A consultation is underway to allow people to have a say on what should go inside the £193 million Library of Birmingham.
The new ten-storey Library in Centenary Square, designed by Dutch architects Mecanoo, will open in 2013, replacing the existing Central Library which is seen as out of date and beyond economic repair.
The consultation on the internal design of the building takes place at the Central Library Foyer until April 19 where staff will be available to discuss details between 10am and 4pm.
It follows a consultation on the external design last year which generated more than 1,000 responses from the public and led to some subtle changes to the plan. But 30 per cent of those comments were about the facilities, access and content of the new library, including the need for larger lifts and escalators, a cafe, help points, staffing levels and public toilets on every floor.
City library boss Brian Gambles said: “It is essential that future users of the Library of Birmingham have their say on exactly what they want to see, and the results of last year’s focus groups gave us an invaluable insight into what the public expect from a modern library. This latest consultation gives our visitors an informal forum to sit down, enjoy a cup of tea or coffee, and discuss the development of the library with a knowledgeable member of staff.”
The decision to build a new library has attracted criticism from the Friends of Birmingham Central Library who say the existing facility is worth saving and can be restored at a fraction of the cost.
Critics also say the Centenary Square site is too cramped and a more open site is required.
Others have complained that the new library design does not sit comfortably with the historic Baskerville House next door.
The council has also borrowed £135 million for construction at a time when the city’s budgets are already stretched.