Future plans for Library of Birmingham being explored

Details of a proposal for the Library of Birmingham to start discussions with the British Library have been announced at this afternoon’s (January 6) City Council meeting.

Cllr Penny Holbrook, Cabinet Member for Skills Learning and Culture said the council had begun conversations at a national level relating to the development of proposals for the library to become a regional centre for the British Library.  Full Council welcomed the fact that discussions with the British Library can now begin.

Cllr Holbrook said the proposal, being championed across the wider academic and cultural community by West Midlands Lord-Lieutenant Paul Sabapathy CBE, could help counter the impact of proposed cuts to opening hours and services, which were announced in the council’s 2015/16 budget white paper last month.

These discussions are at an early stage, with several civic leaders, supporters of the Library and MPs.

“When we announced the proposed cuts, I said we were doing this with a heavy heart,†Cllr Holbrook said.

“But as with any possible cut, we will leave no stone unturned to find alternative ways forward. We will do whatever it takes to save services if possible.

“With that in mind, we now have an interesting idea which could ensure we continue to have a flagship library service the city can be proud of.

“The Library of Birmingham already has a glowing reputation. Being linked to the British Library would add further weight to this on the international stage.

“But we have to be clear that if this plan ultimately proves to be unworkable, we will have to continue with the proposed cuts to ensure our budget balances and that essential services such as children’s safeguarding are given the funding they need.”

ENDS

For more information please contact Kris Kowalewski on 0121 303 3621.

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