In this special Re_wind series of blog posts, each member of our team has been asked to pick their favourite project of 2016 and share it with the MAKLab community. Following on in the series, our Education & Outreach Coordinator Delphine Dallison has decided to write about the Women on the Shelf fundraising project MAKLab have been working on in partnership with the Glasgow Women's Library.
To the women trailblazers and the extraordinary aunties of the world
This project is very close to our heart at MAKLab as we are big fans of the work of the Glasgow Women's Library, especially at the moment, during these turbulent political times. Our Education & Outreach coordinator Delphine Dallison had previously worked with them during their 21 Revolutions project and we were delighted when they approached us again to ask us to work on the design and manufacture of the commemorative "plaques" to be dotted around the shelves of the library in their new Bridgeton premises.
The project had started back in 2012 when the Glasgow Women's Library were still in their old premises at Berkeley St under the Mitchell Library and raising funds to finance their move to their new building in what used to be the old Bridgeton Library and cover some of the repairs and upgrades needed to turn it into the forever home GWL had been yearning for. The overall premise was simple, donate £10 to sponsor a book, £100 to sponsor a shelf or £1,000 to sponsor a section of the library. Whichever amount you went for earned you the right to dedicate the book, shelf or section to a woman of your choice, be it one of history's forgotten trailblazers or the local teacher who inspired you when growing up.
The fundraising campaign was very effective and helped cover some crucial costs during the original move from Berkeley St and you can still donate now to help fund some of GWL's wonderful projects. By the end of 2015, GWL were preparing for the official opening of their new library and over 250 shelves and 16 sections had been sponsored at that point. We worked in partnership with their designer in residence Kirsty McBride to find the best materials and processes to suit her design concept.
The final design of wooden cubes each with their own dedication and wood and brass effect section headers have been a real success, prompting further donations and impromptu mini-dedication ceremonies at GWL as each block finds its rightful place on the shelves. A steady stream of new dedications has since been passing through the MAKLab studio throughout 2016 and it's always moving to read through the thoughtful dedications we etch onto the side of each cube. Next time you visit GWL, have a browse through the shelves and take a minute to read through these dedications.
We were also glad to work with GWL to record some of the process involved in making the commemorative blocks and you can watch the full video below: