28 June 2018

Finalists in 2018 IFLA/Systematic Public Library of the Year Announced

By Jan Richards

A total of 35 libraries from 19 countries around the world have applied to be considered for the international 2018 Public Library of the Year Award. The many applicants have now been reduced to five nominated libraries, one of which will soon become the world’s best new public library for 2018.

The nominated libraries have been selected by a jury consisting of members of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA), which is behind the award along with Systematic.

The jury has assessed the many candidates with regard to six different criteria, which include the extent to which the library takes into account new digital development, local culture, sustainability and the wishes and needs of the users.

The nominees are...

One of the five nominated libraries of the year is the Austin Central Library in the USA, for its focus on sustainability, featuring its own energy production and rainwater systems, as well as its high flexibility - in terms of interior design and furniture.

The Villa-Lobos Park Library in Brazil is also nominated. The jury explains this with the bright and open environment of this public library, which makes it an attractive place in which to spend time. In addition, it is highlighted as a very active library, the interior design and architecture of which enable activities of many different types to take place.

KopGroep Bibliotheken (School 7) in the Netherlands is also among the nominees, based on the success of the library in integrating with its surroundings and the cooperation with the local theatre, café and university. Another explanation lies in the interaction between old and new architecture, which harmoniously emphasises the best of both.

The Norwegian public library Deichman Biblo Toyen has been nominated for its extensive user involvement, which is reflected in the interior design. In addition, the library’s efforts for vulnerable young people for whom the library acts as a change agent, in cooperation with local organisations and professional specialists.

The Tampines Regional Library in Singapore has been nominated, too. By facilitating sports and leisure interests, library and citizen services, this library has become a centrepiece for the citizens of Singapore. In addition, the jury emphasises the open space and floors of the library, which are targeted at different age groups.

The winner will be announced in August

The winner of the 2018 Public Library of the Year will be selected from among these five nominees. The Public Library of the Year is an annual prize awarded to a public library that is either newly built or set up in premises not previously used for library purposes.
The Public Library of the Year title is accompanied by a USD 5,000 prize, sponsored by Systematic.

The winner of the 2018 Public Library of the Year will be announced during the IFLA Annual Meeting, which will take place on 28 August in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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