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Library location a vital part of urban ecology

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The decision to re-locate Birmingham's central library to a new site and a new building is not without some attendant dangers.

The present library, however inadequate as a building, is often visited by more than 6,000 users a day and was the key engine for the regeneration of the area in which it stands. Even more importantly, the extended sequence of steps which leads down from the library towards Victoria Square has always been one of the city's most popular meeting places - a happy combination of building and adjacent public space which parallels the popularity of the New York Public Library steps for the same reason. One tampers with such a complex and successful piece of urban ecology at some risk.

Ken Worpole, London N4

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