Missoula Library named one of the best designed in the world

The Missoula Public Library is in rare company now that it is in the running for a major international design award.

KGVO News recently spoke with public relations specialist Karl Olson of the Missoula Public Library about the major honor.

“We have been nominated for Public Library of the Year by the International Federation of Library Associations,” Olson said. “Our architects at MSR have submitted this entry for this award, and we’ll find out at the Federation’s annual global event in late July if we win.”

Olson identified the other award finalists from around the world.

“We are on the shortlist along with four other public libraries,” he said. One is in Latvia; another is in Denmark and a third in Saudi Arabia, so we’re in for a pretty amazing and competitive business.

Olson described why he thinks the Missoula Public Library received such an honor to be nominated as one of the best library designs in the world.

“What I think has propelled us to the top is our approach to literacy and collaboration, which is truly unique in our region and perhaps the whole country,” he said. declared. “We share our library space with three or four other organizations that share our mission, and that includes the Spectrum Discovery area, Families First Learning Lab, and MCAT (Missoula Community Access Television) is in our building. We have the Youth Living Lab here and soon we will be unveiling the DNA Climbing projects.

Olson said the main difference between the Missoula Public Library and others is the funding mechanism.

“Of the libraries that are on this shortlist for the award, we are probably the only one that features public-private partnership in funding,” he said. “In other countries, governments fully fund these libraries, for better or for worse. However, we have a partnership here that has made it the incredible space that it is and something that I think our whole community can take pride in.

MPL project design led by Minneapolis-based MSR Design in partnership with local architectural firm A&E.

A press release from the library said: “Considerations for award eligibility include: the building’s design interaction with local culture, landscape and community ties; architectural logistics and functionality; flexibility and synergy of programmatic spaces; energy efficiency and sustainability; approaches to learning about diversity and social mobility; and building-wide digital integration and access.

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