The best new public library in the world

Denmark has named the Kista Public Library in Stockholm as the year’s best new public library. The Danish Agency for Culture and the IT firm Systematic have presented the “Systematic – Public Library of the Year Award 2015”.

The Kista Public Library in Stockholm is popular. Now, patrons and personnel alike can be pleased that the new library has been crowned the best new public library in the world. Photo: The Kista Public Library

Sweden has the best public library when it comes to architecture, interior design, the use of new digital technology, and engaging the participation of local citizens in its activities.

And it did when the panel of judges for the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) selected the Kista Public Library in Stockholm as the prize winner at its annual meeting in Cape Town, South Africa out of a total of five nominated libraries from, respectively, Spain, Kenya, Australia, New Zealand, and Sweden.

The panel of judges concluded that the Kista Public Library, which was designed by Wester + elsner Architects and built in a shopping centre in central Stockholm, is a sustainable project “in which the architecture is playful without being locked into a particular age group. The architectural solutions provide extreme flexibility, and new functions can easily be incorporated to meet the future needs of users.”

Morten Lautrup-Larsen, Deputy Director, Danish Agency for Culture is pleased that, with the establishment of the award, Denmark is helping to encourage the international spread of fundamental democratic values through public libraries. ”The Kista Public Library accommodates the fact that the local population is a complex group; and, with an open, inviting architecture and creative use of IT, it draws in many different users. This is commendable.”

The library of the future

The award was established by the Danish Agency for Culture in 2014 to inspire libraries of the future as a part of the Model Programme for Public Libraries development project of the Agency and Realdania.
This year, the Danish Agency for Culture will present the award in collaboration with the IFLA’s Public Libraries Section and the IT firm Systematic. The firm has donated US $5,000 for the award as the year’s best public library.

Additional information:

Morten Lautrup-Larsen, Deputy Director, Danish Agency for Culture, +45 30 48 20 61,
Jonna Holmgaard Larsen, Chief Consultant, Danish Agency for Culture, +45 33 73 33 52,
Martin Brøchner-Mortensen, Vice President, Systematic, 30 38 68 29,
Anna Wåglund, Communication Manager, City of Stockholm Libraries, + 46 8 508 311 98,

The panel of judges:

Morten Lautrup-Larsen, Deputy Director, Danish Agency for Culture
Martin Brøchner-Mortensen, Vice President, 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, Municipality of Tårnby Libraries
Marie Østergård, Manager, Center for Citizen Dialogue, Aarhus Main Library
Maria Wedel Søe, Architect, MAA, Danish Agency for Culture

Last updated: 07.12.2017
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