Smart Alex 22: Background Information

The Friends of the Turnbull Library Ngā Hoa o te Whare Pukapuka Turnbull has been supporting the work of the Alexander Turnbull Library since May 1939.

In 2019 we decided to sponsor a Smart Alex Competition for three years, to encourage young people to create imaginative responses the items in the collections of the Alexander Turnbull Library and, in particular, to explore the Library’s vast collection of images.

2020, the third year of Smart Alex coincided with the centenary of the Alexander Turnbull Library, the day on which this wonderful national treasure – the beating heart of the National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa – first opened its doors to the public in June 1920.

We were very pleased with the response from schools in 2018, 2019 and 2020. Congratulations to all prize-winners, and hearty thanks to all those who entered during the first three years of the Smart Alex creative writing competition! 

See drop down links for the Competition Results for each of those years.

Now in 2022, we have launched a new competition! We want to encourage young people to investigate the amazing range and depth of digital items that can now be accessed online from the vast collections of the Alexander Turnbull Library.

Go to Smart Alex 2022

Enquiries to