Another library service going private?

Birmingham is advertising for a ‘provider’ to run its massive new central library (and ‘support services’ for much of the rest of the service. The ad is in CILIP Update for February (p.37), although the news staff don’t seem to have spotted it and done a story on it.

birmingham Central advert

The contract starts ‘no later than’ 3 September this year. It includes decommissioning the old library and transferring the stock to the new mega-library AND getting in ‘private investment’ AND ‘participating[ing] actively in economic, social and environmental regeneration of the locality’.

Applications had to be on 8 March.

Good luck, Birmingham, with finding someone to do all that in 6 months flat!

What’s going on?

The ad says, in part:

“The Library of Birmingham project will create a new library for Birmingham, replacing the current 1970’s central library. It will comprise of 10 levels; nine above ground and one below ground amounting to approximately 31,000m² of space. Construction will be completed by mid-2013.”

“The new Library will set new standards for libraries both in terms of iconic design and in terms of creating an exceptional resource for learning, information, and culture. This is an exciting opportunity to modernise the library service for the people of Birmingham for the decades to come.”

‘The Library has been designed to be open, welcoming and accessible and with an embedded technology focus running throughout the building. The successful applicant will be expected to operate the Library of Birmingham (LoB) including but not limited to the City’s archive collection, support services for Community Libraries, the Mobile Library, Library Service at Home and management of the Council’s book fund.”

Birmingham Central

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4 comments for “Another library service going private?

  1. Margaret Brittin
    April 15, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    I contacted CILIP Update about this asking if they were following it up and was told that they are hoping to cover it in the May edition.

  2. East Birmingham against the cuts
    April 15, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Does anyone know which companies have submitted a tender for this contract, the cabinet papers refer to an ‘in-house’ bid?
    Is there anyone out there doing any work to oppose this procurement?
    East Birmingham against the cuts

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