Missoula Public Library Shortlisted for International Design Award

Missoula one of four libraries globally nominated for “Public Library of the Year”

Missoula, June 20, 2022 — Missoula Public Library is pleased to announce that the downtown library, constructed in 2018-2021 and opened last summer under the leadership of former MPL director Honore Bray, has been shortlisted for a prestigious 2022 “Public Library of the Year” Award by the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA), sponsored by Danish IT company, Systematic.


The award is presented to a newly built public library that features open and functional architecture and creative technology solutions, all within the context of its local culture. Missoula joins three other innovative libraries from Denmark, Latvia, and Saudi Arabia on the shortlist. The winning library will be announced July 29 at the IFLA world congress in Dublin, Ireland, and receives a $5000 cash prize.


According to Missoula Public Library Executive Director Slaven Lee, “Missoula’s flagship public library is a testament to our community’s commitment to equitable access, lifelong learning, and civic engagement. That our Library finds itself the only US-based entity in the company of cutting-edge libraries from across the globe, speaks volumes to what Missoulians achieve when they come together around shared values.”


Minneapolis-based MSR Design led MPL’s project design in partnership with local architecture firm A&E. About the nomination, MSR Design principal Traci Lesneski stated: “The public libraries on the shortlist represent high-quality design and innovative library services. We are delighted that Missoula Public Library’s new building and the partners and services it supports are being recognized on the global stage.”


The IFLA award winner is picked by a jury of library experts from around the world. Considerations for award eligibility include: the building design’s interaction with local culture, landscape, and community connections; architectural logistics and functionality; flexibility and synergy of programmatic spaces; energy efficiency and sustainability; approaches to learning diversity and social mobility; and building-wide digital integration and access.


Last year’s IFLA “Public Library of the Year” was the Deichmann Bibliotek in Oslo, Norway.


More information about IFLA and the annual award


A brief overview and portfolio of Missoula Public Library’s design features

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