ULC Member News

Newsletter | June 7, 2023


Public Libraries as Critical Spaces for Convening

Brooks Rainwater, ULC President and CEO

"The public library is increasingly valued as a place of convening, a physical space that connects the community. Perhaps this feeling of connection is one we had all been lacking in the wake of COVID-19. It is clear that as public spaces come back to life in this “post-pandemic” era, libraries continue to adapt to what the community needs."

Whether it is creating a space for wellness, civic discussion or remote work, public libraries are providing valuable opportunities for convening. Read more from ULC President and CEO Brooks Rainwater in his June CEO message.

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Libraries as Spaces for Innovation and Productivity

Perhaps more than ever before, the public library is rapidly gaining popularity as a “third-place,” a flexible, high-quality space that allows patrons to complete deep work or other intended actions.

“Libraries as Spaces for Innovation and Productivity” explores the importance of libraries as places of congregation, and offers recommendations for ways to emphasize the value of libraries as spaces for innovation and productivity. Read the White Paper now, and explore the work that libraries like Richland Library, The New York Public Library and the Free Library of Philadelphia are doing to promote libraries as integral community space.

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ULC Annual Member Business Meeting | Virtual

June 15 | 4-5 p.m. ET

You are invited to the ULC Annual Member Business Meeting Thursday, June 15 at 4 p.m. ET!

During this meeting, members will hear from CEO Brooks Rainwater and ULC Executive Board members on the current state of the organization, focus areas and upcoming events. Members will also vote on the proposed 2023-2024 ULC Executive Board Slate and proposed revisions to the ULC bylaws. 


 All members are encouraged to participate. Please register in advance.

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Tim McDonald Appointed as New Director of Pasadena Public Library

Pasadena City Manager Miguel Márquez has announced the appointment of Tim McDonald as the new director of Pasadena’s Department of Libraries & Information Services. McDonald has been with the City of Pasadena since 2016 and has served as acting director since February 2022.

“I am honored and humbled to have been selected by the city manager to lead the Pasadena Public Library," said McDonald. "I am fortunate to have an amazing team in place to support our future endeavors and generations who have grown up in our libraries.”

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Maria Bernhey is New City Librarian & Director of New Haven Free Public Library

“It is an incredible honor to be named City Librarian of the New Haven Free Public Library. I take great pride in working alongside a library team that is immensely passionate about their work and dedicated to serving and strengthening our community,” said incoming City Librarian Maria Bernhey. 

In her new role, Bernhey will be responsible for leading NHFPL in its mission to foster lifelong learning, inspire curiosity, and build community through shared access to resources, experiences, and opportunities for all.

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ULC Libraries Launch New Barbershop Books Programs

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Shreve Memorial Library

Over the weekend, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and Shreve Memorial Library celebrated the launch of their Barbershop Books, Inc. programs, funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services! This initiative is part of a national partnership between ULC and Barbershop Books. READ MORE.

PGCMLS Kicks off Pride with New Banned Book Club

Prince George's County Memorial Library System

The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System has launched its Rock Banned Book Club. The club will feature monthly discussions of the 13 top banned books from 2022, most of which focus on LGBTQ-specific themes. READ MORE.

June Jubilee: A Celebration of Black Excellence

Los Angeles Public Library

This Saturday, June 10, the Los Angeles Public Library is hosting the inaugural celebration “June Jubilee: A celebration of Black Excellence” to mark the Juneteenth Holiday. The Jubilee was curated by Changing Tones, one of the Library’s racial equity and inclusion groups, as a way to honor and share with all Angelenos the contributions and culture of African Americans throughout the history of Los Angeles and the nation. READ MORE.

Calgary Kicks off Indigenous History Month with Laughter

Calgary Public Library

"For Indigenous people, laughter is medicine." Calgary Public Library kicked off a month of programming for Indigenous History Month with a comedy show from Sherry Mckay, an Ojibway Anishinaabe comedian. READ MORE.


Creating Youth Opportunities Convening

June 1-2 | Washington, D.C.

Last week, ULC hosted the Creating Youth Opportunities Convening in Washington, D.C., which brought together about 15 equity-focused thought leaders from ULC member libraries across the U.S.! Together, we spent two days learning from each other and exploring the role of libraries in supporting youth at risk of incarceration.

We also heard from our friends and partners at the Walmart.org Center for Racial Equity, Cities United, The Aspen Institute, the D.C. Departments of Victim Services & Justice Grants and Youth Rehabilitation Services and Roanoke College. Thank you to all speakers and attendees for bringing your expertise and energy to this event!


To highlight the efforts of partners in Summer Learning and enroll more students, NSLA has launched the 3rd annual DiscoverSummer.org national advertising campaign. The website has family resources and lists 50,000 program options in all 50 States.

Also, get ready for National Summer Learning Week on July 10-14. Check out NSLA's partner social media kit and family resource guide!

This year's daily themes include: Love of Literacy & Learning, Amazing Arts, Wonders of Wellness, Health & Sports, STEM, Community & Leadership.

Learn More


Library Forward offers a full complement of design services spanning a library’s entire lifecycle—from visioning, strategic planning, needs assessment, and branding, to interior design, signage, furniture services, and more. Known to many librarians and ULC members simply as “Group 4”, Library Forward is born out of Group 4’s library-specific expertise and reflected in the firm’s full name: Group 4 Architecture, Research + Planning, Inc.

Learn More


Questions? Want to Submit a Story?

Contact ULC's Communications Manager Elise Calanni at ecalanni@urbanlibraries.org.

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