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Sunday, 23 September 2012

Save the Women's Library

September 22nd

In Old Castle Street, East London, a rally took place as part of the campaign to save the Women's Library. The Women's Library collection is held in a purpose built site at London Metropolitan University, that was lottery-funded on the condition that the collection would remain here. However, London Met management now maintain that they cannot afford to maintain the collection and are seeking an external buyer. The campaign to save the library insist that the collection and its expert staff should remain in place. A full statement from the campaign's Facebook group is at the foot of this page.

From the Facebook page to Save the Women's Library:

"A selection committee formed by Dr Paul Bowler, Deputy Chief Executive of London Met met behind closed doors on Sept 13 to consider the only bid submitted, a proposal from LSE that will see the collection permanently removed from The Women’s Library building. London Met’s Board of Governors will meet Sept 27 to ratify the recommendation put forward, details of which have not been made public.

The Save the Women’s Library campaign holds that moving the collection out of its building on Old Castle Street effectively closes The Women’s Library. The campaign has called for London Met to reopen the bidding process and adapt criteria that ensures the collection retains its building, staff, accessibility, and commitment to community.

The Women’s Library moved to its current location in 2002, a purpose-built building converted from a historic East End washhouse with the aid of £4 million Heritage Lottery Funding. Designed by Wright and Wright Architects, it includes a reading room, archival storage, classrooms, staff offices, and exhibition space. The collection, which attracts over 30,000 visitors annually, is accessible to all and the library is committed to both academic and community engagement. London Met may be required to repay over £4 million to the Heritage Lottery Fund if the collection moves out of The Women’s Library building.

The Save The Women’s Library campaign seeks to:

1) Keep the library in its current purpose built building
2) Ensure the collection remains intact and accessible to all
3) Retain the library’s expert staff

Over 12,000 people have already signed the on-line petition to Save The Women’s library. A lively demonstration held at London Met Sept 13th to protest the Selection Committee meeting to consider LSE’s bid attracted a good crowd.

On Sept 22nd, Save The Women’s Library supporters will call on the spirit of the suffragettes and other activists who’s very history they seek to preserve as they rally outside The Women’s Library.

More information at:
also follow us on Twitter: @Savetwl #savetwl"

1 comment:

  1. Great photo's of a really important action. The printed petition will be presented to the Board of Governor's and I shall now close the Care2 petition so that I can send it to the Secretary of State for Higher Education - or whoever is responsible. I do not think there is one as such so it will probably just have to go to the Secretary of State for Education. I do not think this Government values Higher Education sufficiently for such a person to exist.
    We were honoured by the presence of several police officers in the dead-end street where the Library is situated. I do not know what they were so nervy about. Whether nor not the media were there I do not know. Nothing in today's Observer, I look forward to seeing tomorrow's Guardian and Morning Star and must check the BBC News website.
    Thank you to all those who attended, to David for the wonderful photo's and also all those who went on the "Slut Walk" to protest against violence against women. Congratulations and well done to all those women who dressed "in costume" on a pretty cold day. I hope that successfully got over to people that women are entitled to dress in any way they wish and be able to walk freely without harrassment and without be accused of "provocation". Since when have men ever been accused of "provocation"? Enen when they wear nothing but short "shorts" and sandals in summer?