Helsinki Central Library Oodi chosen as the best new public library in the world

Finnish libraries are appreciated around the world, as the city libraries of Espoo and Vantaa will also be awarded in the World Library and Information Congress held in Athens.

Helsinki Central Library Oodi. Photo: Tuomas Uusheimo.

Helsinki Central Library Oodi was chosen as the winner of the 2019 Public Library of the Year award in the World Library and Information Congress of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). Espoo City Library and Vantaa City Library will also be awarded.

The annually presented Public Library of the Year award is presented to a public library that is either newly built or set up in premises not previously used for library purposes. This year, a total of 16 libraries from all over the world applied to be considered for this award. The other libraries that made it to the final were Green Square Library and Plaza in Australia, Bibliotheek LocHal in the Netherlands and Tūranga – Christchurch Central Library in New Zealand. The award’s sponsor, IT company Systematic, awarded USD 5,000 to Oodi.

– Oodi was designed together with customers for a long period of time. We received more than 2,000 ideas from customers to serve as the basis of the architectural competition. ALA Architects designed an amazing and unique building that takes all the elements most desired by customers into account. The customers immediately made Oodi their own, which is our greatest success. The Public Library of the Year award tells us that the world has also taken notice of this, rejoices Director of Oodi Anna-Maria Soininvaara.

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