Australian Library Design Awards 2017



Awards update 8 February 2017

More than 30 stunning libraries have been entered for the inaugural Australian Library Design Awards 2017. Public, school, academic and special libraries all feature in the entries, and the judging panel will have its work cut out to identify a shortlist to be announced during Library and Information Week, on 22 May.

The winners will be announced at a library design conference, to be held on Monday 19 June, at Library at the Dock, Melbourne, with a celebration reception to follow.  Registrations for this event will open at the beginning of March.

About the awards

The Australian Library Design Awards have been created to showcase the best in contemporary library interiors and exteriors in Australia, and to 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 Danish Agency for Culture Model Programme for Public Libraries Public Library of the Year Award

The entries, shortlisted and winning designs will provide case studies in excellent library design for the 21st Century. They will be submitted for consideration for the UK’s Designing Libraries website. There will also be media coverage for the finalists.

The awards are organised by the Australian Library and Information Association in partnership with the Australian Public Library Alliance and Council of Australian University Librarians. The organising committee includes senior library leaders from Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, acting on behalf of colleagues nationally.

The inaugural awards will be presented in 2017, with the aim of making the scheme a bi-annual event.

The awards are kindly supported by, City of Melbourne and Raeco.



There are four categories – public libraries, academic libraries, school libraries and special libraries. Entries can be for new buildings, refurbishments or major renovations. Each entry will be judged against the same set of criteria and there will be the option for the judging panel to make special awards where there are several outstanding entries in one category.


Any library in Australia, recently built, renovated or refurbished (work completed between 1 July 2013 and 31 July 2016) can be entered for the awards. This includes fixed locations. It does not include pop up, temporary and mobile libraries.

Who can nominate

Nominations will come from libraries and their organisations, with support from the architect and/or other design professionals.

Key dates

  • Awards launched on 30 August, 2016
  • Online nominations open 30 September 2016
  • Nominations close on 2 December, 2016
  • The shortlist will be announced in May 2017 (Library and Information Week)
  • On 19 June 2017, there will be a one-day conference featuring the shortlisted projects, with a presentation of the awards at an evening reception to follow. This conference will take place at Library at the Dock, Melbourne.


In addition to the kudos of the award, the finalist and winning designs will be showcased at the ALIA/LIANZA Conference on the Gold Coast in 2018.

How to enter

1. Complete our online entry form (from 30 September).  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).

2. Make your payment of the non-refundable entry fee of $350 + GST (ALIA members) and $500 + GST (non-ALIA members).

Preview of the online entry form. Link to online entry form (you will need to register above).


The judging panel comprises independent design professionals and senior library leaders. More information here.

  • Janine Schmidt, IFLA Library Buildings and Equipment Standing Committee (Chair)
  • Susan Ashcroft, University Librarian, Murdoch University
  • Marisa Dellaca, Asia Pacific Library & Research Manager, Ashurst
  • Philip Follent, Life Fellow of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects
  • Anne Girolami, Chair, ALIA Schools
  • Anne Kovachevich, Australasian Leader, Arup Foresight + Innovation team
  • Karen Latimer, Chair, UK Designing Libraries Advisory Board
  • Kylie Legge, Director, Place Partners
  • Christine Mackenzie, IFLA Governing Board

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, and integration into the local environment.
  • Strategic relevance: including approach to achieving the 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.

The judges’ decision will be final.

More information

For more information, contact: