Australian Library Design Awards and Conference 2019





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. There are four categories – public libraries, academic libraries, school libraries and special libraries. There is also be an ALIA Members’ Choice award, voted for by ALIA Members. Entries can be for new buildings, refurbishments or major renovations. Each entry is judged against the same set of criteria and there is 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 can be entered for the awards. This includes fixed locations but not pop up, temporary or mobile libraries. 

The Australian Library Design Awards 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 provide case studies in excellent library design for the 21st Century. 

Online nominations opened on 2 July and closed on 30 September, 2018. The shortlist will be announced in December 2018. On 14 March, 2019, there will be a one-day conference at the State Library of Queensland featuring the shortlisted projects, with a presentation of the awards at an evening reception to follow. The event is part of the Asia Pacific Architecture Forum. In addition to the publicity and kudos of the award, the winners will receive handcrafted trophies.

You can read the Asia Pacific Architecture Forum news release

ALIA Members, vote for your favourite library here. Closing date 31 January.


ABOUT THE Conference

We are excited to announce that the 2019 Library Design Awards Conference is being held as part of the Asia-Pacific Architecture Forum and in association with the IFLA Library Buildings and Equipment Section. As a result, we are able to offer a rich program of creative, innovative ideas about the very latest trends for school, public, academic and special libraries in Australia.

The conference takes place on 14 March 2019 at the State Library of Queensland.

Please click here to download the program and more information about the conference speakers.

Registrations are now open.


Take a look at the gallery of all 16 nominations for the 2019 awards.


Libby Sander

Libby Sander is the founder and director of the Future of Work Project, founder of Rethink, and Assistant Professor of Organisational Behaviour at Bond University. She has presented her research at the world's leading academic conferences. Libby has appeared on Channel 7’s Sunrise, ABC TV’s science program Catalyst, The Drum for ABC, ABC News, and spoken at TEDx. She is a feature writer for The Conversation and an agenda contributor at the World Economic Forum.  In 2017, Libby designed the new workplace for ITMS at Charles Darwin University that won the Northern Territory AIA award for Interior Architecture in 2017.


Traci Engel Lesneski

A principal with the US-based architecture firm MSR, Traci focuses on design for libraries and learning. She promotes an integrated design approach—equally valuing well-being, building performance, aesthetics, and delight. Recent building projects Traci has led include a 24/7 visual culture, arts, and media creative hub for Haverford College in Pennsylvania and the renovation of Tulsa’s Central Library (in Oklahoma). Traci regularly contributes articles to library publications and lectures nationally and internationally. Recent talks include presentations IFLA World Library and Information Congresses and Next Library Conferences, where in 2018 she conducted an interactive workshop about design for inclusion. As keynote speaker for the 2017 Public Libraries Western Australia Biennial Conference, she presented a talk entitled “The Generative Library: Design for Human Well-Being.” Traci is secretary of IFLA's Library Buildings and Equipment Section, chair of the American Library Association’s Architecture for Public Libraries Committee, and a member of the recently-formed American Library Association Sustainability Task Force.


Gulcin Cribb

Gulcin Cribb has been working as the University Librarian at Singapore Management University since 2012. Prior to that, she was the Founding Director of Libraries at Ozyegin University in Istanbul, Turkey, from 2008 to 2011. Her previous roles include Director of Information Services (responsible for both Library and IT) at Bond University (2001-2008), Executive Manager of Physical Sciences & Engineering Library (1996-2001) and Manager of Library Multimedia Services (1986-1996) at the University of Queensland in Australia, faculty in library and information science at Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey from 1980-82 and Turkish subject specialist at the School of Oriental and African Studies Library in London from 1979-1980.

Gulcin’s current and former roles have always involved working in partnership with researchers, faculty, publishers, architects and ICT solution providers. She has extensive experience in the areas of research support, publishing, digitisation, technology management, strategic management, innovation, learning spaces, information literacy, library-faculty-industry partnerships, marketing and virtual libraries. Gulcin has been involved in a number of ‘change management’ and space renovation initiatives in libraries in Australia, Turkey and  Singapore.  She has served as a member of various senior level committees and task forces at various universities she has worked in. She is a member of programme advisory committees of various international conferences.


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 awards are kindly supported by, Raeco and State Library of Queensland.




previous winners

More than 30 stunning libraries were entered for the inaugural Australian Library Design Awards 2017. Public, school, academic and special libraries all featured in the entries, and there was a special award for the library voted for by ALIA Members. The winners were announced on 19 June 2017, at Library at the Dock, Melbourne. They were:

  • St Joseph’s Nudgee College, Hanly Learning Centre, Queensland (school)

  • City of Perth Library (public)

  • John Philips Library, Western Sydney University (academic)

  • Arup, Sydney (special)

  • Geelong Library and Heritage Centre, Victoria (ALIA Members' Choice).

Take a look at the gallery of all 33 nominations for the 2017 awards.   


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

  • Janine Schmidt, IFLA Library Buildings and Equipment Standing Committee (Chair)
  • Marisa Dellaca, Asia Pacific Library & Head of Research & Business Intelligence, Ashurst
  • Philip Follent, Life Fellow of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects
  • Anne Girolami, Chair, ALIA Schools
  • Kate Kelly, Director of Library Services, Southern Cross University
  • Anne Kovachevich, Australasian Leader, Arup Foresight + Innovation team
  • Karen Latimer, Member and former Chair, UK Designing Libraries Advisory Board
  • Kylie Legge, Director, Place Partner
  • Marian Morgan-Bindon, City Librarian, City of Gold Coast

Entries will be assessed on how well the designs meet 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.


More information

For more information please contact