Hello, my name is Alina and I am sharing my week of work experience at GWL. Upon arrival, the staff were all so friendly and welcoming and I immediately felt at home. I was given a tour of the library where throughout I was educated a lot on the history and significance of women and I had the honour of seeing their current exhibition ‘life support’ which focused on how artists/activists conveyed the challenges of housing, health/social care and education etc and featured works from women such as e.g. artist Alberta Whittle who had a stunning floor sculpture on display.
I was deeply interested in how every part of GWL had some form of history/meaning to it and I loved how everything, even something seemingly small had some sort of respective story and significance. For instance, I learned that the building itself was originally invested in by Andrew Carnegie and how many of GWL’s books are donated by all sorts of women and hearing how many women gave their books to the library after passing away made me greatly admire GWL even more than I already had.
I really love how the library celebrates and uplifts the lives and achievements of all women from various different walks of life, backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities, sexualities, identities etc…
I was then shown the archive collections where I had the opportunity to see and learn about many different badges and zines and even had the chance to make one myself!
My personal favourite was the riot grrrls zine and it was really interesting to gain so much knowledge and insight into the punk feminist movement.
I was given the opportunity to be apart of their team meeting on zoom and get a behind the scenes look at the library. It was very interesting to see how much work and planning goes into GWL and it was amazing to see how lovely, supportive and engaging the staff were with each other! It was also great to see the many ranges of events that are hosted at the library.
I then was able to shadow at front of house where I was taught how the library operates and I learned about the library’s unique cataloguing system which sets them apart from all other libraries and places further significance on works made by women.
Overall my experience at GWL has been great and it has been such an honour to work with such friendly and hospitable people who are so passionate about feminism and have been given the opportunity to learn so much about women from all sorts of backgrounds and their stories. I couldn’t recommend it enough!