Cuts to Li­brary of Birm­ing­ham

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - ON THE RECORD -

The Li­brary of Birm­ing­ham is set to lose half of its work­force fol­low­ing bud­get cuts.

De­spite only open­ing its doors in 2013, the £188.8 mil­lion fa­cil­ity – which also houses the city’s ar­chive ser­vice – will be forced to make 100 of its 188 staff mem­bers re­dun­dant. As a re­sult, open­ing times will also be slashed from 73 hours to just 40 hours each week from April 2015.

The changes are be­ing made by Birm­ing­ham City Coun­cil, which has been tasked with sav­ing a to­tal of £117 mil­lion from its next an­nual bud­get. Ac­cord­ing to a White Pa­per pub­lished by the author­ity, Gov­ern­ment cuts would also re­sult in a re­duced sup­port for com­mu­nity li­braries and fewer staff at lo­cal her­itage sites.

“We are proud of the build­ing and the warm wel­come it has re­ceived lo­cally, na­tion­ally and in­ter­na­tion­ally since open­ing in Septem­ber 2013,” said Cllr Penny Hol­brook, the coun­cil’s cabi­net mem­ber for skills, learn­ing and cul­ture. “How­ever, the fi­nan­cial po­si­tion of the li­brary leaves us with no other fea­si­ble op­tion but to put for­ward th­ese pro­pos­als.”

The Li­brary cost £188.8 mil­lion to build

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