This Week at ULC

Newsletter | March 8, 2023


Submissions for ULC’s 2023 Innovations Initiative are rolling in and the March 17 deadline is fast approaching! If you haven’t already, please submit an Innovation (or several) to any of our 8 categories! Each entry should feature library programs, initiatives and transformative ideas that have either launched in 2022 or achieved significant breakthroughs during that time.

Reminder: Anyone can submit an Innovation, but all submissions must be approved by the library's director.

And we are happy to share that member libraries who are named as a Top Innovator this year will earn ONE FREE REGISTRATION to ULC’s Annual Forum October 25-27! The location of the 2023 ULC Annual Forum will be shared at this year's Innovations Celebration in April.

Submit Now

Check out some highlights of the submissions so far!


How Libraries Can Encourage Positive Community Experiences for Disabled People

Oak Park Public Library

Oak Park Public Library's Shelley Harris writes about programming, collections and outreach strategies that public libraries can adopt to encourage positive experiences for disabled community members. By creating welcoming spaces and engaging programming, patrons can learn the importance of disability advocacy and pride.

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With the sheer amount of great work coming from ULC's Member Groups and action teams, we have had so much to share on the ULC website over the last months. In an effort to streamline the content on ULC's website, we have made some updates to the flow of our pages. You can now find our various initiatives and resources within "Our Work," divided among six categories: Anti-Racism and Digital Equity, Democracy, Education, Library Leadership, Workforce & Economic Development and ULC Action Teams.

If you have any questions about the new layout, please feel free to reach out to


Making Climate Change Education a Priority in San Diego

San Diego Public Library

Over the weekend, the San Diego Central Library offered a workshop to teach residents about the city’s climate action plan, which aims to zero out greenhouse gases by 2035. The event is the first in a series called Our Climate, Our Future slated to run through April at various libraries in the city. The city’s climate plan, adopted in 2015, hopes to provide 100 percent renewable power by 2030. The plan calls for increasing the number of people driving electric vehicles by installing new charging stations and pursuing other incentives. 

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Student Trustee Opportunity in Anne Arundel County

Anne Arundel County Public Library

The Anne Arundel County Public Library Board of Trustees recently voted to create a Student Trustee position for a rising junior or senior in the county. The board hopes to create an opportunity for leadership and governance experience, while also being able to gain insight from the new member's perspective on library offerings. The new Student Trustee will serve a one year term.

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Building Black in Vancouver

Vancouver Public Library

The Vancouver Public Library recently hosted an event called " Building Black British Columbia with Social Media," moderated by Dr. Handel Kashope Wright, the director of UBC's Centre for Culture, Identity and Education. The discussion focused on how the Black community uses social media to share the continuity of its history, celebrate, and connect online. In a city where Black people have been displaced, the speakers emphasize the importance of building community and the importance of community care. 

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Talking "Books Unbanned" on Late Night Lit Podcast

Brooklyn Public Library

Brooklyn Public Library's Chief Librarian Nick Higgins was just a guest on the Late Night Lit podcast — a podcast from Late Night with Seth Meyers — to discuss the creation and success of BPL's Books Unbanned initiative. To date, the library has issued over 6,000 e-library cards to young people in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico.

"[As a teenager] you walk into one of the places that you may find some comfort and you're welcomed in this space — this public library," Nick explained. "But even in that space, you can find that ostensibly responsible adults are choosing books that speak to you and removing them from the public view. What that says to a young person is that you have no business belonging in this community. It really is not only about removing books, its removing the right of certain people in a community to live freely."

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Born out of the Annual Forum and to highlight the components outlined in the Declaration of Democracy, ULC launched its newest team, the Democracy Advisory Group, on February 27. The group will build upon work completed by the Democracy Working Group and respond to the ongoing efforts to restrict the freedom to read and limit equitable access to information.

The group is made up of library executives, including directors, deputies, and equity and inclusion officers. They will contribute to an action brief and toolkit, and advise on training, all to be shared with ULC membership at large.


Finally, if your library hasn’t yet signed on to the Declaration, we hope you can be part of making this happen! Please let us know if you’d like more information.

Sign the Declaration


This May, the Urban Libraries Council is launching the CEO Roundtable in partnership with the New York Public Library. ULC will host the CEO Roundtable May 7-9, 2023, at NYPL to help directors/CEOs navigate the challenging landscape they are facing. As library leaders, it’s essential to grow and hone in on the business and leadership skills you’ve acquired throughout your career. 

This exclusive event will offer library directors/CEOs the opportunity to engage and participate in intimate and interactive discussions that offer solutions to current challenges that can make a lasting impact within your library and community. 



As proven by the tireless work of ULC's members, North America's public libraries are dedicated to protecting democracy. That's why ULC is a proud Champion Partner of National Civic Learning Week, happening right now. National Civic Learning Week is dedicated to making civic learning a nationwide priority for a stronger democracy.

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 V - Palm Beach County Library System
  • Literacy Services Manager - Las Vegas-Clark County Library District
  • Program Manager II - Berkeley Public Library

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 Analytics and Tech Leaders Call

Member Group Call

March 9 | 2-3 p.m. ET


ULC Collections Leaders Call

Member Group Call

March 9 | 3-4 p.m. ET


ULC Communications & Marketing Call

Member Group Call

March 15 | 3-4 p.m. ET


ULC EDI Officers Call

Member Group Call

March 15 | 3-4 p.m. ET


STEM Planning in Summer

Summer Learning Boot Camp #3

March 15 | 3-4 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!


Kansas City Public Library, Free Library of Philadelphia

As part of a Library Super Bowl wager with the Kansas City Public Library, the Free Library of Philadelphia's President and Director Kelly Richards made good on his promise to host a special storytime wearing Kansas City Chiefs gear!

See the IG Post

Milton Public Library

The Milton Public Library is now offering passes to the Art Gallery of Hamilton, which has a collection over over 10,000 objects curated over 100 years.

Read the Tweet

Lexington Public Library

The Fayette County Public School system is partnering with Lexington Public Library to bring the Classroom on Wheels to branches after Preschool Storytime!

Read the Tweet

Poudre River Public Library District

The staff at Poudre River Public Library District's Old Town Library got some great community feedback this week.

See the IG Post

Questions? Want to Submit a Story?

Contact ULC's Director of Communications Paul Negron at

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