Library of Birmingham Soft Test Tour

eMag logo 100x75If you were lucky enough to spot it on their website or in Twitter, blogs, etc, you could apply for a pre-opening visit to the new library “to test out the IT” and generally look around.

I was lucky enough to join the 1000 other people in there from 10am to 5pm. This was interspersed with a trial of the emergency evacuation procedures where we all walked out and stood waiting for the return around the War Memorial in Centenary Square – just about 1/2 hour so no problem!

The overall impression of the inside is of spacious airiness. Superbly proportioned escalators blended well with the round atrium which extends right up to the skylight at the the top of the building.

Each floor was uncluttered and inviting in a thoroughly modern way. Books? Well these were there but unobtrusive to the overall experience. And this is right because the new library is not about just storing and lending books. It’s about involving the Birmingham people in cultural community events and aims to promote “inclusion”. Many events are in the process of being devised with local community groups, so there should be interesting times ahead.

Do visit the library – it’s a superb building! The biggest library in Europe is sure to enhance our city’s worldwide reputation.

Learn more and about  intentions for the future on the website

We were asked not to publish photos so as not to spoil the surprise for others when the library opens next Tuesday 3 September. But then today, I see that the Birmigham Post and Mail have published some both in print and on-line (strange!?).

So, as the “cat is out of the bag”, I can publish some of mine below.

Geoff Caine

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