The American Institute of Architects (AIA) announced the nine winners of the 2007 Library Building Awards on April 6. Carried out in partnership with the American Library Association, the biennial awards recognize outstanding library designs by architects licensed in the United States. This year's winners:
Says Ann Beha of her firm's award for the Skillman Library, "What could be more worthwhile than creating settings that encourage lifelong learning and curiosity?"
With close to 300 submissions, this was the largest pool of entries since the program began in 1965. AIA representative Matt Tinder attributes the growth of the building awards to the changing nature of library programs. "Libraries are no longer simply repositories for books," he says. "They are collaborative, interactive community places now designed for all sorts of exchange."
Acknowledging a competitive pool, jury chair Jefferson B. Riley, a partner at Centerbrook Architects and Planners, praises the strengths of the winners, saying they "compellingly exhibited the important role of libraries as vital community centers." He adds that "each firmly established a memorable sense of place."
Chaired by Riley, the jury also included architects Edward Dean of Chong Partners Architecture and Wendy Pautz of LMN Architects, and librarians Anne M. Larsen of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, Elizabeth A. Titus of the New Mexico State University Library, and Ken S. Weil of the South Huntington Library.