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The world's best public library to be awarded prize

15 April 2015


The Danish Agency for Culture again awards the prize for world’s best public library in collaboration with Systematic. 

Applications are once again open for the prize for world’s best public library.  And, in 2015, the Danish Agency for Culture will again have the honour of handing out the "Public Library of the Year Award” – this year, with a new sponsor: the IT firm Systematic, which is donating $US 5,000. 

The prize is given to a library somewhere in the world that has been newly constructed or designed for a building that has not previously been used as a library and which meets the criteria for the Model Programme for Public Libraries.

This means that the library must take digital developments and local culture into consideration.  The library must welcome a diversity of population groups with an open and functional architectural expression in balance with its surroundings and a creative use of IT to improve user experiences.

Award ceremony in August

The architecture prize was launched in 2014 as a part of the Model Programme for Public Libraries for the Danish Agency for Culture.  

The prize was awarded for the first time at the annual meeting of The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) in Lyon, France – that time, with the architectural firm of schmidt hammer lassen architects as sponsor. The prize will be awarded again in 2015 at the IFLA’s annual meeting in cooperation with the IFLA´s Public Library Section. This time, the meeting will be held in Cape Town, South Africa – with Systematic as sponsor. The name of the prize will, therefore, be: Systematic – Public Library of the Year Award.

Systematic is an international supplier of software and system solutions for clients in 47 countries – including major parts of the public sector in Denmark.  Among other things, the firm supplies digital library solutions in Denmark and will be rolling out a common national library system over the course of  2015-2016 to virtually all Danish public libraries and learning centres (formerly, school libraries).

”We have decided to sponsor the Public Library of the Year Award, because the digitalisation of the library of the future is a field we would like to promote. Along with architecture, digital solutions must invite experience, communication, and use of the knowledge libraries provide,” says Martin Brøchner-Mortensen, Vice-President, Systematic.

Candidates for the “Systematic – Public Library of the Year Award” may apply as of 15 April 2015, and the deadline for applications is 15 June 2015

Get access to the application form  

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

The assessment committee consists of:
Morten Lautrup-Larsen, Director, Danish Agency for Culture
Martin Brøchner-Mortensen, Vice President, Library & Learning, Systematic
Kent Martinussen, CEO, Danish Architecture Centre
Jan Richards, Manager, Central West Libraries, New South Wales, Australia. IFLA Public Libraries Section
Jens Lauridsen, Library Director, Tårnby Public Libraries 
Marie Østergård, Project Leader, Dokk1/Aarhus Public Libraries 
Maria Wedel Søe, Architect MAA, Danish Agency for Culture

Read more about the Public Library of the Year Award and the development project Model Programme for Public Libraries

Read more about Systematic

Application form is available here

Additional information:

The Danish Agency for Culture
Chief Consultant Jonna Holmgaard Larsen
Tel: +45 33 73 33 52,

Head of Communications Birgitte Mouritzen Tel: +45 41 96 51 91,

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