In a letter published this week in the Birmingham Post, the Guild calls on citizens and arts and culture organisations across the region to demand funding is reinstated to allow the library to operate to its full potential.
The call comes a week after the city council announced it was considering removing £1.5 million from the library’s £10 million-a-year running costs, which would result in the loss of 100 of the 188 staff and opening hours cut from 73 per week to 40.
The council, which has to make huge savings , is currently paying £12 million a year on debt repayments for the construction costs on top of £10 million to run the facility.
It has also emerged that the building’s fuel and utility bills are £368,000 more than anticipated during construction and that private sponsorship is half the expected level.
The letter, signed by West Midland representative William Gallagher and Guild deputy chairman Tim Stimpson, argues that further cuts would be a huge mistake.
They state: “In its short time, the Library of Birmingham has already become a huge focus for every kind of artistic, educational and media work that goes on in this exciting and vibrant city.
“You can’t make a building be important but when it is, when it has become vital, you can easily throw all of that away.”
They said the fully-functioning library is a source of civic pride for the region but “that we have to fight for the library after only a year is an excoriating embarrassment for Birmingham.”
Last week the Library of Birmingham Development Trust, a group of culture and business leaders set up to help raise private sponsorship, said they would continue to work to raise funds.
Chairman Keith Bradshaw said: “It’s a tragedy for the people losing their jobs, the librarians and archivists.
“It is also a tragedy for the city that we have this fabulous building and really great staff. We have to acknowledge that it isn’t easy for anybody.
“The trust will be looking at what might be possible, and everyone involved needs to look at how we can generate income and whether we need an entirely new structure.”
Council cabinet member for culture Penny Holbrook said the council had no option but to cut the funding, but rejected claims the Labour leadership did not value the Centenary Square facility.
Coun Holbrook (Lab, Stockland Green) said: “Some people have looked at the proposals in the budget white paper and suggested the Library of Birmingham was a waste of time and money but I disagree.
“It’s a world-class, gold standard library and the staff do a brilliant job. The ambition was fantastic and I don’t think we can describe that as a huge waste of money.”
She blamed earlier funding decisions for saddling the city with a huge amount of debt saying they were ‘less than advisable’.
But she added: “We are where we are and we need to be honest about the fact that we can’t afford to continue to do everything that we have done as a council, no matter how much we want to.
“Therefore the choices we make about what we do next have to be about access to services for the biggest number of people in the city, where those services are needed the most.”
She said there was a commitment to maintain a level of community library services across the city, particularly in deprived areas where literacy, numeracy and digital access are a barrier to job opportunities.
It was also revealed this week that the public face of the library, director Brian Gambles, will be leaving the role.
Mr Gambles, aged 59, praised for steering the project through its development over the last decade, will retire early next year.