Gal's Guide mission is to build the first independent women’s history library and research center in the United States to preserve, collect, share and champion women’s achievements and lessons learned. We will act as a catalyst to creators who utilize our resources to guide others to these amazing role models who have been waiting in the shadows of history for too long.
A majority of Americans can’t name five female scientists. (Test yourself with the image above). Our fellow Americans also struggle to name five female filmmakers, five CEO’s, etc. We are not taught half of our history because it has not been made accessible to all. Women’s history has been silenced, shelved and ignored. There is a treasure trove of knowledge waiting to be unlocked.
There are more podcasts about women’s history than there are libraries dedicated to archiving. Creative storytellers, artists, and educators will soon run out of resources because they have limited access to historical documents. We have already lost letters and books that would have cemented women in crucial moments of the world’s progress. In the United States, there are three women’s history libraries in existence and they are all limited either by student enrollment, government shutdown, or bookmobile location.
We will build the first independent women’s history library with a lending-library that is a community hub as well as a destination pilgrimage for those around the world. It’s time for the first library dedicated to women’s history that is truly accessible by all.
We will provide for the community a place where men, women, and children can escape their hectic lives, where they can feel welcomed and inspired. We will combine a library, a Starbucks and a cozy living room; a place where our “Guides” are like Cast Members from Disney World and the energy is positive and world-changing like at a Girl Scout meeting.
Why We Are Crowdfunding
We have collected over 1,300 women’s history books, released 150 podcast episodes, presented to thousands of people, and served thousands with our message, “We care about women’s history, so we share women’s history.”
As it looks like it will take us a few years to open the library full time, we’ve got our sights on a month-long pop-up location in Indianapolis, Indiana. That way we can test our concept, prove there is a strong need, and provide an excellent destination pilgrimage during the best month of the year March’s Women’s History Month!
We're also crowdfunding because history shows us that's how the libraries in America got built. The American Library Association accredited, "Women's clubs with the responsibility for initiating 75% of the public libraries now in existence in the United States." It's time to have the community come together and help fund a library dedicated to the gals who guide us.
From Care Bears to royalty we have some awesome reward levels with exclusives for backers!
If you like stuff and want to show off your support, women's history artist, Bonnie Fillenwarth has made a custom design for you in our "Proud Mary" package of goodies.
If you feel you don't need stuff and you want your money to do the most good the "History Maker" package is perfect.
New Reward Added!! Bonnie Fillenwarth art postcards!
Where Does The Money Go?
- Site Expenses: $7,493
- Programing Expenses: $4,365
- Refreshments: $500
- Rewards: $542
- Fundraising Expenses including fees: $1,100
Where could we save money?
In-kind opportunities such as a rent-free location for 6 weeks, borrowing furniture instead of renting, discount on signage, construction materials and labor efforts donated.
What are the risks if we don’t raise our full amount?
Gal’s Guide is already looking into the saving money ventures. With some luck and community help, we’ll be able to lower some of the pop-up costs so we can still open the space in March. Gal’s Guide might have to shorten the length of the pop-up to fit the budget. Worst case Gal’s Guide will earmark the money and try again for an August 2020 pop-up to tie into the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment. We won’t give up!
What if we raise more than our goal?
First, we do a happy dance and thank the Goddess Seshat, Mistress of the House of Books. Second, the money we collect beyond the pop-up amount will go towards our goal of having the library open full time in a permanent location. We are seeking $200,000 to open the doors to a small-but-mighty women’s history library before 2021.
Meet Our 3 Guides
Dr. Leah Leach - Founder & Executive Director
Guide Expertise - Filmmaking
Responsible for overseeing the administration, programs and strategic plan of Gal’s Guide. Leah is the head of fundraising and community outreach programs. She leads Uhura Training Academy and is the Gal’s Guide Podcast Producer. Leah has won five awards for her work on podcasts she produced. Leah founded Gal’s Guide in 2016 after running a women’s group for three years as well as a multi-award winning film company for a decade. She is a high energy speaker and the big thinker behind Gal’s Guide.
Bonnie Fillenwarth - Library Manager & Grant Director
Guide Expertise - Suffragettes & Scientists
Bonnie curates the quality of the collections that the library has to offer, seeks for diversity in the library’s stacks, creates a monthly wish list for titles for the library to acquire, sets up the borrowing and returns systems to see they run efficiently, and manages the services and facilities of the library. Bonnie also researches grants for Gal’s Guide projects. Bonnie is an acclaimed visual artist who creates colorful paintings and calendars celebrating women throughout history. Bonnie represents the state of Indiana on the Her Flag project.
Katie Harris - Assistant Library Manager
Guide Expertise - Life Skills
Katie works with Bonnie and Leah in assisting in planning, implementing, and evaluating library and outreach services. Katie comes from a Vocational Service Manager’s background working with children with developmental disabilities.
Let's Make History!
We are so grateful for the enthusiasm and encouragement Gal’s Guide has received since we’ve started. We realize our mission is big but we’ve also seen first hand its impact.
It’s time to take these gals out of the shadows and into the spotlights where they will help all of us move forward, together. It’s time to give the world a reward of the Gal’s Guide Library & Research Center.
Thank you for being with us on this journey.
If you have any questions or would like to volunteer your time, donate your books or donate your services, feel free to email us firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit our website at galsguide.org
The images in our women of science graphic: Top row (left to right) Stephanie Kwolek, Jane Goodall, Gerty Cori, Chien-Shiung Wu, Lise Meitner, Barbara McClintock. Bottom row (left to right) Mildred Dresselhaus, Elizabeth Blackwell, Nettie Stevens, Marie Curie, Eva Ekeblad, Rosalind Franklin.
The painting of the librarian in our video where Leah says, "This time it's dedicated to the gals who guide us" Gratia Countryman, a famous librarian (there is such a thing). Gratia was a pioneer at the Minneapolis Public Library (1904-1936) she is also an ancestor of our founder Dr. Leah Leach. We will be creating a new library cataloging system named after her.