Australian Library Design Awards
The Australian Library Design Awards showcase the best in contemporary library interiors and exteriors in Australia, and celebrate the investment in libraries made by our nation’s institutions, corporations, local, state and territory governments.
They have been developed in the context of other competitions internationally, including the American Institute of Architects/American Library Association Library Building Awards and the International Federation of Library Association Public Library of the Year Award.
The entries, shortlisted and winning designs provide case studies in excellent library design for the 21st Century.
The awards are organised by the Australian Library and Information Association. The awards were first presented in 2017, and they are now a biennial event.
There are five categories – public libraries, academic libraries, school libraries and special libraries. This year, the judges are also welcoming entries that may not fit in those categories. New concept, specialised, pop-up, temporary, mobile or any other innovative library can nominate under the ‘other’ category.
Applications are encouraged for small or large projects, for “new builds”, renovations or refurbishments. While entries are judged against the same criteria, the judging panel is empowered to make special awards for outstanding entries in specific areas where a high level of innovation, creativity and transformation has been demonstrated, regardless of scale.
There is also an ALIA Members’ Choice award, voted for by Association Members.
Any library in Australia, recently built, renovated or refurbished (work completed between 1 July 2020 and 30 June 2023) can be entered for the awards. Libraries nominated for previous awards cannot be entered again.
Who can nominate
Nominations are submitted by libraries and their designers or architects.
Online nominations open on 27 September 2023 and close on 8 March 2024. Judging will take place in March and April and the shortlist will be announced in April 2024.
On 27 June 2024, there will be a one-day conference at the State Library of Queensland, featuring the shortlisted projects and the presentation to winners. Registrations for the Changing Spaces Library Design Conference are open now.
In addition to the kudos and publicity surrounding their achievement, the winners of the awards receive handcrafted trophies.
How to enter
We have prepared an entry checklist to help you prepare the information you will need to submit.
- Complete the online entry form. All submissions must be in electronic format. You will be able to upload images, high level floor plans and architectural drawings, each file under 20MB (jpeg or pdf format preferred).
- Make your payment of the non-refundable entry fee of $400 + GST (ALIA members) and $550 + GST (non-ALIA members).
Shortlisted entrants may be asked for further information or engagement with the judging panel.
Entries will be assessed on how well the designs have met their objectives and specifically on the basis of the following three criteria:
Design: including interior, exterior appearance, visual impact, flexibility, innovation, accessibility and integration into the local environment.
Strategic relevance: including approach to achieving the organisational, service and design objectives, response to special considerations or challenges, sustainability and value for money.
Impact: including user experience, efficiency, functionality, delivery of services, meeting community needs and accessibility. For smaller projects constrained by space or costs, the panel will assess the level of innovation, creativity and transformation achieved despite the constraints.
The judges’ decision will be final.