Our Building is Closed… But We Are Still Working!

While our building must remain closed, and we are unable to programme our usual array of innovative events, exhibitions and projects to bring to you in real life, our digital doors are open so that you can still enjoy being part of our GWL community.

GWL staff team members are all busy, working from home during this period as we rethink and reshape our events and activities, and inspire people through our unique collections – and so you can continue to be exploring and learning with GWL digitally and via our social media platforms. We are working with and support our volunteers, they are playing a big part in keeping our programmes vibrant, and our Adult Literacy Team is delivering our life-changing services to learners using a range of digital alternatives to regular face-to-face sessions.

We are also working together as a team, with our Board of Directors, to plan as far as we can for the future, and for the time when we can welcome people back safely to our beautiful building.

We know that this reality is still a while away, and timescales are very uncertain – Libraries and Museums are included in Phase Three (of four phases) of the Scottish Government Route Map, with no timescales attached at this time. GWL is an independent organisation and so we can determine our own approach and timeframe, and are consulting continually to ensure safety and access for all.

Like many organisations, we are developing Covid-19 specific practical documents such as a comprehensive Risk and Opportunities Register and a Phased Return Plan, but these form only part of our approach. As an intersectional feminist organisation that is led by our Core Values, we are also developing some Guiding Principles that will be at the heart of our plans for gradual ‘re-entry’ into the GWL building.

The safety, health and well-being of our staff, volunteers, visitors and audiences is key, but we also recognise that inequalities mean that barriers to being able to travel to and participate in GWL life once we do start the process of re-opening will continue to exist. Our Guiding Principles will form our rationale and shape our approach over the coming weeks and months.

We will update this blog post with significant changes as they happen. In the meantime, please be reassured that while our building remains physically closed, GWL is digitally open, and do keep in touch with us via our website and social media – you can find us on Facebook, Twitter (@womenslibrary) and Instagram (@womenslibrary). You can also join our mailing list for monthly updates.

We thank everyone for their continued support during these times – never has this been more important to the future of GWL.


  • Posted 8th June, 2020 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Your website was brought to me attention as it was cited as a good example of being able to digitally get inside a building. I’ve since had a good rake around the interior of your building and am really impressed by how digitally accessible you have made it. As someone who now has to check street view before visiting any new property to ensure there’s parking close by and where the entrance door is in proximity to parking, I was delighted to even find the toilets and lift when going through your building. It’s fantastic that you have managed to get virtual visitors to be able to navigate the interior of your building as easily as on streetview. I now plan to share this information on Euan’s Guide as I am so impressed and inspired.
    I wonder if it would be possible to share what programme/application you used to enable visitors to do this? Initially I was interested for Stirling’s Doors Open Days 2020 but I would also love to be able to encourage this type of virtual visit for publicly accessible buildings, particularly so people with limited mobility can have a better idea of how far they might be required to walk before visiting somewhere.
    In anticipation, thanks for any assistance you can provide me with.
    Fionn McIntosh
    Doors Open Days coordinator for Stirling area.

    • Posted 8th June, 2020 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Hi Fionn – thank you for your feedback! It’s great to hear that this has been useful. We didn’t do this ourselves – Google sent a team to 3d photograph the building as part off our Google Arts & Culture involvement. As far as I know it’s possible to add your own 360° building tour to Google Streetview (https://www.google.com/streetview/business/), but you might need a specialised 360° camera; there are companies who will do this, as well. However, it might be worth getting in touch with Google directly (more info about the Google Arts & Culture initiative is available here: https://about.artsandculture.google.com/)
      Sorry we can’t be of more help!

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