More than 1.5 million books and 24 kilometres of shelves are on the move as Birmingham gets ready for its brand new £188.8 million public library.

That’s a lot of reading material - the books would stretch from Birmingham to Edinburgh if placed end to end.

The new building will replace Birmingham Central Library, in Chamberlain Square, which closed on June 29, 2013, and will be demolished in 2014.

So what time will the new Library of Birmingham open?

 

The Library of Birmingham is situated in Centenary Square, the city’s most important public open space in the heart of Birmingham city centre’s Westside district.

The new Library is physically connected with Birmingham Repertory Theatre. It’s close to other significant cultural venues including The ICC, Symphony Hall, NIA, Town Hall and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

The opening day for the Library of Birmingham is Tuesday, September 3, 2013.

Details of what will happen and at what time on the opening day are still in planning stages but there is set to be a big celebration for the launch of the building.

Celebrations will continue throughout the opening season until the end of 2013 with a number of events and activities in the pipeline.

Opening hours will be Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm, Saturday from 9am to 5pm and Sunday from 11am to 4pm

 

Birmingham City Council says the Library is for “everyone, regardless of age, background or circumstances.”

Francine Houben of Dutch architects Mecanoo described the Library of Birmingham as “the people’s palace” – a highly accessible and family-friendly place that aims to be welcoming to all.

It is expected to attract around 3.5 million visitors a year and millions more online – including national and international visitors as well as local and regional users.

The city council says there will be plenty on offer for visitors who don’t wish to join to Library of Birmingham but it points out that to get full use of all that the development offers – including free wi-fi and borrowing books and music – you need to become a member.

Construction work on the Library of Birmingham began in January 2010 and finished in April 2013, when Midlands-based construction partner Carillion handed the building over to Birmingham City Council. The process of moving in and getting ready to open will fill the following four months up to the opening date.