What a great Public Library of the Year Award it was this year! And what a great winner Deichman, Public Library in Oslo is. The building looks fabulous and I cannot wait to see it in real life. 😉

I am part of the jury as well as part of the IFLA SC public libraries and found it very tough to choose a winner. I think the entire short listed libraries are winners. They are all very different and beautiful libraries and all deserve a visit. But the short list are only the top five, who are the other libraries that have applied? As you can see below I have listed most of this year´s applying libraries for the prestigious award. Our short list of the top five is listed below. You can also find out more about the short list on the Systematic website.

  • Deichman Bjørvika, Oslo Public Library (Norway)
  • Forum Groningen (The Netherlands)
  • Marrickville Library (Australia)
  • Het Predikheren (Belgium)
  • Ningbo New Library (China)

The videos they provided and were shared as part of the WLIC conference really gave a great and inspiring insight in the buildings, the services and the atmosphere. Do you want to learn more about these five libraries? We are planning a webinar, hopefully, with all five libraries where you can meet them us close and personal and ask that one question….. So save the date: 24 November!

It gave me a lot of energy to be part of the process and I look forward to next years award. As you may know there were a total of 32 libraries from 21 countries that applied to the public library of the year award 2020-2021 and if you think the short list consists of different libraries, think again!

I wanted to share the entire list of applicants for the award because there are many other fascinating libraries that deserve the recognition. Unfortunately I did not get permission from all 32 libraries to include them in this below, so see below the list of 21 applications of the award in alphabetical order.

Library Country
Art Library of Uijeongbu Republic of Korea
“BIOTEKA” – Branch of Municipal Public Library in Lublin Poland
Batman Sehit Senay Aybuke Yalcin Public Library Turkey
Čačak Public Library Serbia
Deichman Bjørvika/Oslo Main Public Library Norway
Dengta Library China
Forum Groningen The Netherlands
Het Predikheren Belgium
House of Wisdom United Arab Emirates
Inner West Libraries – Marrickville Library Australia
Kirkkonummi Library Building Fyyri Finland
Library @ the Lightbox United Kingdom
Library@harbourfront Republic of Singapore
Municipal Library of Pisek Czech Republic
Nekala Library Finland
Ningbo Library China
Pingshan Library China
Riverview Public Library United States
Springvale Library at the Springvale Community Hub Australia
Stadtbibliothek Dornbirn Austria
Ulbroka Public Library Latvia

I look forward to the upcoming webinar and the award ceremony in Dublin next year. Hopefully we will have some great applications from all over the world again and a much deserved winner.

Sander van Kempen
Member of SC Public Libraries and member of the jury of the Public Library of the Year Award.