What is the Vancouver Women’s Library?
The Vancouver Women’s Library is a community resource that exclusively carries writing by women authors in a broad array of genres. We encourage intergenerational conversations through the library and believe in continuing the legacy of women-run bookstores, presses and libraries.
Who started the library and who runs it?
Two young women, who don’t have much to offer other than a love for women’s writing, started this project with an idea and their own collection of books. It has since blossomed into a community of passionate bookwomen, rooted in the rich herstory of women’s uprising through literature. To get in touch with the founders, please send us an email.
How is the Vancouver Women’s Library funded?
The library is funded 100% by donations and small grants.
Is the library affiliated with any larger group or organization?
No. The library is an independent, volunteer-run project, maintained by volunteer labour.
Who is the library for?
We have an open door policy and welcome all women regardless of creed/race/class/gender/sexuality/age/profession. We especially encourage mothers or caretakers to bring in their children, boy or girl.
Does the VWL censor books?
It would conflict with the public interest to coerce the tastes of women by forcing readers to accept any book as dangerous. We aim to provide access to as wide a variety of women’s texts as possible and believe in enriching the quality of thought and expression through the library. Our catalogue is constantly in flux, changing and growing as we receive more book donations and expand in response to community demand. We believe in the right to intellectual freedom: to seek, receive, hold and disseminate information from all points of view, including non-dominant and unpopular perspectives. We see ourselves as an active agent in keeping women’s writing alive and circulated, guided by our mandate to meet the requests and needs of our patrons and community without personal prejudice.
Who can get a membership at the Vancouver Women’s Library?
Memberships are for women-only, and we encourage men to browse through our catalogue and support women authors by purchasing their books. We are happy to offer recommendations if you have something specific in mind. Our priorities lie with the circulation of texts amongst women.
What does a membership at the library entail?
A membership gives you access to our entire catalogue and enables you to borrow multiple books from us. As a member you’ll also be the first to know of any upcoming events, reading circles, workshops, lectures, writing groups and more!
How do I get a membership and how much does it cost?
You can sign up for a membership in person during opening hours. The cost of a membership is by donation, renewed annually. We recommend between $5-$20 to help us keep the lights on. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. We also have a pay-it-forward option if you would like to purchase an extra membership for women who can’t afford a donation.
How many books can I take out at once?
We don’t have a limit, though we ask that you use discretion for the benefit of all of our members. We are more than happy to accommodate various projects and/or research, simply shoot us an email.
How long can I keep books for?
Our standard loan period is three weeks and we offer up to two extensions of one week each.
Where do books at the VWL come from?
Books are largely sourced through community donation. We also order books through our favourite local book supplier, Pulp Fiction. We have an Amazon Wishlist for anyone who wishes to purchase books from afar.
How do you decide which books to order?
We have a wishlist feature for future orders which anyone can add to! We prioritize this list when we’re able to make book orders.
Can I donate books?
Of course! We’d be thrilled to accept anyone’s book donations.
What kind of books do you accept as donations?
As long as it’s authored by women, we want it! If you’re unsure, please email us.
Do you accept volunteers?
Most definitely. You can sign up here!
What are your hours?
We're in the process of moving to a new space!
Re-opening MAR 10, 2017. Stay tuned!