• Libraries are beautiful—inside and out and they improve the lives of those who use them.

    Congratulations, Beautiful Libraries!

     

    doubletakeBest in Show: "Double Take"
    Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, Memphis TN
      
    “Double Take” is a brightly illuminated floor, its bold colors made from crushed marble and a ceiling made of maple wood. Its abstract design alludes to bridges, roads, cables and buildings, which appears the same whether exiting or entering the library. 
    View the full image and read the full description.

     

    Reading in the ShadowsMost Unique Structure/Art Installation: "Reading in the Shadows" 
    Wagner Community School Library, Wagner, SD
     
    Brooklyn Tolliver, a junior at Wagner Community School, created this shadow art sculpture in art class. It is Brooklyn's own profile recreated with various pieces of cardboard. A spotlight transforms the cardboard into shadow art. It is fascinating seeing the “strange" cardboard pieces turn into an inspiring silhouette when the spotlight shines on it.
    View the full image and read the full description.
      

    James J. Hill Reference LibraryGreatest Historical Treasure: "A Passion for Detail"
    James J. Hill Reference Library, Saint Paul, MN
     
    The James J. Hill Center has awed and inspired visitors with its historical intrigue and stunning architecture since it opened to the public in 1921. Constructed of Tennessee marble and Minnesota sandstone, it is both a living monument to the Empire Builder, James J. Hill, and a Saint Paul landmark, situated on picturesque Rice Park in the heart of downtown, just four blocks from my home. View the full image and read the full description
      

    the bookBotMost Modern Architecture: "The bookBot"
    James B. Hunt Jr. Library, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
     
    The bookBot automated book delivery system at the core of the Hunt Library not only serves a strong functional service, its ability to store materials in 1/9th the space of traditional book stacks frees up large amounts of space for the library's study and high-tech areas. 
    View the full image and read the full description.
      

     

    The Great Outdoors, IndoorsCoolest Internal Space: "The Great Outdoors, Indoors"
    Downtown Reno Library, Reno NV
     
    Seen here from the fourth floor balcony art gallery, looking over the bridge where patrons enter the building. Beyond, the book stacks fill four levels. The lowest level, the “garden”, is below where patrons can read, children toss a penny into the pond to make a wish, or use their laptop amidst a variety of plants and full-grown trees growing from beds built into the floor.
    View the full image and read the full description.

    Of Stone and BooksBest Curb Appeal: "Of Stone and Books"
    Rangeley Public Library, Rangeley, ME
     
    It is a building of stone that looks as though it would fit well in the highlands of Scotland or some other snowy, stony place of old. The region it serves is exactly that. Rangeley, and its tiny surrounding townships, lies snug in the Longfellow Mountains of western Maine, a northern stretch of the Appalachians. For those of us who call this area home, our library is as sacred a place as any of our five churches. We are proud of it and show it off to visitors who haven't already found it on their own. 
    View the full image and read the full description.

    Honorable Mentions

    Most Unique Structure/Art Installation: "Somewhere Under the Rainbow" 
    Kalamazoo Public Library, Kalamazoo, MI
     - View the image and read the full description

    Greatest Historical Treasure: "The only all-volunteer public library in Michigan" 
    Lawrence Memorial Public Library, Climax, MI
     - View the image and read the full description

    Most Modern Architecture: "LPL's New Chapter: Smarter, Brighter, Greener, Lawrence"
    Lawrence Public Library, Lawrence, KS
     - View the image and read the full description

    Coolest Internal Space: "The Reading Rainforest"
    Plainfield Public Library, Plainfield, NJ
     - View the image and read the full description

    Best Curb Appeal: "Cedar Rapids Public Library "
    Cedar Rapids Public Library, Cedar Rapids, IA
     - View the image and read the full description

    Contest Prizes:

    • One winner per category will be awarded a $500 prize.
    • One grand prize winner will be awarded Best in Show and a $2,500 prize.
    • One honorable mention per category will receive an 11" x 14" matted and framed print of the entered photograph

    Awards will be presented to the library, not the individual submitting the photo. Winners will be announced here during National Library Week, April 13-19.

    Let's Keep Celebrating Libraries:

    We saw a truly outstanding group of submissions – and we're highlighting them all, several each week, following National Library Week via Gale's social media channels. To see the photo entries, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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