Monday, 9 September 2013

The Library of Birmingham is open

The £189m Library of Birmingham, which houses a collection of one million books, has opened.
The library has more than 200 public access computers, theatres, an exhibition gallery and music rooms.

It was officially opened by Malala Yousafzai, the teenager shot in the head in Pakistan by the Taliban for championing women's rights.

She was treated at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham and now lives in the city.

The library has been built to replace the previous Central Library, built in the 1970s,

Library director Brian Gambles, said the building had 
"echoes of the traditional round reading room with a modern twist".
"A fusion of the digital and the traditional is absolutely essential to the vision of the library we have," he said of the project, which he has led for seven years.

The building also contains the Shakespeare Memorial Room, home to a collection of 43,000 books, including copies of the Bard's First, Second, Third and Fourth Folio editions.

The four month opening season for the Library of Birmingham runs from Tuesday 3 September – 31st December is produced & curated by Capsule, supported by Arts Council England.

The Discovery Season programme is inspired by the Library’s internationally-important archives and special collections, and draws on content as diverse as one of the world’s largest books, Victorian children’s games and toys, and even train and bus tickets. The Season will bring to life the Library’s stunning new spaces, from the studio theatre to the towering rotunda and the outdoor garden terraces, and will play host to installations, events, performances and workshops for every age and interest. Events encompassing literature, art, film, illustration, food and debate will be enjoyed under one golden roof in the city’s newest social space.

More details of the excitement in store during the Discovery season (which includes the Library of Lost Books exhibition in November) can be found here

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