Library of Birmingham, Birmingham

4.2
The Library of Birmingham is a public library in Birmingham, England. It is situated on the west side of the city centre at Centenary Square, beside the Birmingham Rep (to which it connects, and with which it shares some facilities) and Baskerville House. Upon opening on 3 September 2013, it replaced Birmingham Central Library. The library, which is estimated to have cost £188.8 million, is viewed by the Birmingham City Council as a flagship project for the city's redevelopment. It has been described as the largest public library in the United Kingdom, the largest public cultural space in Europe, and the largest regional library in Europe. 2,414,860 million visitors came to the library in 2014 making it the 10th most popular visitor attraction in the UK.HistoryBackgroundBirmingham City Council looked into relocating the library for many years. The original plan was to build a new library in the emerging Eastside district, which had been opened up to the city centre following the demolition of Masshouse Circus. A library was designed by Richard Rogers on a site in the area. However, for financial reasons and reservations about the location this plan was shelved. The Council suggested that the Library be split between a new building built between the Rep Theatre and Baskerville House at Centenary Square, which until 2009 was a public car park (to house the main lending library) and a building at Millennium Point in "Eastside" (to house the archives and special collections).
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Library of Birmingham Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
2,928 reviews
Google
4.1
TripAdvisor
  • Just went in to be nosy, but this is one seriously impressive building and there are places where you can go out onto the roof and take pictures... Recommend a visit if you're in the area  more »
  • I love libraries and this one is simply outstanding. There is a secret garden on level 7 and on level 9 there are conference rooms and there also a Shakespeare room with old books, and statues to look...  more »
  • We have visited here a few times, during our trips to Birmingham. Love the Shakespeare room and the views from the high levels from the garden area. Always worth a visit.  more »
Google
  • The worst place I have ever been since the old Central Library was closed down. Library should be a place to study in a quite and calm environment but this place is full of hustle and bustle and noises of escalators and other things. On top, when I visited today , I came to know that Library will open at 11:00 am. What kind of public library is this? There was a construction work going on in front of the library. What's the Birmingham City Council doing? It is just wasting of tax payer money. Where was the planning department when this library was built. There was bin men strike since June and City Council was sleeping. We should stop paying council tax and took Birmingham City Council to court for wasting the tax payers money and not providing the services. BIRMINGHAM CITY COUNCIL is the worst council.
  • Very disappointed. I went to do research for my dissertaion and I found one book that was relevant to my topic to find out it was for use within the library only. I'm pretty sure the point of a library is to borrow books? I checked a number of other books and they were also not available for loan. I found it very difficult to find the section I wanted and only found it by chance rather than any sort of helpful sign. Tiny sections for each topic. Badly designed building that has left very little room for a decent range of books. I never write reviews but I am baffled by the whole experience.
  • One of the best libraries I've ever been. The children's library is fantastic, highly recommended their babies 'Stay & Play' activities if you are new in town and have a babe. There you can meet other mums and dads and your children have lots of fun. Don't forget to visit the Secret Garden on the 7th floor.
  • 3.5/5 Great library which has the potential to be the best library. It's gorgeous to look at both inside and out, helpful staff, variety of books, and a good place for those who work on their laptops. HOWEVER, the library suffers from lack of staff and funding. The opening times are frankly poor. The ground floor opens at 9am, but the floors above and below it AKA the floors with ALL the main facilities and resources are closed and open from 11am. They then close at 5pm (exc Mon & Tues, where they close at 7pm), this makes it difficult for those who have jobs. If one could have access to all the facilities at an earlier time and close at a much later time (e.g. 7/8am - 10/11pm), or better yet make it 24 hrs, then it'd be one of the best libraries.
  • Considering its the largest library on Europe, the opening and closing times are diabolical. 11-5, amazing build but lacks books ironically. Its more a meet up place than an actual library

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Where to stay in Birmingham

To experience the best urban attractions available in Birmingham, book your lodgings in the pedestrianized city center. This area is known for its attractive walkways, which provide easy foot access to most tourist sites. Centrally located hotels offer stunning views of the city's skyline and numerous modern amenities, including luxurious spa centers and award-winning restaurants. Staying close to the center will put you in the thick of the action, near all of the city's famous bars and nightclubs. If all you are looking for is a good night's sleep and a warm meal, consider booking your rooms at a family-run B&B in one of the quieter neighborhoods on the outskirts of town.
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