The brand new public library in Birmingham is getting ready to open its doors later this year and staff have already started transferring the contents from old to new building. It’s a Herculean task – apparently they will be moving over 1,000 crates of books, papers, journals, cds, maps and gawd knows what else across every single day for the next three months.
It’s an exciting time all round, and to involve the public a little more, the library ran a poll to choose the first book to be reshelved. There were some interesting choices on the top ten including, unsurprisingly, The King James Bible, as well as classics like Alice in Wonderland, 1984, and Paradise Lost.
But the book that won, and that was carefully placed on a shelf all by itself by council leader Albert Bore, was Tolkien’s The Hobbit. It’s particularly fitting – not only is it a great book that appeals to adults and children alike, but the author had strong links with Birmingham for much of his life.
I just wish the new library building was as endearing, or likely to prove as popular for future generations. I can only think of concertina wire whenever I look at it.