The Hive has been praised as an asset to the county and an iconic addition to Worcester’s skyline as it celebrates its fifth birthday.
The £60m library is a partnership between the University of Worcester and Worcestershire County Council and it has won over 25 awards since Her Majesty the Queen opened it in 2012.
Last night it hosted a special event to celebrate its first five years and to look forward to the future.
University of Worcester Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, Professor David Green, paid tribute to the many volunteers and saff who have helped make The Hive such a success.
He added: “What we have shown in the first five years is that together we can really do it and it’s really fantastic and it’s transformative and it’s having a wonderful impact today and every day in the lives of so many people.”
Cllr Lucy Hodgson, County Council Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “In my role I have been fortunate to see what a difference The Hive is making to the people of Worcestershire. Our partnership with the University is vital to our success and we’re extremely proud to have jointly brought this project to life.”
Ninety-year-old resident Walter Daisley, who has been to The Hive every single day since it opened, and came with fellow Hive attendee, his great granddaughter two-year-old Lilly Jeynes, told those assembled: “I love it because the people in it are very warm.
“Libraries were used for storage of books and silence and it was anti-exploratory. I find it magic here in this place. I always find some new book I have never heard of.”
Guests praised the library’s approach and its achievements in its first five years.
Worcestershire Young Poet Laureate, Oakley Flanagan, 18, who gave a reading, said: “It’s really important because there’s such a community here.
“Young people have a space, somewhere they’re allowed to be, not just that, but welcomed. It’s the perfect catalyst for them reading and learning.
“It’s designed for people of all ages and it does encourage community cohesion.”
Worcester City Mayor, Cllr Steve Mackay, said: “From a brilliant initial idea it has gone on to win various awards and provides a fantastic service for the City for everyone to use – from infants to senior citizens.
“It’s been a positive influence on the City and a real achievement for Worcester.
“It’s quite iconic to the Worcester skyline.”
Leader of Worcester City Council, Cllr Adrian Gregson, said The Hive had acted as a catalyst to other projects in the City, such as the Arena and Cathedral Square, and was an attraction it its own right.
“It’s been a massive bonus to the City,” he said.
“Worcester is in people’s minds to come here and do things but also to invest [because of The Hive]. What we’re about is creating a sustainable economy and this is a key part of it.
“Now we have a fantastic eye-catching, modern, active building, always full at one end of the city and a really nice contrasting part with the Cathedral and older end of the City.
“It’s been a really successful partnership. It has boosted literacy in the City.”