New feminist library: People can access the best feminist books in Wales

The local charity launched a free reading facility for the public to know more about women’s story.

The feminist library has a rich collection of feminist books for the public. (image by Safer Wales)

People in Wales can borrow feminist books freely from a new library in Cardiff city center launched by a charity.

This library is near Cardiff Castle, which is a campaign project of this organizaiton to emphasize the importance of the female voice. Safer Wales is a charity whose mission is to support, protect and empower groups of people who are often invisible in society.

Cerith Mathias, who is a supporter and writer said: “I really think it’s very important for everyone to get a chance to not only to read as much as possible but also to read a variety of voices, and a variety of experiences. I think this project is highlighting female writing.”

Rachel Brydon, who is the campaign leader, said: “Knowledge is always a positive. We cannot access what we do not know. It may change a perception, inspire a small change or challenge a microaggression that always goes unchallenged; or even inspiring political action – there is no right or wrong way to use the resources in the library.”

All collected books listed both by readers and team, which aimed to open for every age group. The public can access stock based on the list from the website. Except for the physical books collected, the team will create digital collections to cover more kinds of materials to the public such as films, videos, and eBooks soon.

“We’re hoping to get a broad range of ages like covered teenage and older readers as well,” said Joanna Chittenden, who is the administrator of the library, “it’s a really good way of collecting all this material. You can pick up lots of these books in other libraries, but it’s nice to have a focus like this.”

After the reader chooses the book, the team will post it into the reader’s hand. The period of borrowing for the member is one month. If readers need more time to read, the term will be free to extend. Even during the lockdown, people still can receive physical books by post.

“In the lockdown, because all the public libraries have shut down, so you haven’t got a facility or place where you can go and access that material,” said Joanna, “I think it is very much needed, fill that gap and make sure that everybody has access to it.”

Two feminist books which public need to read. (image by Safer Wales)

Although this library had launched just a few days, readers started to borrow the books. One Cardiff 16 young female reader wrote a positive comment for the team saying that she recently borrowed ‘I am Malala’ by Malala Yousafzai and it has made her aware of how much Malala has done to promote education for girls everywhere.

“We often forget about women writers, when you look at the bestseller lists, and they are dominated by men,” said Cerith, “There’s a sense. Women, not just in your area, but all over the world really connect through these works, and you know that you’re not alone, you know whenever you’ve got these books. And it gives you that sense of friendship and empowerment.”

After the lockdown, people can read and borrow feminist books in this physical library in the city centre. And it also will be introduced at the Cardiff book festival and Pontypridd Children’s Book Festival. To register to be a member and more activity information can be found on this website.