Five Birmingham City Council children’s libraries have been updated with new equipment and furniture, after receiving grant funding of £250,000 to make improvements.
The funding boost – which enabled libraries in Balsall Heath, Druids Heath, Kings Norton, Kingstanding and Small Heath to make improvements and finance educational projects – was awarded by the Wolfson Foundation, an independent charity that supports and promotes excellence in a wide range of fields, including education and the arts.
These libraries are now equipped with the latest technology including plasma screens, digital cameras and the new Raspberry Pi system for ‘code clubs’, plus iPads enabling them to link up with community libraries across Birmingham.
Cllr Ian Ward, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “Birmingham libraries have led the way with innovative projects such as Stories from the Web, Book Start, the Young Poet Laureate scheme and Young Readers UK, Birmingham’s festival of children’s literature.
“This funding from the Wolfson Foundation allows us to continue our innovative approach to libraries and engaging young minds.
“Five children’s libraries have been transformed into exciting and welcoming spaces, providing children with the opportunity to try new technology and enhance their storytelling involvement in beautiful spaces, designed to inspire.”
Kings Norton Community Library unveiled its new look on Saturday (18 June 2016) with an activity day.
Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive of the Wolfson Foundation, said: “Libraries are a place of inspiration for young people, and we are delighted to have supported these exciting and dynamic learning spaces for children throughout Birmingham. The Foundation is particularly interested in how libraries can help childhood literacy (including digital literacy) and we are also funding a research study on this subject. Education and learning are central to the activities of the Wolfson Foundation, and we have awarded some £15 million to over 150 projects across Birmingham.”
Improvement works at Druids Heath, Kingstanding, Kings Norton and Small Heath Libraries have also been completed.
Balsall Heath Library is currently closed for its makeover. Further details of dates and opening times can be found at www.libraryofbirmingham.com/libraries.
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Notes to editors:
The Wolfson Foundation (www.wolfson.org.uk) is a charity that supports and promotes excellence in the fields of science, health, education and the arts. It funds across the UK including a large number of projects across Birmingham, including the Birmingham universities, local schools, museums and disability organisations (such as Birmingham Rathbone).
Since 1955 it has awarded over £800 million (£1.7 billion in real terms) to some 10,000 projects across the UK. The Wolfson Foundation celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2015.