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Systematic – Public Library of the Year Award 2015

Kista Public Library, Sweden

Winner of the Public Library of the Year Award 2015.

The choice of the winning Library is based on it’s clear content and conscious play and experimentation with space and technology. It’s a place where analogue meets digitalization. A great effort has created the library’s learning spaces which ranges from individual rooms to lecture theatres and performance spaces. Partnership with other agencies combined with the use of technology has made it possible to offer a wide range of activities in the various learning spaces.

The library has a rich program of digitization from the traditional to creative offering, and a very high involvement in interactive social media, broadcasting of events and maker culture with wide audience reach.

The Library has a significant position, placed where it is needed – in a multicultural society and among the people. Because it is placed in an existing structure it is at the same time a very sustainable project.

The interior is created by different conceptual ideas making creating spatial diversity and intensity, based on the particularly use of the space. The architecture is playful without being fixed to a specific age group and every element is designed to fit the human scale. The architectural solutions give extreme flexibility to the library, and new features will easily be integrated in the future.  

It is also of great value that the library has focus on hiring staff with a wide range of expertise and language skills, which among other thing is put in use when the staff offers service via personal tips incorporated into technology.

See photos from the the award ceremony here

Kista Bibliotek. Foto: Mattias P. Dahlqvist

Nominations

The assessment committee nominated five libraries, from respectively New Zealand, Sweden, Australia, Kenya and Spain. The winner of the award will be revealed the 16th of August 2015 during the annual IFLA (The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) congress in Cape Town.

Reasons for the nomination of the five libraries

Photo: Devonport Library. Jason Mann

Devonport Library, New Zealand
The nomination of the Devonport Library is based on its strong historical and cultural roots relating to the Maori people and the Victorian built environment.

The building is shaped with respect for the surroundings, integrating the Moreton Bay Fig tree and the Phoenix Palms. It is supported by the porch and has many entries resulting in a magnificent atmosphere both outside and inside. Likewise it is of great value that wood is the main material. It reflects the locality of the library and contributes to the creation of a very sustainable construction.

The library has had an extended and rigorous consultation process, involving a broad cross-section of the community, so even before opening there was a great community engagement. The ground plan is easy to read and supports a conscious interaction between different age groups.

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Kista Bibliotek. Foto: Mattias P. Dahlqvist

Kista Public Library, Sweden

The nomination of the Kista Library is based on its significant position, placed where it is needed – in a multicultural society and among the people. Because it is placed in an existing structure it is at the same time a very sustainable project.

The interior is created by different conceptual ideas making creating spatial diversity and intensity, based on the particularly use of the space. The architecture is playful without being fixed to a specific age group and every element is designed to fit the human scale. The architectural solutions give extreme flexibility to the library, and new features will easily be integrated in the future. 

It is of great value that the library has focus on hiring staff with a wide range of expertise and language skills, and as a way of actively engaging the staff in service delivery via personal tips incorporated into technology. Furthermore the library has a rich program of digitization from the traditional to creative offering, and a very high involvement in interactive social media, broadcasting of events and maker culture with wide audience reach.

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Library at the Dock, Australia

The nomination of the Library at the Dock is based on its diverse range of learning opportunities for the community from self-directed activities through to formal learning. These are incorporated throughout the libraries highly flexible layout and are supported by technology. An interactive floor allows kids to learn basic literacy through physical movement with specially designed games and animations.

The building fits well into the environment reflecting the industrial heritage of the area and blends into the high rise development and open spaces around it. At the same time the construction has been made in high consideration for sustainably solutions. It is of great value that the signing on the building’s exterior is clear, dynamic and integrated as a natural element.

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Narok Library, Kenya

The nomination of the Narok Library is based on its ambitious cultural project. The Library has an ICT center equipped with computers and internet connectivity, which is of huge value to the community and helps to create digital citizens and open up to the outside world. Information portals including hinari for Health matters, scholarly e-books and e-journals and National Farmers Information  Service (NAFIS) for farmers s important for the community.

The library is working closely with the Ministry of Agriculture to give technical advice on livestock farming. It is open to all including herdsmen coming along with their flock of cows and goats to read as they look after their herds.
The Library has been built to blend in with the local landscape, and the shape of the building creates private and intimate rooms inside as well as outside, where the voids between the building creates outdoor spaces that can be used for activities and meeting places.

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Sant Gervasi – Joan Maragall, Spain

The nomination of the Sant Gervasi – Joan Maragall library is based on its high architectural value which is significant both in the exterior as well as the interior. The shape of the building is integrated beautifully into the streetscape and new urban spaces are created between both the existing city and the new library as well as between the new volumes. The juxtaposition with the Villa Florida Mansion seams very natural and the library’s green roofs becomes a part of the villas garden.

Because the building has been arranged as a construction of smaller cubes and because most of the building has been placed under street level the library is design in an admirable human scale. Furthermore the lighting for the building is done in a very powerful way, and smaller courtyards bring both light into the buildings lover level as well as creating a dynamic flow to the overall shape. The material use of light colours outside and terracotta tiles inside makes the building reflects its relationship to the earth. 
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The prize

The prize is awarded by the Danish Agency for Culture as a part of the Model Programme for Public Libraries with IT company Systematic as sponsor. Therefore the award is named ‘Systematic – Public Library of the Year Award’.

The target group is public libraries, i.e. municipality libraries. Applications can be made by individual municipalities. A municipality may apply in co-operation with relevant advisors.

The prize is US$ 5,000, which will be given to the municipality. Second and third prizes are also awarded, and winners will receive a diploma, not money.

Criteria for application

The library must be a new public library.  This means that it must have been completed during the period January 1st 2013 through June 15th 2015. 

The definition of a new library in this connection is a library that has been newly built from scratch, or a library that has been set up in premises that have not previously existed as a library.

Assessment criteria

Applications will be assessed on the basis of an overall assessment of the following six criteria:

1. Learning space: Including the way the library offers a diversity of inroads to education, how learning spaces support different learning situations, appeal to different needs, age groups and encourage various learning formats. How do the learning spaces interact with the rest of the library? 

2. Digitization: Including how digital communication and accessibility of the library content is integrated in the library space, including the use of mobile technology. How is design, aesthetics and interaction used as the basis for the digitization? Has digitization been used in any innovative and creative ways to create experiences for the library users in the physical library.

 3. Flexibility: Including how rooms are designed and organized, and how surfaces and the combination of spaces are an inspiration for the users’ own activities and support new activities and synergy across various spaces. E.g. does the library include makerspace facilities for workshops or a stage? Are these used, and if so, how? Can the spaces be easily modified and used for various functions and activities?

 4. Interaction with the surroundings: Including access and approachability, accessibility (for the disabled), visibility in the urban landscape and interaction with surrounding buildings and open spaces. Is the library a driver of connections or movements in the urban context? 

 5. Architectural quality: Including how the spaces affect people’s senses, light, darkness, sound, silence, moods, indoor climate, materials, and how each space work in terms of functions and logistics. How is the architectural concept implemented and designed on different scales in the building?

 6. Local culture: Including how the architecture reflects, or gives consideration to, the local culture of the community. Does the building contribute to society as a social gathering place and a knowledge sharing platform?

Assessment committee

o Morten Lautrup-Larsen, Director, Danish Agency for Culture

o Jens Lauridsen, Library Director, Tårnby Public Libraries

o Marie Østergård, Project Leader, DOKK1/Aarhus Public Libraries.

o Maria Wedel Søe, Architect, MAA, Danish Agency for Culture

o Martin Brøchner-Mortensen, Vice President, Library & learning, Systematic

o Kent Martinussen, CEO, Danish Architecture Centre

o Jan Richards, Manager, Central West Libraries, Australia. IFLA’s Public Libraries Section

Presentation

The award will be presented by Morten Lautrup-Larsen, Danish Agency for Culture and Martin Brøchner-Mortensen, Systematic, on August 16th at the IFLA congress in Cape Town, South Africa.

08. jun 2016 kl. 10:57

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