This Week at ULC

Newsletter | March 29, 2023


Thank you to our ULC members for your submissions to our 2023 Innovations Initiative!

The submission site is officially closed! Based on the tremendous Innovations received, we know that you have been tirelessly serving your communities and raising the bar with invaluable programs, resources and tools. All 2023 entries are now viewable online at our website. 

Judging is currently taking place! Stay tuned for for information about our Innovations judges, our Innovations Celebration date and the Top Innovator and Honorable Mention selections for each category.

View the 2023 Submissions


We are thrilled to formally announce our partnership with Barbershop Books (BSB) to expand reading opportunities for children in need through an innovative collaboration with four library systems: Cleveland Public Library, Columbus Metropolitan Library, Shreve Memorial Library and Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

Through funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, these library partners will work with Barbershop Books to create child-friendly reading spaces and provide early literacy training to barbers in 40 barbershops.

“Public libraries are uniquely positioned to support reading achievement for Black boys and other under-resourced communities,” said ULC President and CEO Brooks Rainwater. “Inequitable achievement gaps lead to lifelong limits on workforce opportunities and overall economic mobility. We are proud to partner with Barbershop Books to build robust local library/barbershop partnerships and provide effective and community-based literacy services for underserved children.”

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Q1 Round-Up: ULC's Newest Members

Escondido Public Library, St. Joseph County Public Library, Riverside County Library System

We are thrilled to wrap up this first quarter of the year with three new ULC members:

Escondido Public Library: Escondido Public Library is located in San Diego County, Calif. and has served the city of Escondido for over 100 years. They are proud that outreach, dynamic programming and partnerships with local businesses and organizations are integral services that the library provides to the community.

St. Joseph County Public Library: St. Joe County Public Library is located in South Bend, Ind. and operates on the mission to connect members of the community to learning, resources, culture and each other. They're looking forward to connecting with other ULC members on best practices for community and youth engagement.

Riverside County Library System: Riverside County Library System is located in Riverside County, Calif., serving a diverse population of 1.4 million residents covering 7,303 square miles. By providing modern public libraries, Riverside County, realizes its vision "to be a proactive county that provides community, business, government, and regional leadership."

IMLS 2023 National Medal Finalists

LA County Library, Miami-Dade Public Library System, San Mateo County Libraries, Toledo Lucas County Public Library

This week, the Institute of Museum and Library Services announced the 30 finalists for the 2023 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries that demonstrate excellence in service to their communities.

“So many museums and libraries across the country are committed to providing programs that are vital to the health and growth of engaged communities. We are very proud to announce the 30 finalists for this year’s IMLS National Medal,” said IMLS Director Crosby Kemper. “These institutions represent the best of what museums and libraries do for their communities.”

Of the thirty finalists, we are proud to highlight the following ULC member libraries that made the list: LA County Library, Miami-Dade Public Library System, San Mateo County Libraries and Toledo Lucas County Public Library.

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Contra Costa Promotes Democracy, Ad Campaign

Contra Costa County Library

The Contra Costa County Library is standing up for democracy with ULC! In a recent article for the East. Bay Times, CCLS public information officer Brooke Converse shared the library's recent signing of ULC's Declaration of Democracy, pledging their commitment to preserving fundamental rights and freedoms for all. Also shared in the article was Contra Costa County's recent, highly successful video campaign featuring the many resources and programs available. The ads are now airing on cable and streaming platforms.

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Richmond Hill Hosts Creator Camp with CBC Toronto

Richmond Hill Public Library

This week, CBC Toronto and the Richmond Hill Public Library collaborated to host a "Creator Camp" aimed at encouraging young people to explore their creative skills. The camp featured workshops on a range of topics, including building a brand, content creation and digital storytelling — and closed with a storytelling sprint competition! The emerging digital creators also had the opportunity to connect with professionals in the creative industry and learn more about opportunities in the field.

Learn More


New on the ULC Blog: Cornerstones in a Culture War

As attacks against public libraries and their values continue, so does ULC's work to promote and preserve libraries as cornerstones of democracy. Ongoing initiatives such as ULC's brand new Democracy Advisory Group boosts members' collective voice on these issues. Read "Cornerstone in a Culture War," from ULC Director of Democracy and Community Impact Shari Henry about this work and how ULC continues to look forward.

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Democracy in Action Webpage

Every ULC library — in small and large ways — is organizing and contributing to civil discussions and programs that support a strong democracy. To best learn from one another, ULC is collecting descriptions of your efforts and making these available on our "Democracy in Action" webpage.

To add your library's initiatives to this page, send a completed template form to ULC Communications Manager, Elise Calanni. The template will prompt you for all relevant information.

Learn More


"The Future of Human Agency" Webinar | Pew Research Center and ULC

Thursday, March 30, 2023 at 11 a.m. ET

Join the Pew Research Center for a new webinar on libraries and AI, sponsored by ULC. Pew Research Center's Lee Rainie will lead a discussion with Boston Public Library President David Leonard and Toronto Public Library Senior Services Specialist Fiona O'Connor about the important canvassing of AI authorities of a fascinating and possibly world changing topic. How can libraries anticipate the changes ahead? Will they be small or large changes? What opportunities have or might arise?


  • Lee Rainie, Director, Internet and Technology research at Pew Research Center
  • Fiona O'Connor, Senior Services Specialist in Digital Literacy Initiatives, Toronto Public Library
  • David Leonard, President, Boston Public Library
Learn More


Our ULC Member Job Board is regularly updated as we learn of new positions that are open at our member libraries. Once you are logged into your ULC member account, you can access the Job Board link on the left side under “Member Hub.” And, if you have a job posting at your library, please email and we will gladly add it to the Job Board!

The latest job postings:

  • Librarian I (Children And Teen Services) – Palm Beach County Library System
  • Assistant Director, Capital Projects & Facilities Services - LA County Library
  • Computer Lab Assistant (West Vegas Library) - Las Vegas-Clark County Library District

ULC's Member Knowledge Exchange makes it easy for our members to build relationships and share transformative tools and ideas with ULC library leaders across North America. If you have a resource you'd like to share with other member libraries, please email

The latest resources:


ULC Public Safety & Operations Officers

Member Group Call

March 29 | 4-5 p.m. ET


ULC Development Professionals Call - Library Foundations and Advocacy

Member Group Call

April 5 | 3-4 p.m. ET


ULC Analytics and Tech Leaders Call

Member Group Call

April 13 | 2-3 p.m. ET


Evaluating Summer Programs Webinar

Summer Learning Boot Camp #4

April 20 | 2-3 p.m. ET


Save the Date: 2023 Annual Forum

This October 25-27, 2023, ULC will convene our member community to engage in expert-led discussions and activities to elevate our shared understanding of the challenges our library leaders face to develop best practices and strategies to best serve our staff and patrons. Registration will open later this year.

The location of the 2023 ULC Annual Forum will be announced at this year's Innovations Celebration in April!


American Library Association

There were 1,269 demands to ban or restrict library materials in 2022, the highest number of attempted #BookBans since ALA began compiling data more than 20 years ago.

Read the Tweet

Iowa City Public Library

A recent article in The Gazette features Sam Helmick, a librarian at the Iowa City Public Library, who is fighting for all books — even the one that "hurt [their] feelings."

Read the Tweet

Hoboken Public Library

Hoboken Public Library held its first Community Resource Fair this week to commemorate National Social Work Month.

See the IG Post

St. Louis County Library

A new video campaign from St. Louis County Library shows the impact that earning a high school diploma through the library can have.

See the IG Post

Questions? Want to Submit a Story?

Contact ULC's Director of Communications Paul Negron at

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