The fight save the Women’s Library based at London Met is stepping up.
The fate of the collection will be decided at a meeting on 13 September. Institutions have been asked to bid for the collection. That decision will be ratified by the London Met Board of Governors on 27 September.
The campaign demands:
1. Keep this unique collection in its historic and purpose built home in East London
2. The collection stays intact and accessible to all
3. The library must retain its expert workers.
The Women’s Library is not just an archive. It also does a huge amount of excellent community outreach, acting as a hub for local people, school students and anyone interested in issues facing women today.
The London School of Economics (LSE) is now the only bidder. Dr Laura Schwartz, Assistant Professor of Modern British History at the University of Warwick — a previous bidder which planned to keep the collection in its current building funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund — said:
“One of the contributing factors (not the only one) as to why [Warwick] pulled out of the bidding process as the only bidder willing to keep the building open, was because London Met suddenly stopped talking about ‘transfer’ of the building and started asking for ‘rent’. The goal posts appear to have changed during the bidding process.”
The details of the bid are “confidential”, but recent developments at LSE indicate they would move the library (there is no obligation to maintain its current location).
The Save the Women’s Library Campaign is calling for the bidding process to be re-opened.
A rally has been called for 22 September.