The entrance to Walsall Central Library is a modern glass box with stairs and a lift but the adult library is within an older building. There is also a museum on the site but it was closed for refurbishment (part of a £4 million overhaul to the building). The reference library and learning centre were upstairs with the children’s and adult lending library downstairs.
The marble sculpture pictured below, called Little Eva, is amazingly intricate. The inscription on the plinth says: Loti Scolpi, 1870. It was donated to the library in 1932. It is thought to be of Little Eva from Uncle Tom’s Cabin although some people think it is Little Nell or Alice in Wonderland. The library also has a locally painted bookbench.
These posters were heart warming.
Nice children’s library with a handy booklet explaining the classification system for kids.
Solihull Central Library is housed within ‘The Core’, which is a cultural centre including a theatre, café, gallery and a council walk-in centre. It is also the local base for various voluntary and community organisations.
Solihull itself felt like the “posh” end of Birmingham. It was all well kept and we were able to park next door to the Core in a multi-storey. Outside was a homemade beach with children playing on it as it was the summer holidays and a lovely warm Monday in August.
The Core is a large building with the Library mainly at the back area. I hadn’t realised that it had only opened earlier in 2016. The colour scheme was quite purple and funky and I was delighted to see more book benches dotted around.
I was really thrilled to discover that The Big Read had organised bookbenches in the Birmingham area. I loved the original Books About Town project in 2014 which was a collaboration between Wild in Art and the National Literacy Trust. So any development on this idea I am all in favour of. If I’d known there were over 150 benches in the area I would have taken the time to follow one of the trails. But I was overjoyed to see some benches illustrated by local schools in Coventry and Solihull libraries.
Coventry Central Library is off the shopping district but we hadn’t seen any signs for the Library on the way in which I always feel is a bad omen. It means that it hasn’t occurred to the council that people might want to know where the library is!
You enter on the ground floor where there are public loos and a lift or stairs. Once up to the first floor we were pleasantly surprised. The décor was welcoming and it felt quite modern. Largely an open area with a mezzanine there was a giant chess set in the middle which my family immediately started playing. I don’t know if this is a permanent feature or if it is just there for the school summer holidays or maybe different features go in this area but we loved it.