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Birmingham Central Library

CLOSING OFF AN OPEN LETTER

23-06-2009

There’s been a lively debate between Andy Munro (supporter of a new library for Birmingham) and Alan Clawley (defender of the existing one). Andy’s hoping to put the correspondence to bed with this one – some chance!

Here’s Andy’s original piece and Alan’s reply

Now, read on…

Dear Alan,

Thanks for your letter and I’ll excuse you the semantics on the meaning of ‘redundant’ because, in fairness, you are obviously a genuine champion and although it all seems a bit ‘Don Quixote-ish’ to me, you are entitled to your view as I am to mine.

The fact is that whilst the Library itself might be popular in terms of usage, so would a garden shed if it was the only central library facility.

Unfortunately, it creaks and groans and its layout (informed to some extent by the architecture) will never really be fit for purpose as a flagship library.

Whether it could be used for something else is, I will admit, another argument. However when I ask people what they think of the library, the vast majority feel that the building is ,at best unappealing…so in my experience you are in the minority …although it appears a vociferous and vitriolic minority…looking at the latest Forum discussion, it would seem that the Kings Heath and Moseley ‘pseuds’ have come out in force with enough angry threads to knit a significantly sized protest T shirt.

On a more serious note, I think most people accept that there is a significant developer interest and receipts around the corner but this will help ensure that we secure an iconic library fit for purpose and one that befits the second city.

Furthermore opening up the Jewellery Quarter is not something to be dismissed because that area and its architecture are far more significant than Paradise Forum and its carbuncle will ever be…but that’s my opinion and something that we are all entitled to even if we live outside Kings Heath and Moseley!

Yours in healthy debate

Andy Munro

DISCUSS THIS ON THE OLD LIBRARY VS NEW LIBRARY THREAD ON THE STIRRER FORUM

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