Australian Library Design Awards and Conference 2019

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Library Design Awards 2021

Online nominations open on 6 July 2020 and close on 23 October 2020. Judging will take place November/December and the shortlist will be announced in December 2020. On 18 March, 2021, there will be a one-day conference at the State Library of Queensland, featuring the shortlisted projects, and the announcement of the award winners. The conference is part of the Asia-Pacific Architecture Forum held annually in Brisbane.

Take a look at the entries from the 2019 and 2017 awards.


Congratulations to our winners

ALIA Library Design Awards and Conference 2019 in pictures




Top: Speakers, sponsors and delegates made the most of the national and international networking opportunities

Middle (clockwise from main photo): His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC Governor of Queensland spoke of the value of libraries; the handmade awards, created by artist Kenji Urasnishi; CEO and State Librarian Vicki McDonald, Kaye de Jersey, the Governor of Queensland and ALIA Director Paula Kelly Paull

Above: The winners receive their awards from the Governor - left to right, top to bottom: Kathryn Bagett Juleff and Margie Kirkness, for Shellharbour City Libraries; Dr Terry Byers for Churchie Centenary Library; Chris Buckingham and Colette McMahon -Hoskinson for Casey Cardinia Libraries Bunjil Place; Chair of the judging panel Janine Schmidt; Lisa Smith for Monash University Caulfield Library, and the panel of winners.


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 three categories – public libraries, academic libraries, and school libraries. There is also 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 was announced on 6 February 2019.

On 14 March, 2019, there was a one-day conference at the State Library of Queensland featuring the shortlisted projects, with a presentation of the awards and a celebratory evening reception.? In addition to the publicity and kudos of the award, the winners received handcrafted trophies.

You can read the Asia Pacific Architecture Forum news release.

You can read the news release on the 2019 ALIA Library Design Awards shortlist?and winners.

About the conference

This event was part of the Asia Pacific Architecture Forum, an initiative of Architecture Media and State Library of Queensland.

Download the program here?and the addendum here.




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



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