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Why we're Flying the Flag for Glasgow Women's Library

You may have heard the fantastic news that the Glasgow Women's Library has been shortlisted for the Art Fund's Museum of the Year Prize. The winner is announced on Thursday 5 July, and will receive £100,000 to continue their good work.

Social support

This week, social media has been ablaze with support for the organisation and their bid to win this award.

"Everything crossed for the gloriously feminist, welcoming, creative, smart and lovely @womenslibrary to be #MuseumoftheYear," says Twitter user @EmmaRitch.

"Proud to fly the @womenslibrary flag this week! Glasgow Women's Library: life saver and life changer #mymuseum #museumoftheyear" says @Emilyrllett.

And @Bestmellemel said: "The magic of @womenslibrary is palpable from the moment you walk through the door. The women running this place deserve every accolade going because they're really making a difference to culture; they're women making AND changing history. #museumoftheyear ".

Flying the Flag

These three examples are representative of a huge campaign to Fly the Flag for GWL, which encourages individuals and organisations to share why they think GWL should win Museum of the Year.

With the winners announced tomorrow (Thursday 5 July), we're sharing just some of the reasons that Creative Scotland is proud to support GWL - one of our Regularly Funded Organisations.

By women, for women

Empowering women is one of the key aims of the Glasgow Women’s Library. They support thousands of women across Scotland every year to improve their lives through their services and programmes, including support and activities that tackle a wide range of issues from poverty and women’s health, sexuality and surviving violence.

Learning is key

GWL delivers over 200 innovative events and activities across Scotland every year, from film screenings to guided walks and core programmes. Key learning strands include their Adult Literacy and Numeracy and Black and Minority Ethnic Women’s Projects.

Archive for life

GWL is the only Accredited Museum in the UK dedicated to women’s lives, histories and achievements and is a Recognised Collection of National Significance. They proudly showcase a range of historical and contemporary artifacts and archive materials, with everything from Suffragette memorabilia to rare 1970s Scottish Women’s Liberation newsletters on display.

Equality at its core

The organisation recently undertook a report, Equality in Progress, which explored equality and social justice in cultural organisations. With funding from the Scottish Government and the European Social Fund, the GWL will research and develop three innovative strands:

  1. Scope methods of involving ‘museum changemakers’ (experts on inequality as experienced in relation to the museums and galleries sector) with the aim of unleashing social, cultural and economic benefits for individuals and cultural institutions.
  2. A large-scale survey and report on equality, diversity and inclusion in Scottish Museums alongside a capture of current relevant research
  3. Making explicit GWL’s participation framework, defining the effectiveness of our processes and documenting our organisational structure, governance and mechanisms and incorporate learning from European women’s museums

Exciting events

GWL has a wide programme of exciting events. Their Muriel Spark: GSA Illustration Exhibition, for example, runs until 30th July. This showcases the work of Glasgow School of Art Illustration students, who have been mining the GWL collection to create new letterpress and collograph prints inspired by Muriel Spark's dark, humorous and lushly evocative works. There are also creative writing workshops, reading groups, heritage walks and more.

This article was published on 04 Jul 2018