anne Summers-the Chairwoman of the Friends of the Women’s Library before Christmas to let us know that the University was establishing a small working group of Governors and Senior University Governors to review the arrangements for the housing and management of the Women’s Library and the separate special Trade Union Collection. The outcome of their deliberations was that they can no longer continue to maintain either of the collections in the way in which they have. Paul Bowler has now established a small group to work on identifying potential custodians for the Women’s Library and Amy Gibson, the Women’s Library’s Development Manager has been transferred into the University’s Marketing, Communications and Alumni Department to work on this project. Anne Summers was invited to the initial meeting of that group and will be the key point of communication for the Friends on developments. Paul Bowler has also agreed to come the AGM of the Friends of the Women’s Library on the 28th June 2011 to bring us up to date with developments.
Following the announcement of the decision there have been a number of immediate responses including:
• The establishment of a “Rudi’s Save Our Libraries Campaign” started off by a member of library staff at the University, which includes a petition on the care2 petition which has attracted over 8,388 signatures to date
• The establishment of a Save the Women’s Library blog by the London Metropolitan University branch of Unison includes some good information about the library and makes a powerful case for trying to save all the elements that constitute the library i.e. the collections, the building, the events and activities programmes, and the expert staff that look after and develop the collections.
As Friends of the Women’s Library we are an independent and separate charity from London Metropolitan University, who support the continuation & independence of the Library as the outstanding museum & archive of Women’s History. The position of the Library is very serious indeed and any help and/or support… is important.People can support the Women’s Library by joining the Friends (only £15 p.a.& a Membership Form can be downloaded from the Library website), identifying possible future custodian/s of the Library, alerting colleagues and students to the situation”.
For further details on the campaign, please contact the Friends of the Library:
Dr Anne Summers: Chairwoman: email@example.com
Maureen E Castens Secretary: firstname.lastname@example.org
Diana Dollery Treasurer: email@example.com
Letters can also be sent to the Friends c/o The Women’s Library, 25 Old Castle Street, Aldgate, London, E1 7NT.
For more on the Women’s Library, please read Beatrix Campbell’s article ‘A room of one’s own: why the Women’s Library should not be made history‘.