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Birmingham, UK: Libraries as a Catalyst for Economic Growth and Community Development


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Birmingham (UK) Public Library anchors city center redeveloment - Job creation, culture and learning, “the city’s living room”: Birmingham has selected the new Library of Birmingham as central to the city’s renewal. The Library of Birmingham development is a flagship project of the Big City Plan, focusing on the regeneration of the city, the most far-reaching city center development project ever undertaken in the United Kingdom. The Big City Plan will drive forward the next 20 years of development in central Birmingham.

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Birmingham, UK: Libraries as a Catalyst for Economic Growth and Community Development

  1. 1. Brian Gambles Assistant Director, Culture, Birmingham City Council San Antonio, May 2010 Library: Powerhouse of the Knowledge Economy
  2. 2. The City of Birmingham <ul><li>No coastline </li></ul><ul><li>No rivers </li></ul><ul><li>No natural resources </li></ul><ul><li>UK Second City </li></ul><ul><li>Central Location </li></ul><ul><li>People </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Birmingham </li></ul><ul><li>B irthplace of the Industrial Revolution </li></ul><ul><li>Known as the ‘city of a thousand trades’ </li></ul>                                                                                                                                                       
  4. 4. <ul><li>Green Birmingham </li></ul><ul><li>More parks and open spaces than any other UK city – over 32.4 square kilometers   </li></ul><ul><li>More miles of canals than Venice </li></ul><ul><li>More trees than Paris </li></ul>
  5. 5. Birmingham <ul><li>Dvorak </li></ul><ul><li>“ I’m here in this immense industrial city where they make knives, scissors, springs, files…and music too. Its terrifying how much the people here manage to achieve” </li></ul><ul><li>Bill Clinton </li></ul><ul><li>I was astonished at the G8 [summit] when I saw how beautiful it was, the buildings, the art, the use of water. It’s an extraordinary jewel of a city </li></ul>
  6. 6. Birmingham - People <ul><li>1 million citizens (city-region 5.3m) </li></ul><ul><li>30%+ from ethnic minority communities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>50 languages spoken in the city </li></ul></ul><ul><li>37% under 25 – ‘the youngest city in Europe’ </li></ul><ul><li>510,000 people employed in the city </li></ul>
  7. 7. But ... <ul><li>30% lone parents (UK average 22%) </li></ul><ul><li>10% in overcrowded accommodation (average 7%) </li></ul><ul><li>12.7% unemployment (UK average 5.8%) </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>27% are 16 – 24 yrs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>15% have never worked </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Highest wards of city @ 29.5% unemployment </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>37% 16 – 74 year olds have no qualifications </li></ul><ul><li>20%+ adults functionally illiterate </li></ul><ul><li>11% ‘not in good health’ </li></ul>
  8. 8. Birmingham Economy <ul><li>Manufacturing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Concentrated in automotive and metal goods </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Locked into mature markets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Continuing decline in output and employment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Technology-based strategy for the future </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Centre for R&D and hi-tech manufacturing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Entrepreneurial culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More highly skilled workforce </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Finance & business services </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Attractive relocation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Graduate retention </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tourism and visitor economy </li></ul>
  9. 9. Birmingham Priorities <ul><li>Succeed economically </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Worklessness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Entrepreneurial talent </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Be Healthy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Choose healthy lifestyles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improvements for the least healthy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Enjoy a high quality of life </li></ul><ul><ul><li>High quality leisure and cultural provision </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Make a contribution </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-sufficiency </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Volunteering </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Diversity is valued </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cohesive communities </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. BIRMINGHAM LIBRARIES <ul><li>Central Library: one of the biggest and busiest public libraries in Europe </li></ul><ul><li>4,500 visitors a day, 13,000 information enquiries a week </li></ul><ul><li>24500sqm, 100 miles of shelving holding 5 million items (lending and reference) </li></ul><ul><li>40 Community Libraries plus 12 Neighbourhood (Self-service) libraries </li></ul><ul><li>Underpin education; support children & learners </li></ul><ul><li>Access to knowledge & information </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate access for excluded people </li></ul><ul><li>Vital access point for modern services / delivery </li></ul><ul><li>Learning for creativity, regeneration, urban renewal & rural development </li></ul>
  11. 11. Collections <ul><li>Unique content </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One of the best collections in any European public library </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Early and Fine Printing Collection contains over 8,000 books published before 1701 ( 128 were printed before 1501) </li></ul><ul><li>One of the world’s best Shakespeare Libraries </li></ul><ul><li>Special collections of Johnson, Cervantes and Milton </li></ul><ul><li>Collections of early atlases, railway tickets, song sheets, children’s books and games </li></ul><ul><li>6,000 archival collections dating from c1140 to the present day </li></ul><ul><li>Photography Collection is one of 9 national collections - 3 million items </li></ul>
  12. 12. Library Service Innovations <ul><li>Learning Centre </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Skills development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Job search </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Matthew Boulton Learning Suite - accreditation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Business Insight </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Global Entrepreneurship </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Business start-up </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creative support </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Health Exchange </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Peer networking </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Connecting Histories </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Birmingham Stories </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reading Services </li></ul><ul><li>The Library of Birmingham </li></ul>
  13. 13. Learning Centre <ul><li>Job Library and Advice Service </li></ul><ul><ul><li>14500 enquiries per annum </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CV Surgeries – 1-1 private interview and workshops </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Flexible Learning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>learndirect - over 500 programs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>literacy, numeracy, ESOL & IELTS, foreign languages, finance & book-keeping, management, ICT </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ICT Simplified – basic 6 week tutor led ICT course aimed at the over 55s to improve confidence, knowledge and basic understanding OCR Test Centre for Maths/English up to Level 2 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1-1 private tutor support (weekly) to support learners who are on Skills for Life </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Local college partnership for accredited courses </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Business Library Services <ul><li>UK’s most comprehensive business information service </li></ul><ul><li>Serving Birmingham since 1919 </li></ul><ul><li>Starting and Growing a Business, </li></ul><ul><li>Business skills / IPR / Company Formation </li></ul><ul><li>Self Employment / Market Research </li></ul><ul><li>Creative industries & Knowledge Economy </li></ul><ul><li>12 library staff with 8 qualified as Business Advisers </li></ul>
  15. 15. Business Insight <ul><li>Start a business service </li></ul><ul><li>Workshops and Seminars </li></ul><ul><li>Creative Insight </li></ul><ul><li>Creative Pathways </li></ul><ul><li>Advice Clinics </li></ul><ul><li>Business Fairs </li></ul><ul><li>Global Entrepreneurship Week </li></ul>
  16. 16. South Yardley 30 new businesses in six weeks from a derelict shop
  17. 17. Key Themes Develop an Enterprise Culture Creating business opportunities New start-up businesses New Pathways into Business Helping Companies to grow Building sustainable infrastructure Joint ventures & collaboration … Enterprise…..
  18. 18. Key Themes … Creativity….. Access to Market Research Exploitation of new markets Protecting Ideas and IPR Generating Ideas Supporting Creative Industries Showcasing Local Talent Environmental /ICT Awareness Developing Innovation Building Knowledge Economy
  19. 19. Key Themes … Learning….. Accredited and Informal learning Advice Clinics/ Workshops Business & Leadership Skills Combating Worklessness Creating & Sharing Knowledge Life and Work Skills Learning Support on demand Online and Blended Learning Signposting & Training
  20. 20. … inspirational….. Raising Business Awareness Improve Local Economy & Individual Quality of Life New ways of living & working Creative Communities Changing perceptions and raising aspirations Providing a ladder / pathway via Open Access & Diversity Making Dreams Happen Key Themes
  21. 21. <ul><li>RESULTS </li></ul><ul><li>131 local councils use our outsource services </li></ul><ul><li>180,000 physical business visitors annually </li></ul><ul><li>3563 new businesses started in last 6 yrs </li></ul><ul><li>50,000 student accreditations per annum </li></ul><ul><li>Generate £116.58 GVA for every £1 we cost </li></ul><ul><li>Created 14,543 jobs in six yrs for economy </li></ul>
  22. 22. - Creative Reality Build A Brand
  23. 23. <ul><ul><li>Birmingham Film Library </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Film Birmingham partnership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Black Film Festival 2007 - 2010 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Feature Nights </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>International Cinema </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Local Shorts Showcase </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Networking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Premiere's / Producers Forum </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Special Film Events </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Training </li></ul></ul>
  24. 25. <ul><ul><li>Advice Clinics (Music & Business) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Birmingham Music Collection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Compilations for international sales </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Download Sales </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I-Tune Release License </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Image Consultant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Master Classes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Music Publishing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Music Rights </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Networking / Promotions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Publications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recording / Record labels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seminars </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Showcasing / Shows </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Singers Night </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Theatre facilities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vocal Coaching </li></ul></ul>
  25. 27. Now part of Rep theatre in 2009/10 Actors Training Programme ONC professional actor courses (22). Find work with the Rep on graduating, Half company appearing in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as support, Wanted whole company! Also work doing “talking heads, videos and podcasts” Commissions – MB college / Sutton College/ Big Peg / BCC Youth Service (literary week) Schools Programme – social issues, citizenship, diversity, life skills - it’s not about doing nice bits of literature for the English Departments. Youth company (2) formed as well as a touring company
  26. 28. <ul><ul><li>ARTISTS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Business Support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Commissions - Fairs & Sales </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Courses - online / fact sheets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creation Zone web site </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IPR and legal support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Own Galleries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Art in a Window & </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hanging Space </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Booked out till 2011 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promoting, Showcasing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Training, Networking </li></ul></ul>ART CENTRAL Vibrant new original art at affordable prices
  27. 29. Everyone Knows I am Looking Shadowlands Treeoria ART IN A WINDOW
  28. 30. BARC <ul><li>Vision: to enable people with arthritis to have an improved quality of life and greater long-term independence through education about their diseases. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>aimed at multi-cultural society, particularly those who infrequently obtain conventional medical help </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>partnership with local communities and the research environment of the University </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Track record based on </li></ul><ul><ul><li>delivery of an educational resource in a variety of formats and languages to the general public who visit the centre, by referral or on their own initiative. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>outreach visits to target “at risk” populations of excluded groups in communities with poor uptake of conventional health care because of poverty, poor education, or language barriers </li></ul></ul>
  29. 31. Health Exchange <ul><li>Originally a partnership development between Heart of Birmingham teaching Primary Care Trust and Birmingham Central Library, launched in 2006 – 5 employees. </li></ul><ul><li>Community Interest Company formed 2008 – now 55 employees </li></ul><ul><li>Positive lifestyle choices based on empowerment through information and knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>Support communities and engage with voluntary sector to strengthen capacity and sustainability in support of Health and Wellbeing </li></ul><ul><li>Peer networking and expert patient models </li></ul><ul><li>Move from health as either disease prevention or cure to a “fully engaged” model of health as a choice, available and accessible to all. </li></ul>
  30. 32. Connecting Histories <ul><li>Increase access to culturally diverse archive collections; </li></ul><ul><li>Preserve at-risk sound and photographic archives; </li></ul><ul><li>Expand the heritage knowledge and skills of local communities through user participation, </li></ul><ul><li>Increase the number and diversity of users of archive collections; </li></ul><ul><li>Provide e-learning environments aimed at a broad range of users; </li></ul><ul><li>Give users and volunteers the opportunity to influence archive policies and practices </li></ul><ul><li>Increase the diversity of the workforce in the archive and specialist heritage library sectors; </li></ul>
  31. 33. Birmingham Stories <ul><li>'Stories offer us some of the richest and most enduring insights into the human condition' </li></ul><ul><li>'History exists through people, places and objects' </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Spreading the knowledge’ </li></ul><ul><li>'Birmingham Faces and Places' </li></ul>
  32. 34. Reading Programmes <ul><li>Literacy and the development of reading skills. </li></ul><ul><li>Love of reading and promoting reading for pleasure. </li></ul><ul><li>Reading Groups for Teenagers and Adults </li></ul><ul><li>Poetry Groups </li></ul><ul><li>Book talks and author events </li></ul><ul><li>Involvement in the city’s annual Young Readers Festival – a two week celebration of reading </li></ul>
  33. 35. The Future <ul><li>New cultural brand </li></ul><ul><li>Culture and commerce </li></ul><ul><li>Digital not ICT </li></ul><ul><li>Business sponsorship </li></ul><ul><li>Partnership in service delivery </li></ul><ul><li>Partnership in content development </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Co-production </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Library Experience </li></ul>
  34. 36. LIBRARY OF BIRMINGHAM Opens June 2013
  35. 38. Big City Plan To create a world class city centre, planning for next 20 years, and to be in the top 20 most liveable cities in the world
  36. 40. Messages to the Design Team <ul><li>Relationship with the public realm </li></ul><ul><li>Quality of the journey – discovery </li></ul><ul><li>Quality of public spaces to enable interaction </li></ul><ul><li>A place for people, to dwell </li></ul><ul><li>Universal appeal – something for everyone, different spaces and ambiences to suit all needs </li></ul><ul><li>The quality of the collections </li></ul><ul><li>An experience </li></ul><ul><li>A Knowledge Hub, an exchange </li></ul><ul><li>A library like no other </li></ul>
  37. 41. The Library of the Future The Library Experience A Centre for Knowledge LIBRARY OF BIRMINGHAM
  38. 42. The Ambition <ul><li>To create a library like no other, a new kind of public library for the 21 st century </li></ul><ul><li>To create a “LoB Digital” presence as compelling and formidable as the physical </li></ul><ul><li>To stimulate genuine partnership – co-production of services and content </li></ul><ul><li>To completely re-engineer the business model for the library </li></ul><ul><li>To future proof the library </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Web 2.0, 3.0 etc </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E-books </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Electronic paper </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Print on demand </li></ul></ul>
  39. 43. <ul><li>The LoB development is rooted in three core principles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Universality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sustainability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>World-class </li></ul></ul><ul><li>And driven forward by three underpinning themes: - </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Building the Knowledge Economy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Investing in Children, Young People and Families </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promoting Community Culture and Heritage </li></ul></ul>Library of Birmingham
  40. 44. The Knowledge Hub Produces: interactions and impact Is concerned with: the quality and effectiveness of the interaction between people and information Can bring about: change in individuals, organisations, communities and society Showcases and celebrates innovation
  41. 45. What is a library in the 21 st century? A new partnership – a new contract - with business, colleges, universities, voluntary sector, creative industries, cultural and arts organisations, writers, performers, schools the community… a knowledge hub… a social learning hub
  42. 46. Partnership <ul><li>Collateral </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Profile/Leverage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cultural Assets/Collections </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Footfall </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Spaces </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Partnerships </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Digital </li></ul></ul><ul><li>LoB Hubs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Archives & Heritage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Arts and Creativity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Citizenship and community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enterprise and innovation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning and skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information Technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reader Services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Children </li></ul></ul>What can we do together?
  43. 47. Digital demonstrator <ul><li>Opportunity to encourage innovation, inward investment, and global and local markets by developing new forms of digital content </li></ul><ul><li>Create new value chains </li></ul><ul><li>Connect university activities and industry requirements (SME and global) by providing user-driven demonstrator projects </li></ul>
  44. 48. Some real challenges <ul><li>Sustainability of branch library network </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainability of all services (NB the library is by statute of Parliament obliged to deliver a comprehensive service </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on needs </li></ul><ul><li>Changing role of staff </li></ul><ul><li>Resistance to change – staff, politicians, community </li></ul><ul><li>Living with Google </li></ul>
  45. 49. <ul><li>… opens June 2013 </li></ul><ul><li>Thank you for listening </li></ul><ul><li>Any Questions? </li></ul>The Library of Birmingham