Help the Feminist Library build its new home

by Feminist Library in London, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 31st March 2019 we successfully raised £48,778 with 1011 supporters in 167 days

Help the Feminist Library raise £65,000 to Build its New Home and Safeguard its Precious Herstories & Community Space for Years to Come

by Feminist Library in London, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

We have raised £30,000 for the basic costs of the move and the fit out - including boxes and van for the move, painting, decorating, shelving, and signage, as well as new electrics for the new space - as well as our stretch target of £48,000 which will allows us to fit out the Library to make it an even better resource and community space! The additional £18,000 will allow us to make a start on the exhibition space in the new premises, to equip the new Feminist Library with a sound system that will make our events even better, and to get new archival boxes for our precious periodicals collections to protect them better for future generations of feminist.   

The total budget for the move is £65,000 and we have received over £20,000 in off-line donations that will cover the difference, which that we have now covered all the costs of our move by now! Thank you! 


It's official! The Feminist Library needs to move in Spring 2019!!!

We have asked for the community's support to help us raise £65,000 to cover the costs of our move to a new space we have lined up in Peckham, and the community answered. 

With help from the international feminist community, we have raised well over £65,000 and are now able to move! Watch this space for updates on where we are with the move or sign up to our newsletter to get regular updates on everything happening at the Library here.

Feminist Library on the move - feminist dragon logo

Our Urgent Need to Move

The Library has had various homes over the years, but has never had both a stable and adequate space for its valuable collection. 

In 2016 we weathered the most recent crisis when we were faced with eviction. Thanks to massive community support we had a reprieve. (Read more about our struggle to save the Library here.) 

Now, however, the building is due for redevelopment and we do urgently need to move.

Feminist Library demonstration against unsustainable rent increases in 2016

Happily, after a long search, Southwark Council have offered us a new building to rent in Peckham. The building has great potential and we would really like to make this a reality. However it is very expensive to move a library!

We have no choice but to leave our current premises in Spring 2019 and need to raise funds for the move urgently. 

We have now raised the £65,000 needed to cover costs of the move project, to enable us create the new Feminist Library home and to make the new Library truly fit for purpose.

The new building is a former school building in Peckham, just 5 minutes walk from the Peckham LibraryYour money will go towards fitting out the new space, including new shelving, flooring and giving the walls a fresh lick of paint, the move itself, signage, and some legal costs that come with a massive logistical project that is moving a library. 

Our Vision for the New Building 

This move is opening up a new chapter in Feminist Library's herstory - the new space is bigger, at the heart of local community and 100% accessible - allowing us much needed space for both collections and community events programme expansion. It is part of the Sojourner Truth Community Centre - named after the famous African-American activist and abolitionist - located on Sumner Road in Peckham and is completely wheelchair accessible. 

First drawings of the new Feminist Library space vision by our feminist design teamThe community space is also a listed building, which will allow us to have the security of space for years to come, that is so much needed for the Library to thrive.

We will be occupying the vibrant community centre, alongside a number of active local, community organisations, including a couple of other women's groups, and hoping to make the Library an even more accessible, inclusive and vibrant feminist hub than it has been so far, by working with the local community. 

Our vision is to give the Library the secure home for the future that it rightly deserves! The new space is 1,500sq ft, which is 50% bigger then our current cramped premises. This will enable us to protect and build on our priceless collection and expand our vibrant community events programme, as well as to have new exhibition space to showcase feminist art and bring out our amazing collections of posters, flyers, pamphlets, vintage badges and tote bags, among many other wonderful items of ephemera that we've collected over the past 4+ decades.

It will give us substantially increased shelving space, as well as office space, a kitchen to provide food at our community events and a gallery wall space. It even backs up onto a park, so we can have community picnics in there!

Our Amazing Volunteers & Feminist Design Collective

The Feminist Library has survived for over 4 decades largely thanks to the undying energy and dedication of our amazing volunteer-run collective - with next to no governmental funding or support. The team is extremely excited about this new chapter in the Library's herstory. Now that we're on the brink of moving, we have also received a massive influx of new volunteers, who have by now helped catalogue and box up a backlog of somewhere in the region of 4,000 book donations, so that we can put them up on the shelves in the new space as soon as we have moved.
Our feminist architects and designers team at work

We are lucky to also have an amazing team of feminist architects, designers and makers lined up to work on the project, who are giving their time for free to make our new space possible and amazing. The space will be designed by Hi-Vis and Lucy Sanderson, and the fittings built by Power Project - collectives of feminist architects, designers and makers, who will also be teaching young women and non-binary people wood and metal work skills while making the furniture for our new space!
Our feminist architects and designers team presenting our first new space designs at the Feminist Library

About The Feminist Library

The Feminist Library is much more than just a library! It has been around for over 4 decades now, saving women's histories - with over 7,000 books, 1,500 periodical titles and countless archives, pamphlets and ephemera - and providing a space in London for feminists and community groups to meet, organise, learn, create, or just have fun. We are a vitally important community space. People chilling in the library at our Summer Benefit 2016

The Library was founded in 1975 by a small group of passionate volunteers, at the height of the Women’s Liberation Movement, to collect and preserve what has become one of the most important collections of feminist material in the UK.

The Library is a small charity, open five days a week. We welcome visitors of any gender, and are committed to a community policy that is intersectional, non-sectarian and trans inclusive. 

In common with most underfunded feminist enterprises, the Library has faced a variety of crises and uncertainties over the years, and has not been able to afford paid workers for most of its life. However, a small group of dedicated volunteers has kept it going.

Summer Benefit 2016 party at the Feminist Library

The Feminist Library has been sustained for 44 years by the goodwill, passion and commitment of many individual supporters. Innumerable lives touched, enriched, forever changed. Today, yet again, the support of the community has helped us get the home the Library rightly deserves. Thank you!

Other ways that you can get involved

We're always on a lookout for new volunteers, especially now, with the upcoming busy time of the move. Get in touch with our volunteers coordinator, Katie, if you'd like to help: volunteer@feministlibrary.co.uk. 

Do you have a gift for fundraising? Would you like to help the Feminist Library reach its total goal of £65,000 for the move to build its dream home? Get in touch magda@feministlibrary.co.uk. Not into fundraising but keen to help the Library even further? Sign up to be our Friend by giving a regular monthly donation to help make the Library reach its 100% sustainable income goal this year. 

The Feminist Library will be building its local community out reach and events programme. Want to be part of our exciting and growing events team? Get in touch with our events team coordinators, Chiara & Mariana, event@feministlibrary.co.uk. 

Are you a local community group looking for a space for meetings or events? We want to hear from you! Contact admin@feministlibrary.co.uk. 

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