Attended a meeting yesterday about the Women’s Library. London Metropolitan (who we are all trying to support over the student visa issue) is being opposed by many organisations because they are trying to get rid of the wonderful Women’s Library.
London Met have asked for bidders, and originally several universities were interested. It seems now that there is only one bidder left, LSE, and that currently LSE have no intention of taking the building. Rooms of our Own feels that the building is an absolutely essential part of the Women’s Library and just moving the collection somewhere else is not the answer.
The building was purpose designed around an old laundry by a woman architect, Claire Wright, and is NOT just an academic resource but a lovely place for women and the local community to meet. The building work was funded by the English Heritage Lottery, and if the library collection is moved they will want their £4million back.
Other bidders have withdrawn for various reasons. University of Warwick for instance state “one of the contributing factors (not the only one) as to why they pulled out of the bidding process as the only bidder willing to keep the building open, was because London Met suddenly stopped talking about ‘transfer’ of the building and started asking for ‘rent’. The goal posts appear to have changed during the bidding process.”
Some of us think the best way forward is to put pressure on London Metropolitan University to re-open the bidding process. This will give a lot more time to get a better outcome. Unfortunately their selection panel is due to meet on THURSDAY Sept 13th – so practically no time at all really to make representations.
However if anyone has any contacts within London Met, or knows people who could apply pressure, or knows another institution that might ask London Met to re-open the bidding process because they might be interested – PLEASE ACT TODAY!!!