Public Library of the Year Award 2015

Applications for nominations of public ‪‎libraries can be submitted until 15th June.


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? 


Applications for nominations can be submitted by completing the electronic application form and attaching images and drawings as described in the form.

Nominations must be submitted before 12.00 pm CEST (midnight) on 15th of June 2015.

Any questions may be directed at chief adviser Jonna Holmgaard Larsen, Danish Agency for Culture, jhl at

Assessment committee

  • Morten Lautrup-Larsen, Director, Danish Agency for Culture
  • Jens Lauridsen, Library Director, Tårnby Public Libraries
  • Marie Østergård, Project Leader, DOKK1/Aarhus Public Libraries.
  • Maria Wedel Søe, Architect, MAA, Danish Agency for Culture
  • Martin Brøchner-Mortensen, Vice President, Library & learning, Systematic
  • Kent Martinussen, CEO, Danish Architecture Centre
  • Jan Richards, Manager, Central West Libraries, Australia. IFLA’s Public Libraries Section



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.


Source: Model Programme for Public Libraries

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