Borrowers And Lenders

Clare Jenkins meets the borrowers and lenders of BIRMINGHAM Central Library, home to one of Europe's largest book collections and treasured by its thousands of daily visitors.

She talks to the security guard who nips away to read during his tea break, the elderly reader who devours a thriller a day, and the academic who loves books so much that he wonders why God doesn't let him carry on studying when he dies.

It's a library that has survived flood and fire, and houses as many stories of its own as other people's.

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Clare Jenkins meets the borrowers and lenders of BIRMINGHAM Central Library, home to one of Europe's largest book collections and treasured by its thousands of daily visitors.

She talks to the security guard who nips away to read during his tea break, the elderly reader who devours a thriller a day, and the academic who loves books so much that he wonders why God doesn't let him carry on studying when he dies.

It's a library that has survived flood and fire, and houses as many stories of its own as other people's.

2004052220040730

Clare Jenkins meets the borrowers and lenders of BIRMINGHAM Central Library, home to one of Europe's largest book collections and treasured by its thousands of daily visitors.

She talks to the security guard who nips away to read during his tea break, the elderly reader who devours a thriller a day, and the academic who loves books so much that he wonders why God doesn't let him carry on studying when he dies.

It's a library that has survived flood and fire, and houses as many stories of its own as other people's.

20040730

Clare Jenkins meets the borrowers and lenders of Birmingham Central Library.

Birmingham Central library was built in the 1970s and was so ugly that Prince Charles remarked that it looked more like a building that incinerated books than kept them. But to its five thousand daily visitors its a treasure that houses some of the most important book collections in Europe.

The library stands in the in the path of a billion pound redevelopment plan for the centre of Birmingham and is to be demolished. Before it goes, Clare Jenkins wanted to meet the community of readers and librarians in Birmingham's busiest building.

She talks to the security guard who nips away to read during his tea breaks, the elderly reader who devours a thriller every day, the academic who loves books so much that he wonders why God doesn't let him carry on studying when he dies.

The library has survived flood and fire - will its community survive a move to a prettier building?