This Week at ULC

Newsletter | April 19, 2023


On Thursday, April 27 at 4 p.m. ET, we invite you to join your peers and pals for ULC’s Innovations Celebration! This year’s virtual program will showcase the year’s Top Innovators and Honorable Mentions with special video highlights. We will also hear from ULC’s President and CEO Brooks Rainwater. Plus, tune in to find out the fantastic location of ULC's 2023 Annual Forum, being held later this year on October 25-27, 2023. 

Note: Only those libraries that are selected as a Top Innovator or Honorable Mention will be contacted prior to the Celebration. Those that are not selected will not be notified.


Join us as we recognize and support the best and brightest library Innovations of 2023!



NADOHE 2023 Inclusive Excellence Awards

Dr. Mary J. Lomax-Ghirarduzzi

Last Friday, ULC Board member Dr. Mary Lomax-Ghirarduzzi was honored by the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education with the 2023 NADOHE Individual Leadership Inclusive Excellence Award. Each year nominations for the Inclusive Excellence Awards are submitted on behalf of higher education administrators, scholars and institutions who are leaders in the study of diversity by means of research, leadership and service. 

“This year’s winners have demonstrated an impressive commitment to transforming higher education so that all may thrive on our campuses — a commitment NADOHE shares," NADOHE President Paulette Granberry Russell said. "At a time when diversity, equity and inclusion is needed more than ever, it is vital that we lift up the excellence of our colleagues and celebrate their successes.”

Congratulations, Dr. Lomax-Ghirarduzzi, on this incredible achievement!

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Lexington Public Library Goes Fine Free

Lexington Public Library

Effective April 12, the Lexington Public Library is now fine free for all materials! Not only will library customers no longer incur fines for late, damaged or lost library materials, but the library has also forgiven all current, outstanding fines. This change is to address the equity barriers that overdue fines can impose on those most in need.

“This is our way of removing any reading barrier that we can to help increase childhood literacy and improve library access in Lexington,” said Library Executive Director Heather Dieffenbach. “Fines can potentially be an obstacle that disproportionately impact people without the means to pay. Removing these fines will allow more people to enjoy our materials for education, enrichment, and inspiration.”

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PLA Elects Michael Lambert as 2024-2025 President

San Francisco Public Library

The Public Library Association (PLA) has announced the results of its 2023 Election, and ULC is proud to see that multiple new PLA leaders are ULC members! PLA members elected Michael Lambert, City Librarian of San Francisco Public Library, to the office of 2024–2025 PLA president. “I’m deeply honored to be the next president-elect of the Public Library Association and stand on the giant shoulders of the phenomenal leaders who have been advancing the mission of PLA,” said Lambert upon learning the outcome of the election. “Public libraries anchor our communities and contribute to the resilience of towns and cities with essential programs and services."

Also elected to the PLA Board were Alameda County Library Deputy County Librarian Deb Sica and Richland Library's Chief Equity and Engagement Officer Tamara M. King to the roles of ALA Division Councilor and Director-at-Large, respectively. Congratulations to these ULC members!

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Early Equity Kits Receive Overwhelming Response 

Pasadena Public Library

The Pasadena Public Library's Early Equity Kits for children have been a huge hit in the community! The reading kits feature a selection of curated resources that celebrate differences in race, nationalities, body types and other social issues. There are 30 kits to choose from, with topics including body positivity, happy Black families, sadness and grief, kindness, celebrating East Asian families, gender and more.

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Supporting Volunteerism Among Older Adults

Barrie Public Library

In partnership with CONTACT Community Services, the Barrie Public Library has launched a campaign with Community Connection to support older adult volunteerism throughout the region. The new Volunteer Connection online platform connects older adults to meaningful volunteer opportunities and is designed to support those looking to make new friends, learn new skills or apply their expertise to local needs.

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Celebrate Screen-Free Week at Your Library | May 1-7, 2023

Screen-Free Week is a free, annual, global celebration hosted by the non-profit Fairplay that invites everyone to swap their digital entertainment for the joys of life beyond the screen. It is being held this year from May 1-7, 2023! The event is held each year in conjunction with Children's Book Week since reading is a wonderful replacement for screen time.

Libraries are invited to participate by visiting for free resources on how to host a Scnreen-Free Week event at your library — from lists of planning ideas to activity sheets, to sample social media posts to promote your week.

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"How to Support Mental Health and Well-Being In Your Library"

Thank you to those who joined the "How to Support Mental Health and Well-Being in Your Library" webinar yesterday! Pima County Public Library's Heather Severson and Karyn Pretchtel-Altman shared how the library formed its newest affinity team focused on community health and wellness, with the goal of creating an atmosphere that reduces the stigma often associated with mental health.

ULC Members can access the webinar recording and additional resources below.

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ULC is hiring! We are seeking an experienced, motivated Director of Communications who will catalyze action for real impact by developing and leading communications and strategy. This is a hybrid, full-time position. Please share this job posting with your networks or with anyone who may be interested.

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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:

  • Library Manager 3 - Nashville Public Library
  • Fiscal Specialist III - Palm Beach County Library System
  • Manager, Community Branch (Adult Focus) – The Indianapolis 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 EDI Officers Call

Member Group Call

April 19 | 3-4 p.m. ET


Evaluating Summer Programs Webinar

Summer Learning Boot Camp #4

April 20 | 2-3 p.m. ET


ULC HR Leaders Call

Member Group Call

April 25 | 3-4 p.m. ET


ULC Public Safety & Operations Officers Call

Member Group Call

April 25 | 4-5 p.m. ET


ULC Innovations Celebration

Virtual Celebration

April 27 | 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 on April 27!


Toronto Public Library

Going "fine free" means occasionally getting VERY overdue items... a patron recently returned a classical album to TPL 41 years after its due date!

Read the Tweet

Nashville Public Library

Nashville Public Library recently hosted Bogan Computer Tech High School who were on a tour of HBCUs!

Read the Tweet

St. Louis County Library

Over 100 people attended the Community Autism Expo at the St. Louis County Library on Saturday.

See the IG Post

Calgary Public Library

It's National Volunteer Week, and libraries like Calgary Public Library are highlighting their best and brightest volunteers on social.

See the IG Post

Questions? Want to Submit a Story?

Contact ULC's Communications Manager Elise Calanni at

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