The Lifelong Learning Team
Co-Founder and Director, Creative Development, Delivery and Engagement
Adele Patrick has been involved in Glasgow Women’s Library since its launch, first as a volunteer, then as the Lifelong Learning Development Worker. She is now one of the two Directors alongside Sue John. Adele works with the library staff team and the Board developing ways that Glasgow Women’s Library can have positive, change making, creative and cultural influence locally, nationally and internationally.
Adele is particularly interested in the creative and imaginative development of the Library as a unique feminist arts provision; (re)defining through its physical spaces, digital platforms, learning approaches, programmes and resources what a library, archive and museum can be.
In 2018/19, Adele undertook a Clore Leadership Fellowship. She has subsequently developed Post Fellowship Research on Feminist Leadership. You can read Adele’s published writing about her approach and work with GWL here and via this blog post
Adele currently works part time.
Development Worker for Programming and Curating
Dr Caroline Gausden is a new addition to the team having joined GWL in December 2018. Before working at the Library Caroline was based in Aberdeen where she completed a practice based PhD in Feminist Manifestos and Social Art Practice. She is a Development Worker for Programming, Curating, Partnerships and Participation at GWL. This role involves her moving between all the different facets of the organisation, from the archive to the library shelves and surrounding neighbourhood, to think about how the collection and public programme continue to speak to each other and to the diverse groups of people who are at home in the Library.
Caroline is full-time and usually works Monday to Friday
BME Women’s Project Development Officer
Syma Ahmed joined the Library in August 2007 as the Development Officer for the Black & Minority Ethnic (BME) women’s project. She is responsible for promoting lifelong learning, arts and creative opportunities for BME women. Syma is keen to celebrate the success and achievements of BME women in Glasgow through capturing and compiling their life stories and preserving them at Glasgow Women’s Library. Syma has worked in the voluntary sector for over 6 years and enjoys developing new projects to support the local community. Her previous job with a unique charity called Ethnic Enable involved supporting disabled people and their carers from minority ethnic backgrounds.
Laura joined the Library in August 2007 as the Lifelong Learning Assistant then in 2015 she became the Production Coordinator and is responsible for assisting with the development and production of the events programme. Laura has worked in the voluntary sector since 1998, mostly with events and learning organisations, and has a keen interest in promoting culture and learning for all. She is very lucky that her role allows her to develop her own cultural capital as well as helping others develop theirs.
Laura works part time and usually works Wednesday to Friday.
Farzane joined the library in February 2022 as a Production Coordinator to work alongside Laura Dolan, who has been in this role since 2015. Their joint responsibility working alongside other colleagues is to ensure that all events and exhibitions within GWL’s learning programmes take place successfully for all our audiences, learners, staff, volunteers and the creatives and partners we collaborate with.
Farzane has a background in visual arts, music, and design. She has been active in Scotland’s cultural scene since she moved to Glasgow in 2017. She was awarded Artist Protection Fund Fellowship and left her home country Iran to come to Glasgow for an art residency at the CCA. She produced a multi-lingual modern music album, Z Bent, in solidarity with Middle-Eastern women suffering discrimination.
While working in the voluntary sector, she has been involved with a range of organisations and community groups. Leading and supporting various programmes, events, educational workshops, and music tutorial sessions.
She studied at the Glasgow School of Art during the pandemic in Master of Design Innovation and Service Design.
Farzane feels so lucky to be a part of the hardworking team at the GWL and to recognising and celebrating women’s achievements inclusively.
Project / Admin Assistant
Kirstin first became involved in Glasgow Women’s Library as a member of the Young Critics Group in 2014, before becoming a volunteer tour guide for the East End Women’s Heritage Walk. Kirstin is now an Admin and Project Assistant, alongside Anemay. Together they undertake administrative tasks and develop systems to support the library’s wide ranging work. Kirstin loves working within a feminist organisation that is deeply committed to life-long learning.
Kirstin has a background in Human Geography and Dance. They have previously researched women’s experience of walking in public space, and are interested in the political potentials of dance and movement research.
Kirstin is genderfluid and uses they/them or she/her pronouns. You can find out more about pronouns here: https://www.mypronouns.org/
Kirstin works part-time, usually on Wednesdays, Thursday and Fridays.
Project / Admin Assistant
Mattie Roberts joined the library as a Seeing Things volunteer in 2017. She now shares Project Assistant and administrative responsibilities with Emily Ilett, co-ordinates GWL venue hires and is part of the Active Welcome cluster. Mattie loves all the conversations she engages in at GWL, fulfilling her enthusiasm for dismantling barriers to people’s enjoyment of arts and producing supportive and meaningful administrative structures. She has an MLitt Curatorial Practice (Contemporary Art) from the University of Glasgow and Glasgow School of Art, and is a member of the volunteer-run bookshop Good Press.
Project Coordinator: Three Decades of Changing Minds
Rachel Thain-Gray is the Project Coordinator of Three Decades of Changing Minds, happily wrangling 30 years of GWL’s unique history into a comprehensive legacy for the future.
Rachel has worked in the field of cultural equalities for the past 20 years. She joined Glasgow Women’s Library in 2013 delivering creative, prejudice reduction projects including Mixing The Colours, In Her Shoes, and Decoding Inequality. She co-leads Equality in Progress with Adele Patrick, which benchmarks GWL’s grassroots museum practice to address the strategic need and lack of mainstream cultural sector approaches.
Rachel is happiest when she is deconstructing the workings of organisational systems and inequality regimes, and co-producing the hope-filled future that people deserve.
Rachel works part-time, Tuesday (WFH), Wednesday (office), and Thursday (office).
The National Lifelong Learning Team
National Lifelong Learning Development Worker
Morag Smith studied English Literature in Glasgow then lived in Germany for some years before returning to Scotland where she worked in community learning and development, adult literacies, creative writing and literature development. In July 2009 she joined Glasgow Women’s Library as National Lifelong Learning Development Worker and now has a breathtaking knowledge of Scotland’s minor road and rail networks through taking the library’s learning programme to many places, including Aberdeen, Skye, Dundee, Inverness, Dunoon, West Dunbartonshire and Wigtown. She works with GWL’s learning team and a wide range of partner organisations, including libraries, community groups and women’s prison services, to deliver bespoke learning programmes, events, and workshops. She also develops new networks and access to the library’s unique resources for women of all ages and backgrounds.
Morag is particularly interested in working with new partner organisations and community based women’s groups, and supporting and developing new projects which enable women to develop their skills, creativity and confidence and connect with their own life history and the histories of other women past and present.
Morag is part-time and usually works Wednesday to Friday, she is often working out and about across Scotland
Nadine Aisha Jassat
National Lifelong Learning Development Worker
Nadine Aisha Jassat joined the GWL team in 2018 and works as a part time National Lifelong Learning Development Worker. She comes to GWL having spent seven years in Scotland’s gender-based violence sector, delivering education work locally and nationally to young people and youth agency staff with organisations such as Zero Tolerance and Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre, as well as championing creative practice and anti-racist work within the sector. Outside of this, Nadine is an award winning writer who has performed her work across the UK and Internationally. She has been published widely, and independently delivers creative writing workshops, chairs events, speaks on panels, and more.
Nadine is part-time and her days vary as she is often working out and about across Scotland
The Adult Literacy & Numeracy Team
Adult Literacy & Numeracy Development Worker
Donna joined the Library as a volunteer literacy tutor in 2010 and has refused to leave ever since. In her role as Adult Literacy and Numeracy Development Worker she works creatively with women with a wide variety of skills, ages and backgrounds – supporting them with their literacy to enable them to improve whatever aspect they want to focus on, to develop their confidence to allow them to progress, to feel better about themselves and to enable them to access a wide range of cultural activities. She loves supporting the women who come to GWL to do whatever they want to do – whether it’s to write a poem, do a crossword, set up a budget, put together a CV, write essays for college or help their children with their homework. She also gets involved in a wide range of activities at GWL, supporting ALN learners to access the huge range of wonderful opportunities that GWL offers.
Donna has a Masters Degree in Community Learning and Development, a Masters in Gender Studies and a PhD in creative writing with a gender and history focus. She facilitates creative writing workshops and GWL’s Drama Queens and loves women’s history, particularly the history of women’s suffrage. Having spent 25 years in the soul destroying world of pensions, Donna is so happy to have found her soul again doing something she loves.
Donna is part-time and usually works Wednesday & Thursday.
Dorothy joined GWL as Adult Literacy and Numeracy Tutor after working as a Community Tutor with West Dunbartonshire and then a Workplace Tutor for Glasgow City Council. The ALN post is an exciting opportunity to work with women who live locally and the wider Glasgow area. Dorothy’s role as tutor supports women on a 1:1 basis, helping them gain confidence with their reading, writing and number skills and to use the resources in the library to support their learning.
Whilst studying for a Post Graduate Degree at Strathclyde University Dorothy grew to enjoy supporting people with literacies issues and being able to guide learners to become self-directed learners. In recommending GWL to others, Dorothy cannot tell others enough about the fascinating place the library is to visit, to learn and to meet other women, where they can feel adopted by a vibrant team who work together in a very supportive environment.
Dorothy works part-time and usually works Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Adult Literacy and Numeracy Volunteer Support Worker and Tutor
Deborah Walker initially started as a volunteer and student on placement at the Library, working with Syma Ahmed on the BME project. Now working as the Adult Literacy and Numeracy Volunteer Support Worker and Tutor, she continues working towards her degree in Community Development at Glasgow University. Community work has always been a strong passion of hers and she enjoys nothing more than helping others on their journey to empowerment.
Deborah is part-time and usually works Monday & Thursday
The Collections Team
Wendy Kirk joined GWL in 2005 as the Librarian, having previously worked in community-based support work and community libraries. She studied English Literature and MSc Library Studies at the University of Strathclyde. Wendy runs a weekly group called Story Cafe, which brings women together over lunchtime to enjoy stories and poems, and which includes regular visits from Scottish and international writers. She is passionate about the life-changing impact of reading and libraries, and enjoys taking part in festivals including Book Week Scotland and World Book Night.
Wendy is part-time and usually works Monday & Wednesday to Friday
Nicola was appointed GWL Archivist in 2014. She has also been one of the two archivists working on the Speaking Out: Recalling Women’s Aid in Scotland project since early 2016. Her role at the Library is varied and involves managing the archive collections, providing access to researchers and promoting the collections through outreach and engagement. Nicola has previously worked with the Spirit of Revolt Archive and Milngavie Heritage Centre. She enjoys being involved in archives that help preserve the histories of groups and movements often under-represented in mainstream history. She has an MA (Hons) in History and an MSc in Information Management and Preservation both from the University of Glasgow.
Jenny was appointed Museum Curator in 2017. The role combines Jenny’s love of heritage and literature, giving her the chance to explore and develop her knowledge of women’s history, museum practices and intersectional feminism while managing and caring for GWL’s museum collections.
Jenny began her museum career as a seasonal attendant at the Highland Folk Museum in 1996 while studying for her MA in English Language & Scottish Literature at Glasgow University. She has worked continuously in the sector since 2001. Previous roles include Education Facilitator at the National Museum of Rural Life, Education Officer at Paisley Museum, Outreach Officer in a pan-Lanarkshire partnership project and, most recently, Social History Curator at CultureNL.
Jenny works 28 hours p/w (usually from Monday to Thursday, though this can vary).
Project Archivist, Three Decades of Changing Minds
Mae is the Project Archivist of Three Decades of Changing Lives, hand in hand with Nicola, Rachel and GWL team she will be delving into the Glasgow Women’s Library history to catalogue, digitise and make accessible this unique material.
Mae’s relationship with the library began in 2018 as a volunteer and she has been working in all manner of different roles ever since. In 2018, alongside her archival studies she worked on the Decoding Inequality project which ignited her interest in the intersectional feminist reframing of institutions and their collections and more recently she has supported Adele Patrick, the co-founder and director of GWL, as a research assistant in her post Clore Leadership Fellowship research. This work has left her with a grounding in theory and practice of feminist leadership, how it is cultivated and nurtured, alongside a deep rooted understanding of GWL’s history as an pioneering feminist organisation.
She has worked for the Art360 Foundation as an Associate Archivist and most recently at the National Library of Scotland’s Moving Image Archive cataloguing a fantastic and varied collection of films from the Screen Scotland collection. You’ll find her talking about accessibility in archives, terminology and the application of it, feminist governance and knitting (by machine).
Mae works full time.
Meanwhile, keeping the Library running…
Director of Operations, Resources and Enterprise
Sue John is part of the Senior Management Team at Glasgow Women’s Library.
She takes a lead role in the delivery of the organisation’s Strategic Plan and the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan, ensuring sustainability, driving GWL towards achieving its Vision, and fulfilling its Aims and Objectives.
More specifically, Sue’s role involves overseeing GWL operations, systems, collections, assets, enterprise and funding. She leads on internal governance in relation to finance, policies, building management, accreditations, risk and opportunity, and legal compliance. Her role includes leading GWL’s social enterprise, innovation and entrepreneurial endeavours to establish a mixed financial model, including venue hire and product sales.
Sue role also includes providing strong and inspiring feminist leadership, ensuring that GWL works as a coherent team across the different strands of its work as a library, an archive, a museum and an innovative learning resource.
Sue is the Company Secretary of Glasgow Women’s Library Limited, ensuring that all legal requirements as a Limited Company and as a Charity are met and, along with Adele Patrick (her senior colleague in the organisation), advises the Board of Directors so they can provide robust governance and clear strategic direction for the organisation.
Sue is part-time (28 hours per week) and is also a part-time PhD History Researcher at the University of Glasgow, with the topic Satire and Suffragettes: Women’s Rights in Everyday Material Culture in Britain, 1900-1930.
Gabrielle Macbeth joined us as Volunteer Coordinator in 2011. Her role is to ensure that volunteers get as much out of volunteering as they put in and that they are involved in stimulating projects which makes the most out of their interests and motivations for volunteering. Volunteers are encouraged to try new things and broaden their horizons and are offered ongoing support as well as training to equip them with the skills and confidence to get involved in GWL’s wide ranging and varied projects.
Gabrielle loves having the opportunity to find ways for so many talented and enthusiastic women to contribute to GWL’s work, and is always looking for ways to involve women from all walks of life who can bring fresh perspectives and experiences to GWL.
Find out more about volunteering at GWL here.
Gabrielle works three days a week and currently these days vary
Volunteering Programme Assistant
Ren Clark joined GWL in November 2020 as the Volunteering Programme Assistant. Working alongside Gabrielle Macbeth, the Volunteer Coordinator, Ren assists in recruiting, training and supporting volunteers in the library and remotely. Ren is interested in volunteering as an activist endeavour and is passionate about feminist organisations and how they support and uplift marginalised people.
Ren has recently graduated from their Masters in Applied Gender Studies at the University of Strathclyde. Their academic interests are mainly in queer theory and studies, with a focus on queer anti-assimilation, non-binary and transgender identities, and transgender non-fiction.
Ren is a genderqueer person and is comfortable being referred to with any pronouns, often switching between they/them, she/her, and he/his. You can find out more about pronouns here: https://www.mypronouns.org/
Ren works part-time, usually on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
Digital and Marketing Officer
Naomi Brown joined GWL in May 2020 during the first Covid-19 pandemic lockdown. Naomi is responsible for GWL’s marketing, Social Media and other digital output. In her role she aims to increase and diversify the reach of GWL’s work to expanded audiences through the use of digital technologies. Naomi has worked for a number of Arts organisations within the city including Glasgow Print Studio, Glasgow Sculpture Studios and as Research Coordinator for AHM (Sam Ainsley, David Harding, Sandy Moffat). Naomi has worked at Glasgow Print Studio for over 10 years and continues to do so on a part time basis as Marketing Officer. She has an MA (Hons) in History of Art and Philosophy (Joint Honours) and an MLitt in The History of Collecting and Collections both from the University of Glasgow
Naomi works part-time and she works Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Facilities Management Officer
Becca Lewis joined GWL in 2019 as the Facilities Management Officer. She oversees the upkeep of its Grade B listed Carnegie Library, co-ordinating building services and maintenance contracts. Becca contributes to the Green Creative Cluster, who work across the organisation to implement the Environmental Policy. She has an MA in Heritage Management from Bath Spa University and has really enjoyed learning about community focused organisations. Becca has worked in libraries, heritage and the arts and loves that GWL is in all these worlds.
Becca works part-time and her days vary
Margaret Manley joined GWL in 2015 as the Finance Officer. Margaret is a graduate of Edinburgh University (BSc Social Sciences). Her financial and management experience has been acquired from working in the NHS, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and a couple of GP practices.
Margaret works part-time and her days vary
Helen MacDonald has worked at GWL since 2005, with a focus on IT support and digital development, including managing GWL’s online presence and developing its bespoke Monitoring & Evaluation and CRM system, Library Out Loud. She is also the developer & moderator of the Women of Scotland website, created by GWL in partnership with Women’s History Scotland, and represents GWL on the WHS steering committee.
Helen works part-time and her days vary
Doreen joined the paid staff team in August 2019 after volunteering since summer 2018. Her volunteering role (which continues alongside her paid work) is difficult to pin down, due to her wide interest in the heritage, learning and intersectional activities of GWL. Doreen applied to be the cleaner after helping in the creation of the GWL garden (in association with the RHS). She is a member of the Green Cluster which tries to ensure the library is as carbon neutral as possible. She helps Syma with the Women Making It fortnightly creative sessions. Doreen helped to research GWL’s two new suffragette heritage trails. She is a member of the Reader Development Cluster and immensely enjoys Wendy’s story cafes. She helps Deborah and Dorothy with Conversation Cafes for ALN learners whose first language is not English. She is a learner in GWL’s empowering ALN programme.
Doreen’s interest in volunteering began when she was a Girl Guide and learned to use her time wisely and for the benefit of others. She volunteers with Dyslexia Scotland as she has dyslexia herself and wants to help her community. Dyslexia Scotland have recently published a book of illustrated poetry by Doreen, it is available here.
Doreen graduated from the University of Paisley (as it was in 2000, now the University of the West of Scotland) with an honours in Biology with Geology. She has worked in many seasonal, temp(orary) and part-time jobs after university. She tries to use her entire life experience in her work at the library.
All the Library staff can be contacted via email or at the Library. If you’re contacting the Library with a proposal for an event, exhibition, workshop or other project, please take a look at our guide to working with GWL, and submit a copy of our ‘Working with GWL’ form.