Regular visitors to the library have hit out at its new opening hours – which will see doors closed for all but six hours on weekends.
The Post’s Facebook page has been deluged with comments from unhappy Brummies saying the reduction in opening from 73 to 40 hours a week is anything from “ridiculous” to a “disgrace”.
The council is axing about 100 employees as part of the cutbacks with the library currently costing it about £22 million a month – around half of which are interest payments.
Vicki Searle commented on our Facebook page: “This is ridiculous. I study regularly at the library, but as I work full time, evenings and weekends are the only time I can benefit from it.
“Every time I have visited the library it has been full, and not full of tourists but full of students, working alone or in groups, parents with young children doing their homework, school kids doing their homework together after school or revising for their exams.
“All of this will now be impossible as by the time school [or] work finishes for most people the library will be closed.
“The reduction in hours are disgraceful, but the way in which the council have chosen to operate them shows they only care for tourists, and as usual it’ll be the local people who lose this service completely. A community library? More like a ludicrously expensive tourist attraction. Absolutely shocking.”
Andy Hilton added: “Fall from grace? It is a disgrace. Why wasn't the outrageous capital cost reduced to consider the lifetime costs? The implications to local library funding and to the cultural heritage of the city has been disastrous.”
Ayaz Rahman came up with a potential idea to keep it going, saying: “Charge a £1 entry for those hours you can’t staff. I’d happily pay to use the facilities.”
The library will no longer open on Sundays after April 12 when cost-cutting measures are brought in to reduce its hours from 73 a week to just 40.
The landmark building will open from 11am until 5pm on Saturdays and its doors will be locked for a full 42 hours straight every week before people are let in again at 11am on Mondays.
Presently, it is costing the council £22 million a year – more than £60,000 a day - and the council is setting out to save about £1.3 million.
The new and reduced opening hours for the library from Monday, April 20, will be:
* Mondays and Tuesdays: 11am - 7pm
* Wednesdays to Saturdays: 11am - 5pm
* Sundays: Closed