For centuries, women have been projected the way men wanted them to be seen. Our story was mostly written from a man’s perspective. Even if the main protagonist was a woman, the writer would be a man. For social and cultural reasons, women have rarely been a part of the intellectual and literary spheres (despite being capable). The Women’s Library is one of its kind(there are seven women libraries in the world at the moment) which has only women authors’ books on all themes. Not only this, The Women’s Library is run wholly and solely by women.
When I moved to Sydney, despite being a writer, I simply had no idea that any such space could be a part of a city’s fabric. The library is located in Newtown which is probably the cultural center of Sydney. With some really interesting restaurants and performing arts spaces, Newtown is loved by art lovers and free-spirited young people all over Sydney. When I joined this library adjacent to Newtown’s Library, I discovered that there are seven women libraries around the world (two of which exist in Sydney). Under its constitution, it is stated that it should “be a safe and supportive space where women, including lesbians, can relax, read, study and exchange information”.
The posters and pieces you would stop by to read and look
This library is not just a lending and reference library but also a meeting space for many feminist and lesbian groups. The library is fully managed and run by volunteer women. It also encourages mothers to come and read books of their choice. That is why there is also a section dedicated to keeping young children busy while their mothers enjoy reading and socializing here. The work on Women’s Library Newtown started in 1991 and it was formally established in 1992. It has won many awards including the Best New Parade Entry in the annual Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade in 1993. It received an Edna Ryan Award for making a feminist difference through its contributions to the Art in 2016.