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Malala Yousafzai to open the Library of Birmingham

Teenage women's rights campaigner shot by Taliban and treated in Birmingham will open £188 million building

Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai, the teenage girl who was shot by the Taliban for campaigning for the educationsal rights of women and girls, is to officially open the Library of Birmingham.

Malala, who was treated at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham following her near-fatal shooting in Pakistan, will receive membership of the Library of Birmingham before delivering a speech and unveiling a commemorative plaque on Tuesday September 3.

Just before the opening, the 16-year-old will put in place the very last book on the shelves of the new Library - her own copy of The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho.

In the past four months, more than 66,000 crates of books have been moved from Central Library into their new home in Centenary Square.

The first book to go on the shelves in April 2013, chosen by members of the public, was The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien, who also grew up and went to school in Birmingham.Malala described it as 'an honour' to be part of the opening of the Library of Birmingham.

"The content of a book holds the power of education and it is with this power that we can shape our future and change lives," she said.

The lower, south and east facing 1,400m2 Discovery Terrace overlooks Centenary Square and has a mixture of perennials, evergreen species, bulbs and small trees

"There is no greater weapon than knowledge and no greater source of knowledge than the written word. It is my dream that one day, great buildings like this one will exist in every corner of the world so that every child can grow up with the opportunity to succeed."

The opening ceremony will begin at 11am and will also be attended by Ed Vaizey MP, Minister for Culture; Coun Ian Ward, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council; The Lord Mayor, Coun Mike Leddy; Brian Gambles, Director of The Library of Birmingham; and Francine Houben, architect.

What's inside the Library Of Birmingham 


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