I’d like to draw the attention of list members to the uncertain futures now facing both the Women’s Library and the Trade Union Congress Library following decisions taken at London Metropolitan University where they are currently located.

This information was posted on the Women’s History Network list and I recirculate it below.  I don’t have any specific information other than what I have received via this route but list members might like to note that the Women’s Library contains important collections relating to women’s involvement in STM, including the archives of the Women’s Engineering Society:

The following announcement is currently posted on the Women’s Library home page:

On Wednesday 14 March, London Metropolitan University’s Board of Governors announced that they will be seeking a new home, custodian or sponsor of The Women’s Library’s collections. If a new home is not found by the end of December 2012, the Library will move to opening hours of one day per week for a period of three years, with a further review at the end of that period. We will keep you informed of further developments, and we are in the process of contacting key stakeholders.

It should also be noted that the Trades Union Congress Library, also under custodial care of LMU, is under similar threat. Unison writes:

Social justice, the strides towards equality and the campaigns fought by those unwilling to accept injustice lie at the heart of these collections and they have given our students a real opportunity to engage with these movements and personal histories. These special collections truly emphasized the now seemingly lost intention of London Met Uni’s original aims to widen participation and to promote social justice by offering our students these truly unique resources. The dedicated staff at both Libraries – who were not involved in these decisions in any way, despite seeking input into the reviews that lead to this decision – will now look to the future. We still believe in the value of the stories documented and want to thank everyone who has supported us so far.

A petition to the Secretary of State for Education to save the Women’s History Library has been started, they need 1000 signatures: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/925/128/986/save-the-womens-library-at-london-metropolitan-university/

For more information on the Trades Union Congress Library: http://www.londonmetunison.org.uk/2012/03/special-collections/

For an exciting recent project see .