Displaying items by tag: passion for libraries

Sunday, 23 November 2014 13:19

20.11.2014 - A passion for libraries

I was delighted to be invited to read at The Feminist Library - and they invited me to write a blog about my passion for libraries!

 

"I wish I could wax lyrical about all the reasons why I'm a fan of libraries – but there's neither space nor time. However, take it as read: I'm passionate about libraries. I'm passionate about feminism. There, I said it. Out and proud.

My feminism can be summed up as "the radical notion that women are people" (Marie Shear, 1986. For the history of this misattribution see http://www.beverlymcphail.com/feminismradicalnotion.html ). I have an equally radical belief that books – and by extension, education – should be freely available to all, and not just the wealthy. There's nowt so radical as a reader. Malala Yousafzai was right when she said "Extremists have shown what frightens them the most: a girl with a book".

Libraries are exciting, magical, transformative and dangerous.
A happy childhood memory is the Saturday trip to the local library. I chose four new books, which were mine for a whole week! And wonder of wonders: the Saturday after there were four more, then four more. I could never read them all... I explored new worlds, I learned new things. And here's the dangerous part: I thought new thoughts. It was the beginning of a love affair that's still going strong.

Which brings me to my recent visit to The Feminist Library, tucked into a University building on Westminster Bridge Road. I was honoured to read from my own work in such a great setting. It's a treasure trove of books, pamphlets, magazines and much more: many out of print, rare, if not unique. As I scanned the spines I recognised things I'd once owned but were lost, stolen or strayed over years of house moves in and out of the UK.

This is part of the power and importance of The Feminist Library and archives like it. We assume that 'somebody, somewhere' has these books and that we will never lose sight of them. It's a dangerous assumption. All too often it is simply the determination and dedication of rare individuals that stops such vital material from disappearing.

Anyone who tries to tell you that we don't need libraries any more because 'everything is online' is either woefully misinformed or lying. Besides – real, solid, here and now books can't be deleted at the click of a button or lost in a glitch in a 'hacker-proof' cloud. Libraries are time machines to the past and stargates to the future.

The Feminist Library celebrates its 40th birthday in 2015. At times it's been a bumpy ride. We need it more than ever in the face of the undermining of education for all, the wholesale eradication of public libraries and the ongoing struggle against misogyny.

I'll leave the last word to Neil Gaiman, another fervent advocate. "Libraries are about freedom. Freedom to read, freedom of ideas, freedom of communication".

 

http://feministlibrary.co.uk/2014/11/guest-post-rosie-garland-a-passion-for-libraries/

 

Published in News

News and Events

  • 16.11.2020: Guardian Poem of the Week - Rosie Garland
    16.11.2020: Guardian Poem of the Week - Rosie Garland

    Thrilled that 'Now that you are not-you' is Guardian Poem of the Week!

    "A very modern, secular kind of elegy reflects on death with a surprising lightness" - Carol Rumens

    "This week’s poem is from What Girls Do in the Dark, the latest collection by the multi-talented Rosie Garland. It stands alone, while extending the narrative of the short poem that immediately precedes it, Stargazer. The setting of Stargazer is a hospital bedside, where the dying patient’s visitor must navigate “the vertigo tilt / of old words like spread, outlook, time.” That poem ends with the metaphors that will be reconfigured in Now that you are not-you. “Doctors / murmur the names of new constellations / - astrocyte, hippocampus, glioblastoma – and calculate / the growth of nebulae; this rising tide of cells that climbs / the Milky Way of the spine to flood your head with light.”

    Read the whole article here...

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2020/nov/16/poem-of-the-week-now-that-you-are-not-you-by-rosie-garland

    Written on Monday, 16 November 2020 15:28
  • 12.11.2020 - ‘What Girls Do in the Dark’ launch event – ONLINE
    12.11.2020 - ‘What Girls Do in the Dark’ launch event – ONLINE

    7.30pm GMT

    Join us to celebrate the launch of What Girls Do in the Dark by Rosie Garland, with guests Tania Hershman & Ian Humphreys
    About this Event
    Join Rosie Garland, plus guest writers Tania Hershman & Ian Humphreys to celebrate the publication of Rosie's new poetry collection What Girls Do in the Dark.
    Thursday 12th November 7.30pm (GMT)
    This event will be streamed live & can be viewed now, through the Nine Arches Press YouTube channel.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9Z7yq1Ey_U&feature=youtu.be

     

    Written on Thursday, 05 November 2020 15:48
  • Cover reveal for 'What Girls Do In The Dark' (Nine Arches Press)
    Cover reveal for 'What Girls Do In The Dark' (Nine Arches Press)

    I thought it wasn't possible to feel any more thrilled about joining Nine Arches Press
    - then I see the stunning cover of my new poetry collection, 'What Girls Do In The Dark'.
    Out October 2020
    https://www.ninearchespress.com/publications/poetry-collections/what-girls-do-in-the-dark.html

    Written on Tuesday, 14 July 2020 13:31
  • April 2020 - The Night Brother, Must-Read Manchester
    April 2020 - The Night Brother, Must-Read Manchester
    Manchester Confidential chooses The Night Brother as a must-read Manchester novel!

    Dystopian classics to modern crime - Nine must-read Manchester novels

    “Fantasy, romance, sci-fi, comedy…we’ve got a genre for everyone
    There’s a very good reason Manchester is a UNESCO City of Literature, as we highlighted before its bid to join the prestigious network in 2017. Innovative publishers, diverse bookshops and a lively events scene make it an unrivalled literary melting pot.

    Rosie Garland’s The Night Brother is our historical highlight
    Ever the entertainer, Rosie Garland sung in post-punk band The March Violets and now performs ‘twisted cabaret’ as Rosie Lugosi the Vampire Queen. But she’s also a literary maverick with an array of essays, short stories and poetry to her name (much of which she also reads at spoken words events citywide) and three acclaimed novels. Her latest, The Night Brother, navigates themes of gender and identity through two siblings in Victorian Manchester. Rich and Gothic, it’s a must for fans of Angela Carter.”

    https://confidentials.com/manchester/dystopian-classics-to-modern-crime-nine-must-read-manchester-novels

    Written on Thursday, 16 April 2020 18:18
  • April 2020 - The Night Brother - Best Northern Read
    April 2020 - The Night Brother - Best Northern Read

    An unexpected & encouraging piece of news!
    Northern Soul has selected 'The Night Brother' as a Best Northern Read

    Desmond Bullen, Northern Soul writer
    “In days that can seem desolate and uncertain, there’s a lot to be said for windows into a better world and, ultimately, joyfully, that is exactly the view that The Night Brother by Rosie Garland affords. Not that its window seat is cheaply achieved. Far from it.
    Rooted with disbelief-suspending specificity in Manchester at the end of the 19th century, Garland’s novel blossoms compellingly from the exquisite simplicity of its central conceit, one which owes the tiniest debt to the 1971 horror film Dr. Jekyll And Sister Hyde. Edie and her brother Gnome are joined in a very particular symbiosis, so that their singular sibling rivalry threatens to be the undoing of both. Themes that could be leaden in other hands emerge from the premise with a beautiful lightness of touch, developing into a persuasive fable of inclusivity and self-acceptance. This is a book that sings a rainbow at its end.”


    https://www.northernsoul.me.uk/books-best-northern-reads-part-one/

    Written on Thursday, 09 April 2020 15:26