After 30 years, the Feminist Library may be evicted from its home on Westminster Bridge Road on March 1 – ironically, the start of Women's History Month. The library has posted a story on their website saying that 'Southwark Council is threatening to close down the Feminist Library on 1st March unless the Library agrees to an immediate increase in our rent from £12,000 to £30,000 a year.' They have launched a petition asking the council to reconsider and have set up an Eemergency fund for donations.
This comes just after Southwark Council Cabinet approved a report on February 10 that ‘highlights the need for a thriving Voluntary and Community Sector that mobilises community action and makes best use of community resources, skills, knowledge and spaces’. So, understandably the Feminist Library is shocked by the council's contradictory behaviour. Una Byrne from the library said: ‘We cannot understand how treating our organisation in such a way is consistent with approving this report.’
Last year the library launched a campaign to find a new secure permanent home, but now obviously that need is much more desperate now as they may be homeless after March.
The Feminist Library has been archiving the Women’s Liberation Movement literature for the last 40 years and is an integral resource for women's history. Its untimely demise would be a massive blow, especially after the closure of Lambeth Women’s Project, Peckham Black Women’s Centre, and the London Irish Women’s Centre.
UPDATE: There's going to be a protest this Wednesday at 6.30pm at 160 Tooley Street, SE1 2QH. Find out more here.