KGVO News recently spoke to PR specialist Carl Olson with Missoula Public Library about the key distinction.
“We have nominated the International Federation of Library Associations for the Public Libraries of the Year award,” Olson said. “Our architects at MSR submitted this application for this award, and we will find out at the consortium’s annual global event at the end of July if we win.”
Olson identified other nominees for the award from around the world.
“We are on the shortlist with four other public libraries,” he said. one in Latvia; Another company in Denmark and a third in Saudi Arabia, so we are in an incredibly competitive company.”
Olson described why he believed the Missoula Public Library had such an honor to be nominated as one of the best library designs in the world.
“What I think has put us on top is our approach to literacy and cooperation, which is really unique in our region and probably in the whole country,” he said. “We share our library space with three or four other organizations that share our mission, which includes the Spectrum Discovery District, the Family First Learning Lab, and MCAT (Missoula Community Access Television) in our building. We have the Youth Living Lab here and soon we will be unveiling our DNA climbing projects. “.
Olson said the main difference between the Missoula Public Library and the others is the funding mechanism.
“Among the libraries on this award shortlist, we are probably the only ones to feature a public-private partnership in funding,” he said. “In other countries, these libraries are completely funded by governments, for better or worse. However, we have a partnership here that has made it the wonderful space that it is and something I think our entire community can take pride in.”
The design of the MPL project was led by Minneapolis-based MSR Design in partnership with local architecture firm A&E.
A press release from the library stated: “Eligibility considerations for the award include: the building’s design interaction with local culture, landscape, and community connections; architectural logistics and functionality; flexibility and synergy between program spaces; energy efficiency and sustainability; learning diversity approaches and social mobility; and digital integration and widespread access.
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