This Week at ULC

Newsletter | March 15, 2023


Submissions for ULC’s 2023 Innovations Initiative are due this Friday, March 17 at 11:59 p.m. ET!

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. 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!


"Librarians went into the profession in order to help people [...] and the expectation that you would have this number of book bans impacting libraries is just phenomenal and out of all sorts. We haven't seen anything like this since the McCarthy era."

This Saturday, ULC President and CEO Brooks Rainwater joined The Saturday Show with Jonathan Capehart on MSNBC to discuss how public libraries are standing against book bans, protests against programming and other challenges. They spoke about the devastating impacts of book bans on young readers, marginalized authors and, in particular, librarians across America.



Public Libraries Step Up Help as Food Insecurity Rises


Libraries have always played an integral role in food security. Now, as increased SNAP benefits expire for millions of Americans, libraries are again stepping up to fill the gaps. Governing's new article "Public Libraries Step Up Help as Food Insecurity Rises" explores how ULC Libraries and Food Security Initiative and cohort members like Toledo Lucas County Public Library, Sitka Public Library and Prince George's County Memorial Library System fight for food justice with innovative resources and programs.

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Guiding Public Libraries in Racial Equity to Achieve Racial Justice

Urban Libraries Council

"A racially equitable library will have a framework or a strategic plan with a clear mission and vision. It will lead the organization’s internal and external work and will layout expectations, so all staff understand what is expected of them in the library ecosystem."

In the year 2023, society is still working to dismantle institutional racism and unbalanced systems — even in libraries. ULC's Director of Racial Equity and Community Impact Michelle Hamiel explores what racial equity looks like in libraries today, and what it will take to move from equity to justice.

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Around the World in Seven Libraries

Los Angeles Public Library, Vancouver Public Library

A recent article from Equal Times examines seven libraries around the world and their value as important social infrastructure in the communities they serve. Included in the list are ULC members Los Angeles Public Library and Vancouver Public Library! These libraries provide free and open access to culture that, the author explains, "flies in the face of the dominant consumer capital logic of our age."

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Expanding Social Work in Baltimore Libraries

Baltimore County Public Library, Enoch Pratt Free Library

Baltimore County Public Library and Enoch Pratt Free Library are both expanding their offerings in social work to assist residents in reaching their goals and promoting health and wellness.

Baltimore County Public Library is building upon the success of their initial launch of the Social Worker in the Library program by expanding to the western side of the county. Valerie Greisman, LMSW, will begin to assist customers in 6 additional branches, connecting people to crucial resources like public assistance, counseling, domestic violence support, parenting resources and more.

Enoch Pratt Free Library is also expanding social impact programs. The library is launching new partnerships with institutions like the mayor's office and the University of Maryland School of Nursing to offer additional resources for healthcare, substance abuse assistance and housing.

A Continued Commitment to Literacy in the Library

Memphis Public Library

For the third consecutive year, Memphis Public Library has been awarded an $85K grant from locally headquartered International Paper. The continued commitment of both the library and International Paper to literacy programming will expand existing programs and resources at the 18 branches, such as additional computers and technology, a new Teen Center, literacy events and resources for summer learning, early childhood books and games and take-home learning kits.

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Embracing Technology Hubs and Maker Spaces in Ohio

Cleveland Public Library, Cuyahoga County Public Library

A recent article from Cleveland Magazine put the spotlight on Cuyahoga County Public Library and Cleveland Public Library, as well as Ohio's Madison Public Library, for their expanding programming in technology and innovation. Cuyahoga County Public Library's Innovation Centers are popular spaces where patrons can utilize resources like 3-D printers, lasers, embroidery tools and CNC Rotary machines. Likewise in Cleveland, the library's TechCentral space offers more than 90 computers, a vinyl cutter, laser engraver, 3-D printer and a recording studio with instruments.

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Now introducing: ULC's Digital Equity Toolkit! The Digital Equity Toolkit is an ever-developing resource that was created by ULC's Digital Equity Action Team. The resources compiled within the toolkit give a solid foundation on the topic of digital equity, examples of strong partnerships in the space, successful digital equity programs already in place and data collection and research on the topic.

For questions about our digital equity work, reach out to ULC's Director of Racial Equity and Community Impact Michelle Hamiel.

Learn More


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. 



Meet Matthew Wims, ULC's Project Manager. Matt has been with ULC since 2017 and is responsible for customer service, database management and support for every one of ULC's members. You can reach Matt by emailing


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:

  • Director, Branch Services – Edmonton Public Library
  • Collection Development Coordinator - Stark Library
  • Individual Giving Manager - Seattle 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:


STEM Planning in Summer

Summer Learning Boot Camp #3

March 16 | 2-3 p.m. ET


ULC Social Workers Call

Member Group Call

March 27 | 3-3:30 p.m. ET


ULC Customer Experience Leaders Call

Member Group Call

March 27 | 4-5 p.m. ET


ULC HR Leaders Call

Member Group Call

March 28 | 4-5 p.m. ET


ULC Public Safety & Operations Officers

Member Group Call

March 29 | 4-5 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!


ULC is hiring! We are seeking candidates for the National Program Manager position.

The ULC National Program Manager will catalyze action for meaningful change by strengthening research, engaging with public libraries and capturing data to maximize community impact. This full-time position is located in Washington, D.C. and reports to the Director of Research and Data and Director of Racial Equity and Community Impact.

Learn More


St. Louis County Library

The Rock Road Branch of the St. Louis County Library celebrated Holi with their patrons last weekend with come colorful activities!

See the IG Post

Edmonton Public Library

Young music fans took in performances by several children’s entertainers at the Junior JUNOS Awards at Edmonton Public Library.

Read the Tweet

Fairfax County Public Library

Fairfax County Public Library has announced upcoming educational gardening classes this spring, led by master gardeners!

Read the Tweet

Hamilton Public Library

Three patrons show off their findings from Hamilton Public Library's recent French Book Swap!

See the IG Post

Questions? Want to Submit a Story?

Contact ULC's Director of Communications Paul Negron at

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