The Blog of Toledo Lucas County Public Library
An exciting new collection is available in the Humanities Department at Main Library!
Introducing - The Steinem Sisters Collection:
In December 2017, the Toledo Lucas County Public Library (TLCPL) began working with the Steinem's Sisters Collective to acquire their lending library when their previous home, the People Called Women Bookstore, changed ownership. The Steinem's Sisters Collective Lending Library was formed in 2014. It was established to honor Gloria Steinem in her hometown and fill an information and community need. The collection includes a wide variety of feminist resources designed to sustain feminist thought, values, and culture by inspiring learning, spreading knowledge, and strengthening the local feminist community.
Housed in the Humanities Department at the Main Library, The Steinem Sisters Collection celebrates the lives and achievements of women; champions their historical, cultural and political contributions; and strives to provide a welcoming space for women of all walks of life to share their truths. The types of materials we collect are first and foremost “feminist materials” - which are those materials that uphold women’s rights and interests in defining and promoting political, economic, personal, racial and social equality. In partnership with TLCPL’s institutional values, the Steinem Sisters Collection seeks to be welcoming of all the complex and diverse voices that comprise the modern feminist movement; to be innovative in the programming we provide; and collaborative with community members and local women’s organizations in order to broaden the reach of the collection.
Above all else, the Steinem Sisters Collection is meant to be useful to our community, to reflect the diverse nature of that community and the way feminism intersects with the various aspects of identity.
Please visit The Steinem Sisters Collection at its temporary location in the Humanities Department at the Main Library. The collection will be accessible by request while the Main Library is closed for renovations and we will have a permanent and dedicated space when Main reopens in 2019!
In the meantime, please keep a look out for some exciting feminist programs we will be hosting throughout the system starting in September.
Why Feminism at the Public Library?
It is a simple word that can provoke a variety of passionate responses. With the introduction of the Steinem Sisters Collection at the Library, it is important that we investigate the question of why and how a public library can participate in critical librarianship in relation to housing a feminist collection and providing related programming.
I think this discussion could start with Dr. Angela Y. Davis who said:
Feminism involves so much more than gender equality and it involves so much more than gender. . . Feminism must involve a consciousness of capitalism and racism and colonialism and post-colonialists, and ability and more genders than we can even imagine and more sexualities than we ever thought we could name.
Public Libraries and professionally trained librarians are in a unique position to be engaged in our community, by creating programs, providing access to archival materials and encouraging discovery. Where Davis reminds us that many forms of feminism can give us a way to name multiple forms of oppression, feminism can also liberate us, and provoke us to imagine and name possibilities. Librarians as gatekeepers hold the key to these possibilities for every individual who walk through our library doors.
Feminism can be, and has been, defined in many ways and from all different perspectives. But when I talk about feminism, I’m talking about a lens that makes visible, and gives voice to, the unique and intersecting oppression women experience due to the dominant patriarchal culture; and thus, by naming it and making that oppression visible, feminism in a public library setting allows for the transforming of culture so that women are humanized and treated with the respect owed to all of humanity.
Upcoming Steinem Sisters Collection Programs
A Sampling of the Steinem Sisters Collection
Related Toledo Library Blog Posts
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