Library Design Awards 2019: Call for submissions - Mon, 30 Jul 2018

We are now accepting submissions for the SCONUL Library Design Awards 2019. Submission criteria and instructions for the awards are available here. The deadline for submissions is Monday 26 November 2018.  


The SCONUL Library Design Awards will be taking place in the autumn of 2019. These awards aim to showcase and celebrate the very best in recent academic library design in the UK and Ireland. Library space and the academic library as "place" continue to be highly valued and of key significance to the standing and reputation of our institutions. Our library users continue to demonstrate through both use and demand, the important part that the physical library plays in their experience of and engagement with their learning and research. The SCONUL Library Design Awards offer a unique opportunity to recognise high quality, innovative library design which delivers effective and accessible learning environments for our University communities.


  • The deadline for submissions is Monday 26 November 2018
  • In December 2018 the panel of judges will carefully evaluate all submissions and shortlist a select group of buildings to visit.
  • As we hope to see the designs in action, visits by the judging panel to the shortlisted libraries will take place in April and May 2019.
  • The Design Awards event will take place in the Autumn of 2019. The winners will be announced at the event. 

Criteria and eligibility

All types of building projects (new buildings, extensions, conversions and refurbishments) will be eligible. Any library, learning centre or learning resource centre which a SCONUL member library manages is eligible. To be eligible for consideration, buildings will have been completed between 1 July 2015 and 1 January 2018. There will be two categories of award:

  • Small (under 2,000 square metres)
  • Medium/large (2,000 square metres or greater). 

Submissions should include high-resolution images for use in the Design Awards Event.


Detailed criteria are included in the call for submissions, but the broad themes to be considered are: Strategic alignment, design, and transformation. In evaluation of the criteria, judges will consider the broad range of users (students, researchers, academic and library staff and other stakeholders). As always, the judging process will evaluate how the building design delivers an effective learning environment for its users, rather than any single or unique focus on perceived architectural merit.