The protest and occupation of the LoB on 20th April drove up coverage in the media. It was reported in BBC News and Central News, and Ann Gallagher of FoLoB was interviewed by Radio 4 for a future broadcast.
In the Birmingham Mail, Catherine Lillington reported on the huge queues forming outside the library at 11am each morning as hundreds waited to get in: ‘Look: Hundreds locked out of Library of Birmingham as hours are slashed in massive council cuts.’
Bernadette McNulty’s article in the Daily Telegraph on ‘Halving opening times at Birmingham’s new library is madness’: argued:
“But as protestors outside are the library this week are arguing, this decision is madness. This is not just about an inconvenience to users, and it should be remembered that while the hours have been halved, so have the number of jobs in the library.
It’s a piece of madness because the library was one of the great – and rare – success stories from Birmingham of late. It is not just the biggest public library in the UK and the largest public cultural space in Europe, it is also a massive tourist attraction, enticing 2.4 million visitors last year, more than the British Library. It was the 10th most popular free attraction in the UK last year, and the only one of the 10 outside London…..The Library felt like a tribute and an invite to all creeds and classes of Brummies, young and old, to come together, in a kind of silence, and share a space that was about opening the mind to new things.”