Forget everything you thought you knew about municipal libraries. Well, not quite everything – you can expect a whole heap of books. But forget everything else
Once you’ve decided whether you are a lover or a hater of the Library of Birmingham’s angular exterior, dive in. Looking up from the foyer, you can enjoy the spacious, modern feel of what its architect, Francine Houben, described as the ‘peoples’ palace’. Then take the elevator straight up to the Skyline Viewpoint, which presides over the city from 51 metres above street level and offers those in the know unrivalled panoramic views (the very best of which are at dusk). If it’s open, check out the Shakespeare Memorial Room, which was an original feature of Birmingham’s victorian library, designed in 1882, and is conveniently situated next door.
On a sunny day, you can meander down Brum’s behemoth via either the ever-popular Discovery Terrace on the third floor, or the more densely herbaceous and aptly named Secret Garden – but you’ll have to figure out where that one is for yourself
Be sure to check out the latest exhibitions, events and family activities, and there are also performances and happenings in the sunken pit at the entrance to the library.