A library for the 21st century

 Library new

Every great university has a great library. With your support we will build one of the most ambitious libraries in UK higher education, and a new icon for the University of Birmingham. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform our campus and ensure that our students, staff, and wider community have a facility that serves their changing needs, exceeds their expectations, reflects the status of their institution, and is a source of pride for decades to come.

Diane Job, Director of Library Services "The new library will make greater use of technology to meet the changing needs of students and staff, as well as being a vital resource for local schools and residents."

Ways of learning and teaching have changed, and libraries must change with them. The best university libraries in the world are those that have embraced technology and placed it at the heart of their concept of what a library is all about. A library is not just a book depository; it is a space that enables and encourages inquisitive minds. We need a library that is fit for the 21st century, including the physical and digital spaces needed for new and emerging modes of study. Your can help us achieve this.


To help us develop a library for the future, text 'CIRC04' followed by the amount you wish you give to 70070 e.g. CIRC04 £5. Or for more information on how you can support the new library, contact Laura Fairbanks [+44(0)121 414 8894] or give today.

Why do we need a new library?

Sir Charles Grant Robertson, former Vice-Chancellor "A library is not a luxury, nor an ornamental appendage, but an absolute necessity."

We recruit the very best students to study at Birmingham and our students expect an outstanding experience and world-class facilities. The current library, which was built to house a print-based, pre-digital collection, and which has grown sporadically since the 1950s, no longer meets students' expectations. A new library will improve the Birmingham student experience and in turn encourage more of the brightest and best students to study with us.

Did you know

During the economic troubles of the late 1920s and early 1930s, Birmingham invested heavily in its library: the library committee was reorganised, a 'professorial' librarian was appointed, and there began a ten year campaign of improvements. The Vice-Chancellor, Sir Charles Grant Robertson, declared that there was "no department of our university life in which more has been accomplished of real value than in the library". Today, again amidst economic uncertainties, we are again determined to make a transformational difference to our library and, with it, our university. Your support is crucial.

How will this affect our campus?

The new library will transform our already enviable campus, providing the opportunity to create an expanded 'Green Heart' from Chancellor's Court stretching to the north of the current library space. Our campus is one of the most distinctive features of our University and one of which our students, staff, and alumni are rightly proud. The new library project will reinvigorate this stimulating environment for work and study.

Did you know

Our campus once included a tree-lined boulevard running from Chancellor's Court northwards, through the space where the current library is today.

A Cultural Gateway

The University holds many extraordinary and diverse cultural assets. The new library will include a Cultural Gateway, to make these more visible and accessible to the University population and the wider community. This will be an integral part of the University's impressive cultural offer, alongside the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, the Bramall Music Building, the Lapworth Museum, the Cadbury Research Library, and the Winterbourne House and Gardens.


Text GIVE to 70111 to donate £3 to the library through our Chancellor's Challenge Fund and your donation could be made up to £100.