Did you know that out of 167 statues in the streets of Glasgow only 3 are of women…Surely the wonderful and important women of Glasgow deserve to be celebrated more than this. The Glasgow Womens Library think so.
Have you heard of Glasgow Womens Library? I hadn’t until about 6 weeks ago when I was lucky enough to go on a trip there with some lovely ladies from the Govan and Craigton Integration Network. If you take one thing from this blog review it is that you should go and visit too….
The Glasgow Womens Library opened in 1991, in a single room in Garnethill, on the back of a project called Women in Profile, which aimed to ensure representation of women’s culture during 1990 when Glasgow was the European City of Culture. It has now expanded to become an important resource for and about women in Glasgow. It has grown from one room in Garnethill, to being part of the Mitchell Library and now to its own premises in Landrassy Street, Bridgeton.
All of the books in the library are by women, although they sometimes include a book by a man if it is about either an important woman or a female heroine. However, the Glasgow Women’s Library is not just a library it is also a museum, with many important pieces from history such as this umbrella stand painted by the Suffragettes at Duke Street Prison.
They also collect things, that other libraries often overlook, which are important to women particularly, such a knitting patterns. Through this there is an appreciation of how women use different skills, thoughts and effort everyday: to achieve, contribute and work in many different ways. Most books are donated and they have a great project called women on the shelf, where a shelf in the library can be sponsored by women.
The women’s library is primarily aimed at women, as a safe space for them to read, learn and celebrate themselves. It is not anti-men, however, with men being able to use the library and attend events also. As well as a lending library the Glasgow Women’s Library run regular events such as a Story Cafe, visiting authors and exhibitions, such as Tips for Girls which I am hoping to visit.
I would highly recommend visiting Glasgow Womens Library, after only a short time there I knew I wanted to be a member. I found the history of this place inspiring and it challenged me to think how the achievements of women are celebrated in Glasgow and society as a whole. In fact I was so inspired that I convinced my bookclub to have a year of celebrating female authors this year. So get down to Glasgow Women’s Library and give a shout out for the girls….
So, pop quiz do you know who the 3 female statues in Glasgow are?