News

UPDATE: 20th Dec 2017

BMD has been saved thanks to the great work of the collective in Paris! Find a report here from Ilana Eloit who came to the last FLA meeting to tell us about the campaign.

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We have received the following message and call to action from our sisters in Paris on the 25th Sept 2017:

The Bibliothèque Marguerite Durand (BMD) is in real peril.  The Mairie of Paris is refusing to change its mind about its future relocation plans for the BMD, and we must work together now to convince the Mairie to act differently.  It is unacceptable for such a historically significant library to disappear.  We cannot let the BMD become a dead collection in a general library.

The Bibliothèque Marguerite Durand (BMD), a municipal library of the city of Paris that specializes in the history of women, feminism, and gender, and was founded in 1932 thanks to a gift from the feminist journalist Marguerite Durand, must soon leave the building it has occupied in the 13th arrondissement since 1989 so that the Médiathèque Jean-Pierre Melville can occupy the entire building by itself.
This project could have been the occasion for the Mairie of Paris to propose a new space to the BMD, a larger location that would have more space both for the collections, which have been crowded tightly together in a small space for years now, and for the development of activities such as exhibitions, lectures, debates, pedagogical workshops, and other events.  Instead, the Mairie has decided that the BMD is to be housed by the Bibliothèque historique de la ville de Paris (Historical Library of the City of Paris – BHVP) in the 4th arrondissement.  This decision has been taken without any consultation with the staff or the social partners at the BMD.  All the syndicats (trade-unions) are opposed to it.
The Mairie de Paris claims that this move will offer the BMD more visibility by virtue of the prestigious character of the BHVP building and its central location in Paris, as well as the presence at the BHVP of the feminist Marie-Louise Bouglé Collection and the George Sand Collection.  In fact, however, the BHVP has no more space for its own collections; so this move will thus mean that the collections of the BMD will have to be stored in off-site warehouses in an unspecified location, their delivery will be delayed, the BMD will no longer have its own reading room, and its personnel will effectively be merged with that of the BHVP.
The Bibliothèque Marguerite Durand is the only public library in France that is exclusively dedicated to the history of women, feminism, and gender; it enjoys an international reputation; and it should not be made to become invisible and then disappear.
The new collective “Sauvons la BMD!” (Save the BMD!), which has just been launched by the Archives du féminisme, has been constituted to convince the Mairie de Paris to give up the current relocation project and propose a new home for the library that will offer the Bibliothèque Marguerite Durand both a real visibility and worthy conditions of operation.
If you would like to support this collective, we invite you to participate in the actions that we are putting in place:
1.     Write to Anne Hidalgo and Bruno Julliard (see a sample letter below) and send the letter to the collective “Sauvons la BMD!” (Save the bMD!) at collectif.sauvonslaBMD@gmail.com so that it can be published online on the collective’s website.
2.     Subscribe to the Twitter feed @CollectifBMD
3.     Subscribe to the Facebook page.
4.     Subscribe to Instagram.
5.     Sign and ask others to sign the new petition.
6.     Participate in a feminist meeting in front of the BMD on the 18th November (more information coming soon on the blog that we are creating).
7.     Help us contact associations and organizations that will officially support the Collectif Sauvons la BMD!
8.     Prepare for an 8th March 2018 devoted to the preservation of our feminist memory.
E-mail contact: collectif.sauvonslaBMD@gmail.com
Website.

 

Sample letter to send

To : Madame la maire de Paris, Anne Hidalgo

Monsieur le premier adjoint, Bruno Julliard, chargé de la Culture

The Bibliothèque Marguerite Durand, a municipal library of the city of Paris that specializes in the history of women, feminism, and gender, and was founded in 1932 thanks to a gift from the feminist journalist Marguerite Durand, must soon leave the building it has occupied in the 13th arrondissement since 1989 so that the Médiathèque Jean-Pierre Melville can occupy the entire building by itself.
This project could have been the occasion for the Mairie of Paris to propose a new space to the BMD, a larger location that would have more space both for the collections, which have been crowded tightly together in a small space for years, and for the development of activities such as exhibitions, lectures, debates, pedagogical workshops, and other events.  Instead, the Mairie has decided that the BMD is to be housed by the Bibliothèque historique de la ville de Paris (BHVP) in the 4th arrondissement.  This decision has been taken without any consultation with the staff or the social partners at the BMD.  All the syndicats are opposed to it.
The Mairie de Paris claims that this move will offer the BMD more visibility by virtue of the prestigious character of the BHVP building and its central location in Paris, as well as the presence at the BHVP of the feminist Marie-Louise Bouglé Collection and the George Sand Collection.  In fact, however, the BHVP has no more space for its own collections; so this move will thus mean that the collections of the BMD will have to be stored in off-site warehouses in an unspecified location, their delivery will be delayed, the BMD will no longer have its own reading room, and its personnel will effectively be pooled with that of the BHVP.  Who will still want to give their archives to the BMD in these conditions?
The Bibliothèque Marguerite Durand is the only public library in France that is exclusively dedicated to the history of women, feminism, and gender; it enjoys an international reputation; and it should not be made to become invisible and then disappear, especially not in a city whose mayor so willingly declares herself a feminist.
Together with the collective “Sauvons la BMD!” (Save the BMD!), which has been founded by the Archives du féminisme with the support of all the syndicats concerned, we demand that the Mairie de Paris renounce its current relocation project and propose a new home for the library that will offer the Bibliothèque Marguerite Durand both a real visibility and the worthy conditions of operation that will allow for the future expansion and enrichment of its collections.
Addresses to use
Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris (anne.hidalgo@paris.fr)
(with a copy to Sylvie Clavier, Cheffe du Bureau du Courrier de la Maire:
sylvie.clavier@paris.fr)
& Bruno Julliard, Premier Adjoint à la Maire de Paris, Chargé de Culture (bruno.julliard@paris.fr)
Hôtel de Ville de Paris
Place de l’Hôtel de Ville
75196 Paris cedex 04