Network of Documentation Centers and Libraries of Women

Network of Documentation Centers and Libraries of Women

In 1994, it was decided to establish a Spanish network, i.e. the Women’s Information Centre and Library Network, encompassing all the libraries and information centres created by women’s associations, public equality bodies and research groups. One of its main tasks is to control co-operatively the boom in literature on gender and women’s studies and offer the users of these information centres a better service.

In all the scientific disciplines, there are many works that have analysed gender issues. The role of women in architecture, theology, linguistics and migratory movements, in addition to many other areas, has been addressed in institutional publications and by private publishing houses, all of which calls for an increasingly greater effort to keep abreast of the literature. Furthermore, there is a mounting demand for information: researchers, university students in Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes pertaining to women’s studies, etc.

All this points to the current need for first-rate women’s information centres equipped with adequate libraries, newspaper, journal and video archives, teledocumentation and digital documentation services, etc.

The idea of linking the different centres existing in Spain emerged during the feminist seminars held in Madrid in 1993, with a view to sharing experiences and problems and establishing a stable collaborative framework. Thus, the IPES-ELKARTEA Institute for the Advancement of Social Studies, in collaboration with our information centre, organised the first encounter in Pamplona in 1994. This was attended by the representatives of a dozen information services of a different nature and legal status, since public and private organisations co-existed side by side. From the outset, this particularity has given the network variety and richness. That first encounter not only highlighted the existence of documentary resources, whose volume was sometimes considerable, but also, and most importantly, the need for sharing information and collaboration, since even some of the most relevant stakeholders were unaware of this state of affairs. Thus, it was decided to continue the contacts on an annual basis.

Accordingly, in 2018, we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the encounters of the Women’s Information Centre and Library Network, a special edition organised this time in Seville by the Maria Zambrano Information Centre.

The Women’s Information Centre and Library Network currently co-ordinates some 40 information centres. For further information, browse the network’s directory.