City Spotlight: The Nottingham Women’s Centre Library

March is the glorious month of World Book Day and International Women’s Day, so what perfect time for HerCampus readers to get involved with this amazing institution. NWC Lib aims to share literary solace with the women of Nottingham, whilst informing the communities of the importance of women’s rights in today’s struggles. 

The dark times of the pandemic have brought a shadow over the amazing community projects in Nottingham city centre, one of them being this place. It was forced to close its physical doors last year but has opened up a fantastic bunch of online and social media projects, such as a blog and Instagram page. 

The physical library hosts a wonderful collection of female-driven texts: from lit in popular culture to specialist archives, beautifully curated. I’m itching to peruse the shelves as soon as we’re given the go-ahead. 

Their blog, ran by former HC writer, Bea, is called ‘The Library Diaries’ and I really recommend you give it a follow. It’s a lovely way of reaching out to the community, offering its readership comfort and solace, whilst keeping us on track with our literary efforts. They’ve reviewed and covered stunning feminist reads such as Love in Colour and the cult-classic Women Don’t Owe You Pretty. It’s a perfect source of literary and female-driven inspiration- like a pot of gold in the blogosphere. On there, there’s also the ‘Meet the Team’ series, a feature we have in common! 

 

I caught up with the lovely Bea, wanting to learn more about this treasure, tucked up in our city centre: 

1. What is the importance of the Women's centre library?

 Our library, at its core, elevates women's voices. We are 100% reliant on donations: We have been built up by a community-driven belief in the importance of giving women a place to have their voices heard, and that is a beautiful thing that we take pride in. Our importance lies in this donated collection, a collection that speaks the truths of women- be it stories of tragedy, hope, history, be it stories of faraway lands or autobiographies- each book tells a story of a woman, and it sits proudly on our shelves. As volunteers, we take care and pride in making sure this space is looked after and grows in multidimensional ways so that the donations keep coming in! We strive to be fully inclusive and representative, to have a depth and breadth that only expands with time. 

 

2. What are your best features? 

Our archives collection is really special. At the back of the library, we have boxes filled to the brim with magazines and documents that grew out of the second-wave feminist movement of the 1970s, and you can see the path women took that brought us to where we are today. It is humbling. While some of the values that they stood by would not be representative of our feminist position today, we appreciate the value these documents have- they are our roots. It connects us to our past in a beautiful way, and you realise you are part of something much bigger than you. 

 

3. What are you most excited about when you reopen?

To be able to use our space! To hold book clubs, to feel part of our community once more, to connect with the local book shops in Nottingham and hold events for local writers, to collaborate and truly feel like we are part of the women's centre once more. To feel close to our family again!

 

4. What are your specialist books? 

Our collection is vast, from classics to sci-fi, health, women in sport, fiction, poetry, biographies and autobiographies. There is something for everyone! Each month we like to do a 'book drive', which is where we use our social media platforms to encourage donations for the theme of the month. For example, our 'women in sport' book drive meant we had deliveries from Australia! And our collection quadrupled. It is really special when moments like that happen. 

 

5. How can HerCampus Nottingham be involved? 

At the very least, our library offers a quiet space for study, writing, to expand your reading and be in a place of solace and peace. It is just £5 for a year membership. 

We are always welcoming donations if anybody has any women-authored books they would like to donate! 

We have a library blog, which is always open to writer contributions. Book reviews, a piece about a favourite woman author, why books mean a lot to you as a woman- anything you like! Just get in contact through our NWC library Instagram, linked below. 

To be more involved in volunteering at the library once we are open, please do get in touch- we would love to welcome you to our team! 

 

The safety and stories of women are a prevalent topic in today’s media, and it’s amazing places like this that are doing an amazing job of keeping us all informed. Don’t hesitate to get involved in any way you can. 

 

Instagram: @nwc.library 

Twitter: @Nottswlibrary