Library of Birmingham blog 2

By on 03/09/2009 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

These are significant moments in the life of the Library of Birmingham project. The Design Team are working flat out to resolve some remaining issues with the interior layouts and will present to us their latest conclusions shortly.

There is a constant process of dialogue with our comments and reactions, and those of library users, feeding in to their design ideas, in a very creative and fertile way of working.

Mecannoo are contracted to submit designs for Stage D of the process by late September, and to have these fully costed. This however will not be the end of the design's evolution, and work will of course continue to develop with service users playing a key role in helping us to shape things.

Sub-contracts for the construction work are being let by Carillion, and all of this, and a final price for that element, must be in place by the end of November to present to Cabinet.

Plenty of other activity alongside this core piece of work: meetings with legal teams from the Council and the REP so we can agree a new lease and other access rights before construction starts; presentation last night about the design and our vision for the Library to the Women in Property Group, went well, lots of interesting discussion - just the latest in a long series of presentations, so many people are keen to hear about plans for the library; some fascinating opportunities starting to emerge to work with the major IT companies as we develop a vision for the Library of Birmingham in the digital world - they are very interested in us, which bodes well; and we are starting to recruit a specialist in move management of large libraries and archives who can help us plan the move from Central Library to Centenary Square, a colossal logistical operation, with literally tens of millions of items to shift.

And a brief moment to reflect on the huge loss that Clive Dutton’s departure later this month will mean to the city and the library project. Clive has been an inspiration and has led the team brilliantly. Thanks from the whole team for making the project work.

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