Q. Our library is beginning to think about a major addition. I recall that the ALA gives an award for library buildings. I'd like to plan a cross-country trip so that I could see some of these. How can I get a list of these libraries?
A. The ALA, through its division, the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA). has collaborated with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in presenting the Library Building Awards since the early 1950s. These awards, intended to "encourage excellence in the architectural design and planning of libraries" are given biennially, with the next competition in 2011.
The 2009 winners were listed in the April 2009 American Libraries, as well as in the press release (PDF) from LLAMA. Previous winners are listed at on the LLAMA website.
These are not the only buildings worth seeing, of course, and you might want to plan to visit some of the other notable libraries included in the American Libraries digital supplement on buildings.
For others who may have to plan a library building, please see the "Buildings and Signage" page on our wiki and the ALA Library Fact Sheet Number 11: Building Libraries and Library Additions: A Selected Annotated Bibliography. ALA Editions has also published several useful books on library buildings, all availble through the ALA Store.