Press Release

29 October 2013

Augustine House Library and Student Services Centre at Canterbury Christ Church University has been announced the joint winner, with The McClay Library, Queen's University Belfast, of the prestigious 2013 SCONUL Library Design Awards.

The awards are run every three years and recognise the best in the design of higher education libraries.

Augustine House opened its doors to students in September 2009 and offers over 900 study places via a variety of flexible study zones; as well as over 340,000 books, 25,000 e-books and 11,500 e-journals accessible online through the e-library.

Liz Waller, chair of the judging panel, said: “Augustine House Library and Student Services Centre at Canterbury Christ Church University combines modern design with sensitivity to its historic location by the city walls. It provides flexible and inspiring learning environments which put the student first.”

Ann Rossiter, Executive Director at SCONUL, said: "Universities are increasing their investment in high quality design and build for libraries which also come equipped with state-of-the-art technologies.  While some predicted that the advent of e-books and e-journals would mean a downgrading of the status of libraries within the institution, it is clear that the reverse is true.

“Providing access to knowledge is vital but is only one part of what an academic library does. Libraries are at the heart of their institutions and one of their most important functions is the provision of a place and atmosphere for learning. 

“Our winning libraries offer a blueprint for how libraries can transform learning."

Pete Ryan, Head of Library Services at Canterbury Christ Church University, added: “We are delighted that our fantastic library in Augustine House has been recognised by SCONUL.

“The mix of a first class and inspiring building with a team of staff who are committed to providing a high quality library service that really does make a positive difference to the student experience, has enabled the university to win this year’s award.”

Notes to Editor

The full list of Awards and winners:

Over 2000sqm

Winners: The Augustine House Library and Student Services Centre, Canterbury Christ Church University and The McClay Library, Queen's University Belfast and

Highly commended: The Forum, University of Exeter

Under 2000sqm

Winner: University of West of Scotland/Scottish Rural College

Highly Commended: Dame Elizabeth Esteve-Coll Learning Resource Centre, Kingston University

For more information about the awards or about SCONUL, please contact Ann Rossiter on 07780 43049 or at

  • The SCONUL Library Design Awards have been running since 1973. The aim is to encourage good practice in library planning and design and to celebrate outstanding examples of cutting-edge design. Awards are given on the basis of the functional design of buildings rather than purely architectural merit.
  • SCONUL is the Society of College, National and University Libraries (  We represent all university libraries in the UK and Ireland, irrespective of mission group, as well as national libraries and many of the UK’s colleges of higher education. SCONUL promotes awareness of the role of academic libraries in supporting research excellence and student achievement and employability, and represents their views and interests to government, regulators and other stakeholders. It helps academic libraries collaborate to deliver services efficiently, including through shared services, and to share knowledge and best practice.

Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.

With nearly 20,000 students, across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.

  • 94% of our recent UK undergraduates are in employment or further studies six months after completing their studies*.
  • We are the number one choice for local people looking to study at university in Kent (2012 UCAS).
  • We are one of the South East’s largest provider of education, training and skills to the public service careers.

*2011/12 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey



Last edited: 14/12/2018 22:16:00