Yesterday Birmingham Library celebrated it’s first birthday and so James, George and I decided to do some exploring.
James and I are both book lovers and so we were eager to see everything that the library had to offer. George on the other hand thought this was the worst idea for a day out ever imagined. Some negotiation took place and a trip to The Entertainer was agreed as part of the day.
When we arrived all three of us were instantly impressed. The boys recognised the destinctive decoraction on the outside of this enormous building from the television reports last year of it’s opening and were keen to explore inside. The entrance hall is huge with an open plan cafe on the ground floor and tall illuminated escalators going off in all directions like something out of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.
Our journey started with a trip to the children’s library which is on the lower ground floor area. As well as a large collection of books and displays it also includes a Digital Gallery displaying animations and creations from local schools.
Further along on the ground floor we found the glass walled Ampitheatre from which you can look up into Centenary Square.
Having taken a look at the guide to the floors I decided that next we would take the lift to the ninth floor where there is a Skyline Viewing area. You can see from the photo above that the view over Birmingham was amazing, and for someone who has lived and work in Birmingham this was particularly interesting.
Next stop was the glass elevator on the seventh floor. Alex was absolutly hypnotised! Continying past the elevator brings you out to the Secret Garden which I think was the best part of the trip for all of us. There is a garden terrace with plants and flowers, including seats for reading, all outdoors overlooking the whole of Birmingham. You can walk around the perimeter of the building and take in all of the views of the busy city below, including the canals, the towering office blocks, cathedral spires, and the football stadiums.
On journeying back down to the ground floor reception we switched between the lifts, elevators and stairwells just to satisfy George’s curiousity about the building. By the time we reached the ground floor the three of us were exhausted and thoroughly entertained and decided to head off for some food.
I accept that our review has missed out the most the important thing about the library which is the amazing resources that it holds. I’ve also not mentioned the The Shakespeare Discovery Room or the Book Rotunda. However to James and George the real feature of the day was the amazing building itself which I’d encourage eveyone to visit at least once.
Birmingham Library can be found at Centenary Square on Broad Street by the Rep Theatre and Birmingham Symphony Hall.
The library opens 8am-8m monday to friday, 9am-5pm satureday, and 11am-4pm sunday.
Entry is free and there is free wifi throughout.
Facilities throughout the library were very good but I would encourage any visitors to consult the free downloadable visitors guide at :-http://www.libraryofbirmingham.com/article/visitorguide/visitorguide-summary
If you’ve visited the library or any other local midlands attraction then let us know what you thought.