For the latest podcast Ian and Ali took a trip to Bridgeton to talk to Dr Adele Patrick, co-founder of, and Lifelong Learning and Creative Development Manager for, Glasgow Women’s Library. The interview takes place in the old public library on Landressy St, which is the latest home of the GWL, and, having seen their plans, will be for the foreseeable future.
Adele talks about the inspiration behind the formation of the library, the difficulties of the early days, and their often nomadic history. She also talks about the terrific 21 Revolutions, the recent publication of new writing, essays and prints inspired by the collection at the library.
The conversation touches upon library etiquette, the global network of women’s libraries, balancing the international, national and the local, the importance of shared experience and preserving the artifacts of popular culture, and the changes in Scotland’s cultural identity during the library’s lifetime. Adele makes it clear that the GWL is more than ‘just’ a library, it is also a museum, an archive, and a resource for research as well as a meeting place. She also outlines the plans for the future of the library, which are hugely exciting.
Then talk turns to 21 Revolutions, a publication that includes work by artists such as Elspeth Lamb, Lucy Skaer, Ashley Cook, Ellie Harrison and Ruth Barker amongst others, (prints of which are available to buy from the website) which lend the book a fantastic visual element. It also contains essays, and some photographs of the inspirational artifacts, but the most exciting aspect for me are the writers involved in this project, who include Karen Campbell, Anne Donovan, Margaret Elphinstone, Helen Fitzgerald, Janice Galloway, Kirsty Logan, A.L. Kennedy, Zoe Strachan, Louise Welsh… I could just list them all here and now, but I hope I’ve said enough for you to check out the book for yourself. If you needed any further proof as to how strong women’s writing is in Scotland, you have it now.
You can also download all of the 21 Revolutions podcasts which feature readings of the stories and essays from the book.