Library stacks up ahead of September opening

There are almost 150 days to go, 152 days as of today, till the new Library of Birmingham opens on 3 September 2013.  After what seems like a much longer construction period since work first began in 2010, or a sign that time flies when your enjoying the construction of a new building, the new library's 5357 full circles covering the facade will soon see people looking out through them as well as in through them.   

The current Central Library will close on 29 June 2013.  It is estimated that once the construction is handed over to the City Council this month an estimated 1,100 crates of books -of a total of 66,000 crates, will be brought into the new Library every day for three months.  The transferring of more than 1.5 million books and 24km of shelves of archive and heritage collections will be undertaken by specialist contractor Nexus.

Carillion will hand over the building to the city council this month with work then moving on the installing and testing of IT, catering and technical systems and training staff,

In February The Library of Birmingham shared £1 million funding with Manchester Central Library, each received £500,000, from the Wolfson Foundation to support the important role that public libraries play in British Society and particularly for the two of the UK's major cities,

Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive, the Wolfson Foundation, said "Publiclibraries continue to play a crucial role in British society. In backing these twoexcellent projects, we hope that other funders might join us in supporting highquality initiatives at public libraries at a time of acute funding pressure forthese great institutions. These projects help to show the future shape of publiclibraries at a time of debate about their future role."

Building contractors Carillion have continued to produce updates on progress and their latest from February, reproduced from, shows the works nearing completion internally as work moves onto preparing the building for it's opening. 

The September opening will be accompanied by a Discovery Season of events, supported by Arts Council England, which will run from the opening on 3 September until 31 December 2013 and encourage visitors to explore the new library.

  •  Playground of Discovery – a specially-commissioned Cabinet of Curiosities created by multi-award- winning artist, Morag Myerscough, housing a rolling programme of creative residencies throughout the Season
  • The Commentators
  •  from Stan’s Café, the Birmingham-based artists’ group, will be broadcasting from the Playground of Discovery, as the first of the creative residencies, in the opening week
  • In a collaboration with 7inch Cinema and Flatpack Festival, a weekend of cabaret and cinema to celebrate Birmingham’s long and colourful association with Early Cinema and the development of the Magic Lantern with a focus on the Library of Birmingham’s archive of 60,000 lantern slides dating from around 1890 to 1940
  • A trail of artworks will be situated across the building, each making reference to the Library’s rich collections and archives. To include Theatre Jukebox created by Stand & Stare using the Library’s Wingate Bett Transport Ticket collection, an arcade-style cabinet installation that plays stories instead of records housed on the Library’s fourth floor
  • The Library of Lost Books
  •  – an exhibition celebrating the history of the book, with related workshops, featuring contemporary artists and printmakers, inspired by and breathing new life into books that have reached the end of their natural lives
  • Reference Works
  • , an exhibition of Birmingham’s largest ever photography commission which has seen four photographers - Michael CollinsBrian GriffinAndrew Lacon and Stuart Whipps – create work in response to the building of the Library of Birmingham
  • Volume
  • , the Birmingham Art, Book and Print Fair in December has been created as a unique event for the Discovery Season by bringing together existing organisations in collaboration (Writing West Midlands, Birmingham Zine Festival, An Endless Supply, BCU Typography Hub, Grand Union and Eastside Projects). Volume will open with a keynote speech from artist, musician and writer, Bill Drummond.

The following pictures show work progressing with the front of the library in Centenary Square now being repaved and the REP extension moving closer to being finished.

28 -29 March 2013

27 March 2013

23 March 2013

15 March 2013

2 March 2013

21 February 2013

16 February 2013


Anonymous said…
Undoubtedly the librarys' highlight will be its 'gardens in the sky', one facing south for warmth and the other facing west for spectacular sunsets. This could be a major brownie point for our City as no other UK city has 'gardens in the sky' that will be totally free for to enjoy!!

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