If you’re coming to our Festival of Children’s Literature, don’t miss the Library of Birmingham!

With less than two weeks to go until our Festival of Children’s Literature, I thought it would be great to share will you all a little information about the newly opened Library of Birmingham, and in particular, some information about it’s specially designed Children’s Library. The Library is just a five-minute walk away from the Festival venue, and just inside the Library’s entrance is the Box Office where you can buy Festival tickets in person, in advance. I can whole-heartedly recommend you explore the amazing building.

I asked the Children’s Library to tell as a little more about their space and what they’ve got planned in the comming weeks and months. Here’s what they had to say:

The purpose-built Children’s Library with its brightly painted spaces, digital screens and cool furniture is proving to be a huge attraction for all ages.  Alice and George, our large cuddly bear and gorilla have been helping our young readers to find cosy reading spots around the library. The 1960s style pod chairs are perfect to hide away with a book although some of our littler customers can’t resist a good spin in them! Our mini sofas have provided parents and carers with the opportunity to curl up with a child or two and share one of our many, lovely picture books. Our wonderful Story Steps – a huge terraced area with soft floor cushions and giant bean bags – have already played host to lots of events during our Young Readers festival, including visiting authors, a poet, an open mic comedy show and of course plenty of story sessions.

Story steps starry background

Our gorgeous primary colour bean bags are decorated with illustrations by artist Laura Kate Chapman and were inspired by the library’s historical Parker Collection of children’s books and games. These images also grace the wall behind the Story Steps and the glass panels which help to mark the boundary between the Children’s and Music Libraries. Some of these re-imagined characters such as Henny Penny, Mother Goose and The Little Girl Who Would Not Comb Her Hair have also been brought to life as animated images on the digital screen tucked away to the side of the Story Steps. This screen, which has an ipad docking station, has enormous potential for using with groups – perhaps even to showcase material they’ve created themselves! We’ve already been showing some of the ‘Creepy House’ animations which children produced as part of the Summer Reading Challenge activities in community libraries.”

information books and computers

The lower ground floor is shared with the Music Library which gives us the potential to work more closely together. We have handy access (through movable shelving) to the wonderful amphitheatre performance space and the adjacent ‘Beatbox’ area which has already hosted the Young Storyteller of the Year event.

george and alice read

Our children’s team has been very busy getting the books and collections ‘just right’, buying and adding new stock for customers to borrow, and planning new activities. The first activity that will be launched is Shake, Rattle and Rhyme, a weekly term-time activity for under 5s, starting on Thursday 14 November.

funky chairs

We hope that this will be just the first of many groups and activities for all ages which will take advantage of our fabulous new space. It really does have something for everyone. But don’t take our word for it – come along and visit yourself!

Click here to find out about the Children’s Library programme of events during Half Term

Yes! When you join us at the Festival of Children’s Literature on November 9 do see if you can find time to visit the Library yourselves. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!

All images courtesty of The Library of Birmingham.

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