Library of Birmingham reveals its issues list

Children’s books dominate the newly opened Library of Birmingham’s most issued items list.

Since education activist Malala Yousafzai officially opened the £183m library on 3rd September more than 120,000 book issues have been recorded.

Of its 20 most popular loaned items between 3rd September and 26th November, 12 are children’s books, including Julia Donaldon’s The Gruffalo (Macmillan Children’s Books), which has been issued 39 times, and The Snail and The Whale (Macmillan Children’s Books), issued 37 times.

Other children’s books in the list include Roald Dahl’s George’s Marvellous Medicine, issued 26 times; That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown by Cressida Cowell, issued 33 times; and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen, issued 24 times.

Library director Brian Gambles told The Bookseller: “Just watching children and young people feeling the library is a place for learning and reading is great. Children are the future and we need to encourage in them both a love of reading but also the basic skills of literacy, and we don’t want to build in a generation that can’t or don’t read.

“It’s about reading and learning and creating an inspirational library. Seeing children on Saturdays sprawled around the library reading is brilliant.”

Just two adult books make the top 20—Readymade CVs by Lynn Williams (Kogan Page), issued 30 times, and a book listed only as “Chinese language book”, which has been issued 95 times.

Other reading material in the list includes the Urdu Digest, which has been issued 55 times.

The most loaned item at the library so far is listed as a “printed music score”, which has been loaned 453 times. A spokesman for the library said the high number of loans could be down to the music being used by orchestras, which needed a number of copies.

The Library of Birmingham has had 14,860 new members join since its 3rd September opening, and its highest number of visitors was on Saturday 23rd November, when 14,869 people stepped through the doors.

Gambles said: “Just eavesdropping on casual conversations in the library, you hear people saying they haven’t been in a library for a number of years. We have demonstrated that the library has got something to offer for everyone.”

By the end of Monday 25th November, 828,853 people had visited the library in total, with numbers expected to reach a million by December 13th or 14th.

The top 20 most issued items:
Printed music score - 453 issues
Chinese language book - 95
Requiem: [set (choral)] [for soprano solo, mixed choir, and small orchestra (or organ with instrumental ensemble) by John Rutter - 70
Urdu Digest - 55
Vesperae solennes de Dominica: [set (choral)] KV 321 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - 40
The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson - 39
The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson - 37
Five English folk-songs/[set (choral)] by Ralph Vaughan Williams - 35
That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown by Cressida Cowell - 33
Readymade CVs by Lynn Williams - 30
Silly Suzy Goose by Petr Horacek - 30
Bear by Mick Inkpen - 28
Handa's Surprise by Eileen Browne - 27
Suddenly! by Colin McNaughton - 27
George's Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl - 26
Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper - 26
Saint Nicholas op.42: [set (choral)] a cantata by Benjamin Britten  - 25
Augustus and his Smile by Catherine Rayner - 24
We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen - 24
The Three Pigs Proudly Present Wolf Won't Bite! by Emily Gravett - 23