Library Design Showcase Call for Submissions

December 1, 2008

I'm pleased to announce that American Libraries is now accepting submissions for our annual Library Design Showcase, to be published in the April 2009 issue. This is a showcase of new and newly renovated or expanded libraries of all types. Roughly 30 of the best construction projects of the year will be highlighed in this major AL feature. To be considered, send the completed submission form, along with color photos, 35mm slides, or high-resolution digital images, to: American Libraries, Attn: Architecture Showcase, American Library Association, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611. The deadline is February 1, 2009, and to be eligible, projects must have been completed since October 1, 2007. This is going to be my third time working on the "Facilities Feature," as we generally call it. It's an enjoyable job, but also a big one. Shortly after the February 1 deadline, a group of editors and designers will meet to go through all of the submissions–roughly 70 each of the past two years, although I think that figure is higher than average–to select the libraries that will be featured. We're looking for visual appeal, interesting stories, and variety in the libraries we include. In other words, the quality of photos and the project description are the most important parts of the submission form. For digital photos, this means a resolution of 300 dpi is critical, and they need to be large–around 4 inches wide is the smallest we'd run them, and some will run at a full page or even over a spread.* The best way I can describe what the project descriptions should entail is: They should be what you'd tell a friend or a colleague when you're bragging about your new library. Interesting construction details, favorite features, or intriguing snippets about how the space gets used are all good things to include. I'll be distilling those facts into the descriptive text that accompanies each photo. If you have a new or renovated facility, I hope you'll consider submitting it. If you have any questions, or if you have a facility that's still in progress and you want to receive an e-mail notification when we've opened submissions for 2010, please leave a comment or drop me an e-mail.   * This large size is also why we don't have online submissions: an 8-inch by 11-inch .tif is large enough that sending it online isn't trivial, and multiple photos like that are even less trivial. I'm looking into file upload services and I'm hopeful, though not certain, that we'll be able to accept submissions online this year. If you have any recommendations, I'd be glad to hear them.