A team at Aberystwyth University, led by Alan Clark, was set up to provide a web-based database of recent public library building projects in the UK, benefiting from staff expertise and resources within the University relating to library building and library planning and design.

These resources included the University's Library Planning Collection, itself including collections amassed by the Library Association, now CILIP, plus materials submitted to the UK and Ireland Public Library Building Awards.

Supported by CILIP, MLA, SCONUL

From 2004 until September 2011, with funding from MLA and support from CILIP, it maintained and expanded the Designing Libraries site as a data and image bank and an information resource aimed at providing a service to anyone interested in library design and planning.

Designing Libraries expanded the scope of its database to accommodate libraries from other sectors, entering into partnership with SCONUL to make available SCONUL's data relating to university library buildings.

A new beginning, a new look, a new future

On October 3rd 2011, at the end of its funded period, Designing Libraries was incorporated as a Community Interest Company to continue to serve all sectors of the library profession, related organisations and anyone interested in library planning, design and the future shape of library services.

Designing Libraries is funded by income from its sponsors and other subscribing commercial organisations.