Building the Library of the Future

Children, young people and LEGO enthusiasts from age 2 to 85 have been hard at work as part of Libraries Week building their Library of the Future out of LEGO!

The CILIP competition to build the Library of the Future out of LEGO bricks, has seen hundreds of inspired entries that have highlighted the many different ways in which libraries will support their users in the future.

Some of the more imaginative ideas include:

  • A ‘book cannon’ to distribute books to library users
  • A holographic VR suite where people can enter the worlds of their favourite books
  • Trees, gardens and green spaces for quiet reflection
  • Art galleries, sensory walls and even a sculpture garden.

The entries also highlight some areas of key concern for library users. For example, there is a strong green theme to this year’s entries, with eco-friendly libraries, solar panels, wind turbines and even bicycle-powered computers! As well as many focusing on the importance of books in accessible formats and reading supported by librarians.

There is a recurring theme of the library as a social space and community hub that is universally-welcoming and inclusive for everyone. Rather than people having to travel to the library, many entries included an option for the library to go to the user, including mobile libraries, flying libraries and even a library designed to support communication with aliens and a teleporter.

Check out a few of our favourite entries in this shortlist of 20!


CILIP Libraries Champion, Bobby Seagull, who was a judge for CILIP’s national Library of the Future competition, commented:

“Libraries are like time machines. They offer us a window into the past and help us to build our future. The fantastic, creative and imaginative entries to this year’s Library of the Future competition really highlight the continued relevance of libraries, as they become an ever more important hub at the heart of their communities. It has been an honour to judge CILIP’s LEGO Library competition and to see the enthusiasm and creativity it has inspired. Our winner presented an impressive and eye-catching build that encapsulated the diverse and inclusive services the library has to offer us, both now and in the future.

And a massive congratulations to our winner: Friends of Padgate Library for their ‘Inspire Library’:

“Inspire embraces the digital world. Serves as a knowledge Hub and a Community Hub. Brings people together for learning and wellbeing. Transports children ‘over the rainbow’ using their imagination and creativity. A holistic cultural & scientific centre.”

Friends of Padgate’s inspiring LEGO Library of the Future was created by a team of 8 at their LEGO Club, which includes young people (aged 7-14 years), adults and members of the Friends of Padgate group. Friends of Padgate is a volunteer group that was set up 18 months ago to support Padgate Library and prevent its closure.

Find out more about Friends of Padgate and their vision for the Library of Future here.

Linda Riley, a member of Friends of Padgate said:

“Winning the competition is recognition both of the Friends Group’s hard work and the success of the LEGO Club. The Club’s success means we were able to form a LEGO building team comprising Nathaniel 7, Callum 10, David 10 and Samuel 14 and four adult builders and to enter the CILIP Library of the Future competition. The build was led by the young and enthusiastic designers of the team. Their ideas included the out of hours automated/robotic Issue system, indoor play centre, information desk and electric charging points for cars. The programme of activities we already do and our future plans were instrumental in our ideas for the build. We feel we have a unique and innovative model and are delighted to be winners of the competition.”

The winners received 4 tickets to LEGOLAND Windsor and £500 to donate to the library of their choice. Friends of Padgate proudly made their donation to Padgate Library.
CILIP and Bobby Seagull were so impressed with the entries into the competition they also selected 5 runners up who will each receive a LEGO book from DK Publishers.


If you were inspired by the #LEGOLibrary competition why not start up a LEGO Club at your Library. You can download a free DK LEGO® Club Pack today, whether you are seeking to set up a new LEGO Club or to find inspiration for future sessions.

The pack includes tips and information about:

– starting a LEGO Club
– choosing your LEGO Club session timing
– building a LEGO Club library 
– DK LEGO activity ideas
– LEGO inspiration for adults

Download the pack here.