LILAC - the Lesbian Information, Library and Archives Centre

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[00:00:00] This program is brought to you by pride in [00:00:06] So I'm here with Maddie and Carol from some representatives I guess from lilacs library. How did you both get involved in like that? [00:00:15] Um, I got roped into it and 2004 [00:00:20] How did you get involved in this the president syndicate the tour support group for question itself. [00:00:29] Back in [00:00:32] one of the women on the collective was wanting to modify the membership rules for Blaylock asked me to come on advocate on behalf of younger woman. [00:00:46] You've been ever since I've been there ever since? [00:00:51] I am. I'm not entirely sure to be honest. And I sort of felt that I was doing variety of voluntary things, but nothing much for the lesbian community. So I thought I could come borrow a book and see what it was all about. And it coincided with an AGM and that was to have volunteered to be on the collective, which was, I think, about 10 years ago, a friend of mine seed. I was involved when she came to Wellington, which was about 15 years ago. But I don't think that's true. I think it's probably about 10 ish years. [00:01:29] And what's it was like for people who don't know what Laila has? [00:01:34] That's a very good question. [00:01:35] It's a color. [00:01:40] Black itself is a resource center, essentially, for lesbians. And we have books, fiction, lots of detective stories. Needless to say, we have an assortment of other fiction books. There's quite a large nonfiction section, including queer theory and biographies and a whole whole raft of stuff. And more recently, possibly to do with Maddie and some of the other younger women who might delighted to say have come in to join us. We've got a lot more stuff like DVDs and such [00:02:24] modern technology things. [00:02:26] Yeah, we've got a really impressive VHS, you know, the old videotape section, but we're building the DVD section as well. On the summit account with the name I like, and then they came up with the bit. Lesbian information library and archive center. Oh, we have like to [00:02:55] go. So how did it who started, we'll get started. [00:03:01] About 1994. A couple of women called a meeting [00:03:09] where it was, you know, they tried to get women who might be interested in doing work for the community, and KFC, lesbian radio and assorted other networks. There was a series of meetings and fundraisers, and book collections, and so on and so forth. And by about the end of 94, was up and running. [00:03:36] So they identified a need for lesbian resources, or [00:03:39] Yeah, I mean, in the in the 90s, there would be very few lesbian, or at least recognized lesbian literature in the public libraries, and not a lot of it, about available to purchase in books in New Zealand and internet buying was nowhere near the state that it is now. [00:04:02] Probably not. [00:04:03] The Internet exists in the early 90s. [00:04:06] Yeah, I think it did. [00:04:08] But only for geeks really [00:04:12] use it. [00:04:15] So as it changed now, as the more kind of leads being resources, or lesbian literature, or whatever, in the mainstream now, or [00:04:23] differently there, if there is someone in the public libraries, what you find is that it's actually hard to track down. So we found that was the hat library took the label lesbian, off a lot of the lesbian content of the collection. So it was quite hard to find, but the other any [00:04:37] good reason, I couldn't spell us or [00:04:41] maybe I did just misspell it. Please, Spain, Spain, [00:04:46] had a great deal to do with the reactionary [00:04:51] attitudes of the Council. [00:04:53] Oh, lovely. [00:04:55] Um, but the other thing is that public libraries, of course, co books that have low turnover rate. So it's actually one way long, gets some books, books, and then the library sales. Whereas while it keeps everything in the low turnover, stuff gets moved to storage shelves, but it's still there. And so we've got over 2000 articles in there, and the collection, some of spiritual quality. [00:05:28] So what are some of the, what would be some of the high two number stuff, it lie like? [00:05:37] The pursuit of mastery section is massive, because there's high demand for it. And what they call at least in the short story section, it gets quite hot in the magazines, actually. Because we get all the deeper care. And a few other ones are nice get quite well used in the debut days, high prices as well, like they are with [00:06:04] an increasing number of the humor books are being [00:06:11] borrowed these days. [00:06:14] whole new generations of women are discovering as in debt to them. [00:06:20] And so they go out pretty regularly as well. [00:06:24] We've got some some leaflets with Mr. frolic and different sections. So some other things as well. [00:06:35] Interesting. [00:06:38] So has a kind of traffic through life that changed over the years that use of both the new? [00:06:47] Yes. [00:06:50] If you're talking about human traffic, that changes very regularly, we, we seem to maintain a similar number of members, but the faces keep changing. So one of the things that we've been looking at recently, is looking at ways to retain the members that we get as well as recruiting new ones. [00:07:15] And you talked a little bit about young people young woman coming on, was it not young people before? or What What did it look like on the on the membership, the collective as a collective is it was a collective and we were [00:07:33] not very young, shall we say? What do you apply? And I could probably be the grandmother of most of the women on the collective now. So you know, that's quite fascinating, from my perspective, not that I am I hate to do it. But [00:07:52] from my perspective, [00:07:55] I am absolutely fascinated by the younger women who are coming through I think they have an enormous amount to offer. And without them we love that could go under completely and actually will become a non event. [00:08:14] So is it mostly young women on the collective now? Or is it a mixture or [00:08:18] mixture? So when when I first started in 2004 I'm Amy Greenwood was on the clicker, and she she's only a few years older than me. But apart from that there was quite a large page. And so that was why she'd asked me to come along to be a team. So when I started the the membership criteria was that you self identified as a lesbian. And what he asked me to come along talk to was that younger women in particular were becoming less likely to identify as lesbian, even if is the medical definition. And they were. So they were a whole lot of different ways that young writing. So look was alienation them a network and, and as part of a marketing strategy [00:09:13] that was proposed to change the definition of for the membership. [00:09:18] And how did that go? [00:09:20] We had an interesting AGM. [00:09:25] Maddie and I are still friends. [00:09:29] Nobody's buried at bank or anything. [00:09:38] Were they were? Yeah, it was it was an interesting moment was about two hours long from memory. And there were a couple of clips of members who resigned from the collective because the membership change. [00:09:51] What was some of the different points of views without kind of going into kind of personal stuff? What was some of the different points of views around kind of naming and labels and identification? [00:10:02] Will I speak from my perspective? [00:10:08] Having having been a lesbian all my life, [00:10:13] and having been out for a long time, and I can't see what the problem is, you know, stand up, be proud. And if you're listening Cooley suffer lesbian, I don't understand what the problem is that apparently younger women have with with doing that sort of thing. [00:10:36] Um, I think it's, it's, it's also reflective of wider society, like a lot of the young woman that I talked to. Some of them didn't like the word lesbian. Because if you play a word association game with them, and this applies to wider society as well. There's a lot of negative labels that go along with with lesbian, but they will also a lot of women who were not only attracted to women who wanted to be part of the library. So that's always been an issue for the librarian, and for the collective members. [00:11:21] But I think it was also [00:11:25] like that these young women didn't understand why the older generation wanted to identify strongly as as lesbian. And so having those sort of intergenerational conversations was really useful. But [00:11:40] the [00:11:43] Yeah, the older woman not understanding why the young woman didn't want to have this label. Yeah, it was the same kind of thinking for the two groups. [00:11:55] So is this still a point of contention now? Or how does the How does the criteria [00:12:01] now [00:12:03] it's been changed to any woman who has a non heterosexual personal identity in his primary relationships with women and his ports of the side a shell subject payment of any membership fee, be a member of the society on the south side is membership register. Wow, is this quite different from [00:12:23] lesbian? [00:12:25] Yeah, I'm true. [00:12:31] really long things that are about six line. Yeah. What it [00:12:35] means I don't know that anybody understand [00:12:38] seems to cover all possibilities, including some we didn't intend and have subsequently knocked on the head. [00:12:45] Yes. So we're Israeli Well, we hasn't been [00:12:48] at mostly been in and around the terrorists excuse me, we had one particular room that have been we were very grateful to be able to have a home of some description, its location, and its whole setup was was really not not conducive to to anybody wanting to be there to be perfectly honest, but we didn't have anywhere else and we were grateful to be able to use it and we moved into the backup Hall area of suntan grease on the chairs, which was very helpful. And we had a reasonable amount of space there and the rent was was also pretty cheap. And we are exceptionally grateful to the Armstrong and Arthur trust which gives us which has given us [00:13:51] the the grants to pay the rent. [00:13:55] With without very much warning at all suntan juicy, do they were closing down all of that area of the whole for the renovations, and we had literally weeks to find somewhere else to go. And after some Farish frantic rushing around, we've now got some really nice space upstairs in the Buddhist center on Cambridge terrace. [00:14:22] Oh, I don't know what it is here. Number 64. Cambridge, Texas on the corner. [00:14:28] At such a lovely space like its natural light worse. And Santander's it was always dark and cold. I mean, absolutely grateful to them. It's just you know, different building different materials. It's a different field to the to the room. And it opens up the possibility of us using the space for other things as well like movie nights and book groups and so on, which is really, really exciting film library. [00:14:55] So if you had a few of those have been since moving Chris's. So [00:15:00] now we Indian opinion in the pipeline, we did a membership survey, asking all the current members and then all the other woman that we could rope into as well that asking them what they'd like to see at the library. And I think that the top thing that they chose, in terms of other events was fascinating lesbian speakers. [00:15:23] And fascinating was [00:15:26] very interesting. [00:15:28] And as a consequence of the of the survey, [00:15:32] we're looking to set up a book club we're looking to do as a fundraiser, probably just a one off quiz night. We're certainly looking at the there's been some fascinating lesbian speakers. And we're lining up a few women. Not all of them know this yet, but you know, we'll get to them shortly. [00:15:57] Wow. Yeah. Really nice to be able to respond. Survey Monkey rate makes it easy for for groups like us to cheaply get feedback from members. [00:16:11] and respond to that. What do you both really enjoy about being part of London? What do [00:16:15] you guys get? [00:16:18] first dibs on all the books and DVDs. [00:16:20] Oh, [00:16:21] that's strictly true. That's not true. [00:16:25] Ellen gets first. [00:16:27] Because she does the cataloging, there is not so much. [00:16:32] The library's a bit of a fist fist point of contact for one that moved to Wellington. So we've got a notice board and stuff as well. But I really enjoy meeting new people coming in, or new people coming out. And like, introducing them to different parts of the community and so on and helping them to find the fate. [00:17:00] I would agree with Maddie on that. It's, it's really interesting to see how many of us there are out there. You know, I've been as I've said before, I've been around for a while now. And I know lots of lots of dates. But I keep meeting a whole new doc just about every week. It's amazing. Right? Yeah. [00:17:24] So isn't a quarter as a favorite of work? I obviously enjoy it. [00:17:30] Not really. [00:17:32] And basically, we're talking about one meeting a month, we're talking one, one evening on a Wednesday or a Saturday lunchtime, to do duty. There's very little else that you need to do. I mean, if you can get out and do some recruiting and promotion, you know, that's a different issue. But basic, two things what a month is hardly earners. [00:18:01] So there's the opening hours, Wednesdays and Saturdays or Wednesday, we're just changed as a result of the membership survey. We're now open on Wednesday 530 to 730, which is just slightly later in the night open longer on the Saturday. So 11 o'clock till 2pm [00:18:19] is a direct response to the to the survey, [00:18:22] which were trialing through till Christmas, and then we'll see how it does. [00:18:27] So let's Sue's I guess the important kind of space for Lisbon resources as well as kind of a protocol and new people coming out as well as using his own does. What are the superior systems that save? Keeping renewal? Is it kind of those its main two pivots? [00:18:45] I think those are probably the two two major areas. But the fact that we've got a website and we have a Facebook page, and we're with Twitter and so on and so forth, has actually given us indications that people from actually women of all who knows but properly women around the world are actually clicking onto the website and having a look as well. So you know if if there are some some lesbians who are maybe thinking of traveling to New Zealand, this gives them a start that will at least we're alive and well here. [00:19:24] Yeah, because there's been all this stuff a about all this all engineers and printable print will become defunct. And one I'm it's not what you found? [00:19:32] No, no. [00:19:36] I mean, the thought of getting some of those books in digital format is hideous enough. Because they hideous, or the book is earlier on I saw some some what are some of the ones that we get donated every year we ever we have a sale every year fundraising event, the game has been fear. And as always, the sandbox rotary spokes are there. inputs [00:20:01] that get donated or [00:20:03] so those books are out of print, they're probably not going to be made digital. [00:20:09] But also who wants to read a book on a computer screen. I mean, this is there are some people moving to but I stare at a computer screen all day, I don't want to go to beat in grade a computer screen. [00:20:20] Exactly. I agree. [00:20:22] And I this is also what I was in Chi Queen youth with heaps and heaps of govt ICF. Well, as often bar focus, so it's really nice to I guess have a forum or a space that you can go to surround [00:20:37] business noise. [00:20:39] I mean, it's a compounding thing is such a problem with our calling in the community. And then we have all our social events based around that. So for anyone who is struggling, they've got to make a choice to either not engage with it or to, you know, run the risk of falling off the wagon. [00:20:59] So with all your new dangled face pages and Twitter's and internet, there's still some challenges that lovely faces have into the future, or you happily pulling along nicely or [00:21:13] fundings in the show, but we're not self sufficient. We're reliant on donations. [00:21:19] Support of strong alpha child trust release. [00:21:24] And [00:21:26] if we didn't have that, we would be honest, like without a signal. So that's that's a big challenge for us in just the retaining existing members, as well as recruiting new members is sort of part of part of the the puzzle or keep our puzzle toward self sufficiency. [00:21:51] Membership wise, number wise, [00:21:53] what are we looking at? [00:21:55] That's, that's farting around 60. But, as we said, we're making more of an effective staff retaining existing members, because that's been had, that's those 16 members have been 16 members of hundreds and hundreds of so if we were able to, if they were all signed up, or even all the ones that were still unwilling to [00:22:20] slackers, yeah. [00:22:26] One of the things that we're just trying at the moment, and we have no idea how it look, but we are, in the interest of trying to serve the community, we're giving it a go is a postal [00:22:42] ability. [00:22:45] There's a woman in the white rapper, who doesn't get to Wellington, but she has access to the internet. So she can see from our catalogs, the resources that we have there. And so we have recently come to an agreement. And again, it's, it's a trial to see how it works, that you provide a career bag for, for and the and the list of the books that she wants, and we'll put them in the books and send them off, and then she sends them back. And so will we've only just started this, but and I don't think that we would be looking to go into it on a major scale. We simply don't have the people to cope with it. But you know, for a few people who few women who can't get into Wellington, but you know, a feeling pretty lonesome out there. In terms of reading about themselves. This could be a possibility. [00:23:47] How would I find my leg? [00:23:50] Or I just go, [00:23:52] but it just turned out? Not just a color? Yeah, I've been going to change to change, drapes, and arrows and some [00:24:04] I've just had a mess of Google search for the for the library. So if you search the black library or lesbian library, you'll find it in the in the top of the search, even if even if you're searching internationally for [00:24:21] and the actual [00:24:24] the actual website is HTTP, colon forward slash forward slash lilac, Li l a said please note we don't have the www base in there. You know, that's that's the that will that will get you directly to the to the website. [00:24:49] And then your access to the catalog and the hours and the address. Any Any news? We can just pop in when it's open. Yeah. Yeah. And as a kind of a little reading space. We Yeah, let's stand around and browse. So I'm having. [00:25:02] I've got I've got comfy chairs and little coffee table. It's got a child biscuits on it. Oh, yeah. [00:25:08] That's good. [00:25:08] Yeah. And we offer tea and coffee. [00:25:10] Yeah. So the kitchen that we all share. So [00:25:17] in the zero library, and that was a know. [00:25:21] We tend to engage in conversation, if they want to, if they don't be just shut up, let them go on with it. [00:25:28] Although there are there are a few librarians on the collective. Maybe they would shy. [00:25:35] No, they're not that sort of library. Lisa Good. Good lesbian. [00:25:43] Yeah. Hey, thank you very much, both of you for your time who for talking to us about Atlantic. Thank you. Thank you.

This page features computer generated text of the source audio - it is not a transcript. The Artificial Intelligence Text is provided to help users when searching for keywords or phrases. The text has not been manually checked for accuracy against the original audio and will contain many errors.