The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) is an organization founded in Scotland in 1927 and is considered the “global voice of the library and information profession”. Every year they announce the public library of the year at their annual conference, thereby honoring a new library that “best combines open, functional architecture with creative IT solutions, taking into account both digital developments and local culture”.

This year the five finalists were:

Marrickville Library, Australia

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Deichman Bjørvika – Oslo Public Library (Norway)

Preaching (Belgium)

Ningbo New Library (China)

Forum Groningen (Netherlands)

On August 19th, at the IFLA World Library and International Congress, the winner was announced as… Deichman Bjørvika in Oslo! Jury chairman Jakob Lærkes stated,

[T]The international jury was particularly impressed by how the building combines environmental awareness with architectural flair. The library is a new paradise for books and reading with advanced technological solutions. Deichman Bjørvika shows how libraries can function as institutions that bring people together in cities and towns.

Among the advanced technological solutions referred to is an advanced book sorting machine that frees up more staff to work directly with customers. It is 6 stories high, has 13,500 square meters of floor space and holds 450,000 different materials.

The building includes a restaurant, a café, a cinema and an auditorium. The second floor is for kids, with plenty of space to explore and settings for imaginative play called Wonderland. Children can use a virtual bookshelf to create their own stories, make stop-motion videos, or play interactive games. There is even a reading net in which children can spread out with a book while they look through the net into the floor below.

The third floor is a workshop with 3D printers, sewing machines and studios so customers can create art without investing in expensive equipment. The quieter study areas are on the upper floors.

You can find out more about this innovative library on Deichman Bjørvika’s website.

Would you like to check out more beautiful websites? Check out 28 of the best libraries in the world.