First Feminist, Community-Owned Library Opens in India

M. Lynx Qualey

Staff Writer

M. Lynx Qualey is the founder of, a website that brings together translators, authors, publishers, critics, academics, and readers around discussions of Arabic literature in translation. She works as a book critic, reader, editor, and ghostwriter. You can follow her at @arablit.

Last year, I wrote about eight “Feminist Libraries Around the World.”

The spark for this list was the The Knowledge Workshop’s fantastic Feminist Library in Beirut. They had helped choose a list of 5 recommended reads for Women in Translation Month (#WiTMonth). After falling in love with their work, I was keen to discover other feminist libraries around the world.

I found other feminist libraries in Glasgow, London, Istanbul, Vancouver, Sydney, and a Free Black Woman’s Library that travels around the U.S.

At the time, I did not find a feminist library in South Asia. But now, following a successful crowdfunding campaign, the Sister Library has opened up in Mumbai:

More than 400 supporters raised over 570,000 rupees (more than $8000 USD). This, along with other fundraising, helped the library cover rent for their first year.

According to founder Aqui Thami, organizers came up with the idea after the group Bombay Underground did reading interventions around Mumbai.

In an interview with Feminism IndiaThami said that, “My collection had less than 20% female authors and since that day I made a very conscious decision to read women exclusively.” She added that Sister Library is the “first ever community-owned feminist library in India.”

You can find the library on Twitter (@SisterLibrary), on Instagram (sister.library), or on email at