The Women’s Library was created in 1992 by a group of women passionate about providing literary resources and a safe space for women. The Library is maintained by a Management Committee and dedicated volunteers.
How can you help?
Please see our page for more information on getting involved!
The Library has a collection of over 25,000 books and pamphlets: everything from popular fiction by women through to specialist non-fiction covering issues from health, sexuality and popular culture to politics, history and human rights. We have collections of lesbian fiction, resources on domestic violence, a historic collection of feminist/lesbian journals, and much more. Most books in our collection are donated and each woman working at the library is a volunteer. There is an archive of feminist periodicals and texts. Book loans are for two weeks and members can borrow up to six books at a time. DVDs can be borrowed for one week. Renewals can be made by phone. Long distance borrowing is also available.
All materials within the collection have been donated from private collections and small women’s presses. Books are sorted according to our accessioning policy, and where a book is not suitable for the collection or is a duplicate, it will be placed in the second-hand bookshop.
We aim to house:
- Texts that are required reading for courses offered at tertiary institutions in Sydney addressing the status of women, especially Lesbians
- Published and unpublished papers and theses
- Published and unpublished works of fiction, with emphasis on fiction produced by Australian women, particularly Lesbians
- Published and unpublished works of non- fiction, with particular attention to collecting in areas of special interest to Lesbian and Feminist women
- Journals, with particular emphasis on journals produce by Australian Lesbians and Feminists
- Ephemera (posters,tickets, leaflets etc)
- Photographs, letter, diaries, posters, and audio-visual material
The Women’s Library is managed by a group of dedicated women who give both their time and energy.
To view a PDF copy of our constitution, please click on the following link:
Second Hand Books
The library runs a popular second-hand bookstore with around 5,000 titles – everything from the latest crime fiction through to classics as well as travel, history, biography, health, drama, cooking, children’s books and more – all selling at just $2 each.
Groups at the Library
The library is also a comfortable and modern meeting space available for all sorts of women’s groups. Non-profit groups pay a group membership fee to use the space, and are asked to collect a gold coin donation for TWL from each woman who attends a group.
For commercial groups, rates are set at the discretion of the Library Committee. As a yardstick, groups have donated 10% of what they charge to TWL. These groups will need to have their own public liability insurance.
“Off The Wall” Art Space
The library runs regular art exhibitions and encourages women artists to take advantage of this space – this service is free with only a commission asked for on items sold.