May 19 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Campaigners have vowed to fight a decision to move The Women’s Library from its Aldgate home to the London School of Economics.
The library, which houses Europe’s most extensive women’s history collection, has been in its purpose-built home on Old Castle Street for 10 years.
It has been threatened with closure since March, averted after LSE’s successful bid for its custodianship from London Metropolitan University on September 27.
However, its new home will be on the fourth floor of LSE’s central London library, which campaigners argue cannot suitably accommodate the collection.
The Save The Women’s Library campaign was started by London Met UNISON, with three aims – keeping the collection intact, retaining all staff and remaining at Old Castle Street.
Campaign spokesperson Dr Laura Schwartz, Assistant Professor of Modern British History at the University of Warwick, said: “I’ve no doubt LSE will well look after collections, but The Women’s Library is about more than just pieces of paper. It is about the people who use it and the place where it lives.
“The removal of the collections to LSE will threaten accessibility, putting an end to a decade of community and outreach work in the local area.
“Women deserve a library of our own, and [this] is a real step backwards for those who fought to give women and their struggles due recognition.”
The library began its life in 1926 thanks to suffragist Millicent Fawcett.
A variety of artefacts including banners, posters and pamphlets document women’s struggles for equality everywhere from the polling station to the workplace.