Birmingham City Council

Exhibiting in the Central Library

The Central Library is a key public building the heart of the city. It has an approximate visitor footfall of 5000 people per day, with the widest demographic visitor profile of any organisation. The overall exhibition programme and associated activities aim at presenting a high quality, balanced, lively and innovative range of experiences for these visitors. Exhibitions, in particular, promote and celebrate the diverse cultural, historic and artistic heritage of Birmingham, and aim to offer people of all ages, abilities and cultures, imaginative opportunities for participation, sharing, learning and enjoyment.

If you feel that you (or the organisation you represent) are able to mount an exhibition that could contribute to the Central Library's programme, either by entertaining, educating or informing our visitors, please read the guidance notes below. These set out the requirements for exhibitors, and the application procedure.

Exhibitions must be free of charge.

Many areas are booked in excess of 6 9 months in advance, therefore applications should be submitted in good time. We will confirm your booking as soon as possible.

Cancellations: Please note that the Room Bookings Officer must be notified of cancellations at the earliest opportunity. Failure to do this may incur a charge.

Complete the Exhibition/Display Booking Form Online

Guidance Notes:

The following points should be considered before you apply, you will be asked for the relevant information when you complete your application.

  • Display standards. All exhibitions should look professional and well designed to ensure maximum impact. If you are not sure of the production standard required, have a look at current displays for ideas on mounting, use of materials etc. PLEASE NOTE: for the main display areas listed below, only Velcro fixings will be permitted.

  • Costs. Any funding requirements must be born by the organiser of the exhibition. Consider installation/mounting requirements, and how you will meet these. Do you need to organise and pay for transport, help in putting up your display etc?

  • Size. Your exhibition/display must be appropriate to the proposed space. It is recommended that every effort is made to visit the library in advance to look at the main display areas. You will also find details of the areas and size of boards in the attachment below.

  • Target audience. Each application will be assessed in the light of the programme as a whole, so consider if your display is aimed at a specific section of the general public (children, adult learners etc). This will help us to plan our programme.

  • Timing. It is vital to be clear if specific time scales are proposed - such as part of a tour date for example. Where appropriate, exhibitions/displays should tie in with commemorations or contemporary issues.

  • Marketing and PR requirements. How will you advertise and promote your exhibition, and can you cover the costs of this?

  • Retailing. Give details of retailing and other commercial opportunities if permission is sought for this. Please note that permission is usually limited to charitable or non-profit making organisations.

FINALLY: Please ensure that your exhibition/display clearly shows the title and the individual or organisation that has produced it! This may be on a separate board, or as information headers on each display board. Add contact details and logos if appropriate.

Alternative locations:

If you are producing a small display that you feel would be more appropriate located in one of our information subject areas (Social Sciences, Archives & Heritage, Centre for the Child etc.), please contact the service area for advice. The relevant Head of Service may be able to make display boards available for your use. Contact details for all Central Library service areas are available on our web site, or by calling Customer Services on: 0121 303 4511/2

Complete the Exhibition/Display booking form or download the form attached to the bottom of this page and return it to:

Room Bookings and Sales Officer
Central Library (Admin)
Chamberlain Square
Birmingham B3 3HQ

If you require more information Tel: 0121 303 2868

Posters and leaflets

If you simply wish to distribute information by means of posters, leaflets or flyers, please see our guidelines for Displaying promotional material in Central Library.


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