Library of Birmingham Blog 13

By on 05/11/2010 in Blog

gamblesHead of Birmingham Libraries Service Brian Gambles with the latest in a series of blogs looking at the exciting £193million Library of Birmingham project.

It’s been a good couple of weeks in the news for the Library of Birmingham with a nice piece in the Birmingham Post by new-ish editor Alun Thorne, interviewing my good self, two pieces in the Birmingham Mail, one featuring “Grand Designer” Kevin McCloud and his (mostly very positive) views on the library, and the other celebrating our most recent partnership announcement, with Writing West Midlands.

And on Monday night a guest appearance on Radio Wildfire, being interviewed by Dave Reeves for their evening show. Must admit Radio Wildfire was new to me, but a really lovely surprise – broadcasting on a shoestring out of tiny – but perfectly formed – premises in the Gun Quarter, and totally dedicated to writing, reading and literature. Finally, good coverage in this month’s Chamberlink, where I’ve been given some space to set out the opportunity that the new library can offer to the business community in the city.

We met with some representatives of the small and medium business community one evening this week, at the instigation of the Chamber’s Paul Hanna – very positive, and lots of ideas to follow up. Another community of interest we engaged with this week was the voluntary and community sector, some of whose senior representatives came for fact-finding tour of the Central Library and a short tour of the construction site.

Speaking of construction, I can’t help but be continually surprised and delighted at the tremendous organisation of the site, which is not an easy one to manage, and at the speed of progress. Though Carillion Operations Director Simon Dingle tells me we “ain’t seen nothing yet”.

After Christmas, the pace really picks up!

More on the partnership with Writing WM. This is really important news, both for them and for us. It makes the Library of Birmingham the new home for the Birmingham Book Festival from 2013, and with that comes the opportunity to raise the bar on the BBF, making it one of the premier literary festivals.

The Library Service already runs the Young Readers Festival every May, Libraries, of course, have always been about readers, its just as important that we find ways to encourage writing talent and provide a home for writers, many of whom of course research their subject material in the public library.

It's a welcome partnership and we look forward to a close and fruitful collaboration.

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