Moreover, the transfer of the exhibition of the historical records, which include books and periodicals since 1803, to the 2nd floor, is being prepared to take place within 2006.
The library was established in 1984 by the Council for Equality of the two Sexes (C.E.S.). The C.E.S. was the first Greek governmental authority to promote equality and improvement of Greek women's position. Since its establishment in 1983, it undertook to cover the gap in information about women as, till that time, only stray and unorganised collections could be found in Greece. In the course of time, the General Secretariat for Equality (G.S.E.) (as the C.E.S. was upgraded in 1985), which belongs to the Ministry of the Interior, particularly supported and upgraded the role of the library, allocating significant funds in buying books, providing modern equipment, and, finally, moving into its own bigger and more appropriate grounds in 2000. Nowadays the Library belongs to the Documentation & Information Directorate of the G.S.G.E.
The Library on Women's Issues is the only library in Greece with an organised collection, responsible to gather and distribute knowledge, both historical and contemporary, to anyone concerned with women's status in Greece and all over the world. Besides collecting current material, the library is also engaging in acquiring old, rare, and valuable documents, as well as visual material.
Its aim is to save this material which marks the beginning and progress of women's struggles for equality in our country, as well as to make it known to the broad public.
THE LIBRARY'S COLLECTION
The enrichment of the library takes place through purchase and donations.
The collection of the library consists of books, leaflets, declarations, dictionaries and encyclopaedias, posters, photo collections, laws, periodicals etc., written by or for women. It counts 10.000 book titles and 38 periodical titles, and it is organised in the following thematic units:
General information material, women's studies, mythology, religion, social anthropology, women's history, biographies, philosophy, women's movement / feminist ideology, politics, law / legal position, women's status in Greece and elsewhere, social care and insurance, demography, environment, housing, roles of the sexes, education, employment, arts and culture, mass media, language, athletics, psychology, mental physical and reproductive health, sexuality, family and marriage, literature.
The procedure followed by the library in order to enrich its printed collection and to organize it thereafter includes two stages, and is, in short, as follows:
- Selection and order of the most suitable books and periodicals aiming at covering, firstly, Greek production, and, secondly, foreign production through selection of the most significant foreign documents in the framework of the budget available.
- Librarian treatment of the material including:
A) Cataloguing according to the Anglo-american Rules of Cataloguing II.
B) Classification of the material according to the special for women's issues Classification System* used by the library, which was proposed by the special delegate of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Growth Mrs Jytte Larsen in 1985. This system has been adjusted to the needs of readers as well as those of the Greek language, and it is constantly being enriched with new terms.
C) Entry of book data in the P/C running the librarianship programme ABEKT 5.5 of the National Centre of Documentation.
D) Arrangement of books on the shelves per subject on the basis of their classification code.
ACCEPTANCE OF DONATIONS
The library accepts donations. To accept a donation or not, taken into account are such factors as the general policy of developing the collection, the condition of the material as well as any conditions posed by the donator.
The library is planned to operate as well as a lending one. According to library regulations*, borrowing terms applying to the G.S.G.E. staff are different to those for external readers. Terms also vary according to the sort or rarity of the document.
*Library regulations and borrowing terms of the Library on Gender and Equality will soon be ready and available on-line.
Head of the library department: Ms Loukia Mavromitrou
Ms Konstandina Pendarchou