Feminist Library finds a new crowdfunded home in Peckham

By Alice Fuller

 

A trailblazing progressive library has got the keys to its new home after a successful crowdfunding campaign.

The Feminist Library will open the doors to a new base in Peckham in January 2020.

The library received more than £65,000 thanks to a crowdfunding campaign which will finance the move and refit.

The new space at Sojourner Truth Community Centre, named after the African American activist and abolitionist, is twice as big as the previous site.

It was designed by HI-VIS, a feminist design collective for women and non-binary designers.

The fittings were built by Peckham-based Power Project, a free DIY programme for women and non-binary individuals.

A new logo was also designed by graphic designer Anna Lincoln.

The building will provide space for more books, larger office areas and a kitchen to cater for community events.

It is also fully wheelchair accessible.

Westminster Bridge Road in Lambeth was home to the much-loved library since 1987 until plans to redevelop the building left it facing closure.

Grammy winner and Mercury Prize-nominated La Roux – known to her mum in nearby Herne Hill as Elly Jackson – is on board to help document the journey with a short film.

Feminist Library trustee Patrizia di Bello said: “The trustees have so many people to thank – volunteers, funders, donors, pro-bono professionals, and everyone working at the Library.

“Their support – in cash, in-kind, in reproductive, intellectual and emotional labour – has enabled us to keep the library open and to move to a wonderful new location where the Feminist Library can continue to thrive.

“We are very excited to be moving into the Sojourner Truth Centre and to being part of the Peckham community. We look forward to welcoming everyone to our wonderful new space.”

Martha Rawlinson from HI-VIS said: “We’re thrilled that preparation of the new space can finally begin.

“It’s been a long time coming and it’s so exciting to finally begin to see this project realised.”

The library is appealing for more volunteers to help with the unpacking process.

It is due to open on January 31 with an evening of readings, performances and music.

The Feminist Library was founded in 1975 by a group of volunteers and has survived without government funding for nearly 45 years.

It houses a large collection of feminist literature and supports research, activism and community projects in this field.

The library welcomes visitors of any gender and does not require registration or membership.

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