AIA/ALA Library Building Awards

About the AIA/ALA Library Building Awards To encourage excellence in the architectural design and planning of libraries. Awards for distinguished accomplishment in library architecture by an architect licensed in the United States will be made for any library in the United States or abroad. 

Administered by:

Library Leadership and Management Association logo

2011 Winner(s)

Arkansas Studies Institute Arkansas

Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects

This Library History Institute combines three buildings of three different centuries and construction types into one architectural timeline, evoking imagery of pages of an opening book.

More information about the building.

KAUST Library Thuwal, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


Situated as the focal point of the new campus, the library crystallizes the architectural ambitions of this university as a contemporary global center for scientific thinking that is rooted in local cultural and place. The planning of the library challenges normative library science by de-emphasizing the library as a repository of books while emphasizing the social dimensions of learning and the access to knowledge through technology. While it is constructed in modern building language, this library makes poetic allusions to Arabic architecture recalling the traditional House of Knowledge.

More information about this building.

Mattapan Branch Library, Boston Public Library Boston, MA

William Rawn Associates, Architects, Inc.

Located in a 96% minority neighborhood with a significant immigrant population, this urban branch library follows the mayor’s initiative to bring important civic buildings to the city’s more diverse neighborhoods.

Read More

William Oxley Thompson Memorial Library Ohio State University

Gund Partnership

The William Oxley Thompson Memorial Library is the main library at this public university serving more than 64,000 undergraduate and graduate students. This project transformed a library that had largely functioned as three separate buildings, due to former additions and renovations, into a unified and flexible 21st-century research library and campus hub. Challenges included reconfiguring the internal organization and merging building styles and materials without increasing its gross size.

Read More

Harmon Library, Phoenix Public Library Phoenix, Arizona

Richard + Bauer Interior Design

This is a small library in the heart of an urban park in downtown Phoenix. Over time the diverse neighborhood has integrated the library as a key element within the community: a place to connect for adults and an important after-school resource for working families.

Read More