Feminist Library Saved from Closure
London's Feminist Library has been saved from closure thanks to its supporters raising £35,000 towards its survival. Redevelopment plans had threatened it, but an influx of donations from hundreds of people mean that the volunteer-run archive in London can afford to move to new premises.
The library was founded in 1975 during the second wave of the women’s liberation movement. It's archive brings together an extensive collection of feminist literature and “herstories” and is one of only three such facilities in the UK, but the building the library is housed in is now set to be redeveloped, meaning that the library needs to leave by spring this year.
An alternative space in Peckham was found by Southwark council, but the library needed to raise at least £30,000 to fund the move. Nearly 800 supporters helped to raise the funds to do this. However, library staff are still looking for a further £12,000. to cover additional costs which includes archival storage, blackout curtains and painting and decorating. Staff are also looking for volunteers to help sort through a backlog of 4,000 uncatalogued book donations ahead of the move.
[The library is] important today more than ever because it has one of the most unique collections of feminist materials … It is also one of the very few spaces on a mission to save feminist herstories. Over the last couple of years, [it] has saved thousands of items – books, periodicals and archives – in donations from individuals and organisations, including some who were having real difficulties finding a willing repository for their collections, which might have otherwise been lost to future generations of feminists.
Magda Oldziejewska, fundraising coordinator
At the Jane Austen News, we love stories of libraries being saved, and this is one story of a library being saved that we think Jane would have loved since it's a story of women's writing winning against the odds.
Free Audiobooks from Apple
If you're a fan of listening to books, as well as reading them, then then this news from Apple may be of interest.
The full list of books is:
You can search for the free audiobooks in the Apple Books app, or if you prefer direct links, then you can find them via the links above.
A Visit From Tom Lefroy
Last Thursday the Jane Austen Centre had an unexpected guest come to visit. Scottish actor James McAvoy came to say hello but, as he wanted to keep a low profile, and given how many fans he has, he came incognito.
He did however pose for a photo with our famous "Mr Bennet".
Jane Austen fans who've seen the film Becoming Jane
(which stars Anne Hathaway as Jane Austen) may well remember James McAvoy fondly for playing Tom Lefroy, who was, according to some, Jane's early love.
Friday. – At length the day is come on which I am to flirt my last with Tom Lefroy, and when you receive this it will be over. My tears flow as I write at the melancholy idea.
Letter from Jane Austen to her sister Cassandra, January 14th 1796
When news of his visit emerged we had a few interesting reactions!
Tips For Sticking To Your Reading Resolution
If you, like some of us at the Jane Austen News, have set yourself a New Year's resolution of reading more this year, but struggle to stick to your New Year's resolutions (and really, who doesn't at one time or another?) then you might find some of these sticking-to-your-reading-resolution tips, which we recently came across, helpful. We certainly did, and will certainly be putting them into action!
Top tip 1: Keep a reading journal.
Note down what you read, when you read it, and how you felt about it. Nothing too lengthy, just the basics. It'll make finishing a book feel like that much more of an achievement (and help you to connect with and remember what you read fully).
Top tip 2: Don't force yourself to finish a book you hate.
Give it a good go - the first few chapters at least - but if after that it still doesn't grab you, don't force yourself to keep going with it. We shy away from reading when it becomes a chore, and that's no good for a reading resolution!
Top tip 3: Join a book club.
If you find that you get more done when you have a deadline to work to, then this is an especially good tip since you'll need to finish the book by a certain date if you want to avoid spoilers! Plus, it'll help you to discover books that you may not have read otherwise.
Top tip 4: Don't set impossible goals.
If you know you don't read very fast, then don't tell yourself that you'll read a book a week (quite the undertaking!), as if you don't manage to do so, you're more likely to give up on your resolution altogether and end up reading less!
Top tip 5: Take a book wherever you go.
When ever you have a spare minute, whether that's at the bus stop or while you're waiting to pick small persons up from school, it's time to get some reading done!