University of Birmingham New Library
The new £60 million University main library is now under construction in the north west corner of central campus. It will provide outstanding facilities for a new generation of students, researchers and visitors.
Why is a new library needed?
The current library, which was built to house a print-based, pre-digital collection, and which has grown sporadically since the 1950s, no longer meets students’ expectations. Detailed studies carried out on the existing library showed it was not feasible to refurbish the building to the standards required to give students and researchers the facility they need. The new library will sit in the centre of campus, adjacent to the existing building. Once the new building is built and operational, the old library will be demolished, with the land forming part of the Green Heart – a major new open space that will be a focus for the whole campus.
What will the new library contain?
The new library will be an inspirational space, with study and research desks located near to windows, allowing users to benefit from natural light and stunning views. The new, technology-rich building will house a variety of learning spaces to cater for different modes of study. An increased number of study spaces, all with power points, will allow students to work in the Library from their own devices.
On the ground floor, there will be a dedicated student space, with a range of study places and ready access to Library and IT support. This space will also contain a reference collection of high demand ‘essential texts’, providing access to key reading list material whenever the building is open.
Knowledgeable staff will be available to facilitate access to research material, with a small consultation area for those who need access to collections in situ. There will also be a dedicated research space on the first floor, with both a quiet reading room and a breakout space for improved researcher networking and collaboration.