Intellectual endeavour should always be fed by copious amounts of coffee and cake, with the occasional sandwich thrown in for good measure. This is a library that knows its users and whacks a café right by the entry doors, clearly knowing from years of experience that any research student worth their salt will never, ever pass up the opportunity to eat instead of work.
This is the best people-watching spot ever. Tucked into the corner overlooking the cultural centre of Birmingham, watching people schlep to the theatre, the Symphony Hall and the eateries is one of the best ways of passing time I have ever encountered. Cities, to this market town dweller, are an endless source of fascination, and no little envy. Sit right by the window and watch life passing you by.*
The latte is hot, foamy and drinkable, and no one ushers you on, so you can sit and muse for hours, if you so please. Perhaps on the big questions. What is truth? What is the nature of Being? Is there such a thing as 'right' and 'wrong'? Is Love indeed a Many Splendoured Thing? Is the café all that will be left of the hacks and cuts to the services and resources this £188 million library?
*Got to be careful doing all this sitting and watching. These days I think I'm coming off creepy.