I read here that there is a new £193 million library proposed for Birmingham. Being a good librarian ;-) I have validated this information, and you can read more about it here
I wonder if it's the same library that was being project managed ooooh, around 5 years ago now by the delightful Ayub Khan.
Anyway - it's going to be great I'm sure. Either enormously HUGE or made of solid platinum. Hope it's the former.
Mr. Coates thinks they should spend £20 million on new books, which is around 10% of the toal budget (maths not my strong point). Sounds reasonable - the book suppliers could pre-order their lear jets now - but I'm not sure how big it's going to be.
Being a much 'umbler city, our new library cost around £6 million and we had around £700,000 to spend on new books to add to the decent stuff from the old place that we bought along with us.
When I say new books I mean newly bought, not newly published i.e. we were able to get spanking new sets of brilliant backlist as well as new titles.
I was at Birmingham central library a while ago (undercover on covert ops) and counted 3 spine labels on one fiction book (author surname lead letter, number corresponding to the row of shelves in which book was to be shelved, and genre). It would probably have been easier to shelve and find if the labels hadn't obscured the author's name!
Still, I'm sure that's why the good librarians of Birmingham are desperate for a new library and best wishes to them in their endeavours!