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Old Joe’s Almanac: Library of Birmingham

Old Joe’s Almanac: Library of Birmingham

🕔02.Jan 2014

Houben’s library building on Centenary Square has generated more positive coverage for Birmingham than any other single event, building or person for many a year (yes, even Usain Bolt). Whilst the external architecture may not be to everyone’s taste, the space and the facility inside have added a genuine ‘wow’ feature to the city’s culture infrastructure. Already passed a million visitors, there is no sign of the temporarily claret and blue tinged building declining in popularity.

After its first quarter in business, this expression of civic pride will have to face the financial pressures that the rest of the Council has been enduring. Budgets for the Library’s running costs will become gradually scarcer and the centrepiece of Birmingham’s book lending will be pushed to do more and more to support its relations in community and mobile services.

The Library of Birmingham was the star of 2013 – topped off by winning the coveted Building of the Year title in the Architect’s Journal – and it must now be maintained and utilised to the full by the people of Birmingham and beyond.

A monument
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