Save the Women’s Library – model letter

Below is a model letter that women’s and feminist groups can send to Malcolm Gillies – Vice Chancellor of London Met. Feel free to amend the letter and email to m.gillies@londonmet.ac.uk

To Malcolm Gillies,

We are writing in protest to declare our opposition to the decision made by the Board of Governors in March 2012 to find The Women’s Library a new home, sponsor, or, to run it as a skeleton service from December and reducing opening hours to one day per week.

These changes could lead to the complete dismantling of Women’s Library resources at the worst, and at the least, it could become a mostly inaccessible resource.

Since 1926 so much work has gone into the provision of what now stands as a truly unique resource. It is saddening and ironic that in the run up to 2018 and the centenary of women achieving the franchise, the library is fighting for its survival.

Let’s be frank, the decision to close this vital resource is another attack on women. In an age where women are being disproportionately affected by Tory austerity, this cut to The Women’s Library only sticks the knife in further.

There are many reasons to believe the decision to close the Women’s Library will be detrimental.
Firstly, it is sure to push back the widening participation ethos of London Metropolitan University. Cutting off this unique and rich resource from your students stops them from accessing information which gives real insight and an edge to academic work as well as to general ideas and knowledge.
Secondly, there is a legitimate concern over what will happen to the collection if it is moved. Will it be split up? If fragmentation starts now, who knows where it will end. If private collectors gain ownership of the resources it quite possible that some (or all) of this collection could become completely inaccessible to the public. If the collection leaves London this will put an end to all the great work The Women’s Library has done with the local community.

Over the past 10 years The Women’s Library has grown from strength-to-strength and now functions as a cultural centre hosting events, exhibitions, talks and provides local community groups and organisations a space to hire. Its staff have worked tirelessly to build and draw new audiences to the materials which have been gathered over the past 86 years and which continue to be.
We recognise the worth of The Women’s Library and want to ensure it continues to thrive. We want to save the Library as it exists today: to retain the integrity of its world-renowned collections; the expertise of its staff, the building, which has become a vibrant hub for its users, supporters and friends.

This decision to cut The Women’s Library is not acceptable and we implore you to rethink.

Yours,

National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts Women

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