The Women’s Library (TWL) in Newtown, a safe gathering space for women, is at risk of losing our space in mere months

 

 TWL has been housed for thirteen years in a building owned by City of Sydney Council and we need to continue to demonstrate that we are still valued by community if we are to remain in the building and continue to exist.

The women’s Library needs you! At a time when hard-won rights are falling down all around us, spaces like TWL become increasingly precious. Women continue to be confronted with misogyny, rape culture and sexism in public and private life and there seems to be less and less space for women to meet, connect, learn and value our herstory.

The dedicated band of volunteers working to keep TWL afloat need the help and support of the women’s community. TWL’s validity and usefulness is being questioned and our right to the space we have occupied for thirteen years is at risk of being taken from us. If community support does not become a reality soon, we may well cease to exist.

Shirley Kent, member of the TWL committee and long term volunteer, The Women’s Library, says: “Like mainstream libraries, TWL has had to evolve to meet changing community needs and become a community space. We host a number of diverse groups and provide a safe meeting place, a chill out space, opportunities for volunteers, low/no cost events and a supportive and safe environment.”

Can you help keep TWL alive? TWL appeals to women, who appreciate the existence of the library and community space, to become involved by taking out a membership, joining the management committee, volunteering time, shopping our second-hand bookshop, and/or donating funds. TWL appeals to women’s groups and services to become involved by booking our space, taking out a group/agency membership, contributing to the newsletter, joining us on Facebook, accessing our website for information, and/or sharing ideas about how TWL may remain an integral part of the women’s community in Sydney.

Kent says: TWL was established by a group of dedicated women and it will take a group of dedicated women to keep the space alive. Becoming involved and showing that TWL is alive, well and a valued and important community space will help us to argue strongly to retain our existing premises.”

ENDS

For further information or for interviews with Shirley Kent, member TWL Management Committee: 0497 090 321 or swirleyk@hotmail.com

**Note to Editors**: About The Women’s Library –

https://www.facebook.com/newtownwomenslibrary or www.thewomenslibrary.org.au

The Women’s Library was created in 1992 by a group of women passionate about providing literary resources and a safe space for women to gather.

Our library aims to house:

· Texts that are required reading for courses offered at tertiary institutions in Sydney addressing the status of women, especially Lesbians

· Published and unpublished papers and theses

· Published and unpublished works of fiction, with emphasis on fiction produced by Australian women, particularly Lesbians

· Published and unpublished works of non- fiction, with particular attention to collecting in areas of special interest to Lesbian and Feminist women

· Journals, with particular emphasis on journals produce by Australian Lesbians and Feminists

· Ephemera ( posters,tickets, leaflets etc)

· Photographs, letter, diaries, posters, and audio visual material

 

Our community space houses the following groups:

· lesbian open house

· c-word (lesbians diagnosed with cancer)

· 1st sunday book club (for lesbians)

· among others