Happy first library birthday
Today marks the first anniversary of the Library of Birmingham opening on 3 September 2013, http://birminghamcentral.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/opening-book.html.
Since the new library opened 2.7 million people have visited the library, http://www.birminghampost.co.uk/news/local-news/27m-visit-library-birmingham-first-7691749, while people joining the library have increased by 140%. One million people came through the library's doors in its first 100 days while official delegations from more than 30 countries have visited, http://www.birminghampost.co.uk/lifestyle/library-birmingham-one-year-on-7656344
On average, members are booking 21,000 sessions on the Library of Birmingham’s public computers every month and nearly 5,000 people are logging onto the free wifi.
Members have also borrowed over 316,000 books, music, films and other items from the Library of Birmingham in the past year (up nearly 100 per cent from 2011/12) and renewed borrowed items nearly 54,000 times.
It's hard to believe it's been a year but the impact has been profound not only on access to the city's collections but on the city itself and it's reputation. The library has stood as a symbol for the confidence of the city and comes ahead of the redevelopment of New Street Station, due to open next year, and following the retail rebirth of the new Bullring which opened ten years prior to the library's opening in 2003.
The library continues to be a centre for the city hosting events and being a focal point of the city for visitors and residents alike. The library will play host to Birmingham Literature Festival in October over ten days following last years successful event, http://birminghamcentral.blogspot.com/2013/10/another-book-opens-followed-by-laugh.html. The event, http://www.birminghamliteraturefestival.org/, now in it's 15th year will see poetry, writing and activities.
Stephen Knight, writer of Bafta-nominated Peaky Blinders, is also due to appear at the festival, along with writer, comedian and classicist, Natalie Haynes, who will present a specially commissioned piece involving 10 writers entitled A Midlands Odyssey, as well as writers on the Man Booker Prize 2014 shortlist.http://www.birminghampost.co.uk/news/regional-affairs/birmingham-literature-festival-return-ten-day-7691142
Malala Yousafzai who opened the Library of Birmingham last year will be making a return on 14 September to give a talk about her book Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up For Education and Changed The World.
The following are a selection of photos from the opening day which was filled with excitement both in the library itself and the city overall.