ULC Member News

Newsletter | September 13, 2023


Just Announced — Keynote and Workshop:

The Urgency of Loneliness & the Opportunity for Libraries

The U.S. Surgeon General recently cited libraries as a foundational pillar to strengthen our social infrastructure and combat loneliness. At the 2023 ULC Annual Forum in Seattle, we will address this urgency of loneliness and how libraries can be part of the solution.  

The Urgency of Loneliness & the Opportunity for Libraries

Thursday, October 25

10:30 a.m. to Noon

Dr. Jeremy Nobel, a Harvard physician, public health practitioner, and poet and founder and president of The Foundation for Art & Healing, will deliver a keynote address and lead a workshop for attendees.

He will address the urgency and opportunity of loneliness for libraries and how library leaders can immediately leverage their people, power, and places to address this crisis using the surprising power of creative expression.

Registration for the Annual Forum is now open. You can also reserve your room at the forum programming hotel, The Grand Hyatt Seattle, through a link on the registration page. Hotel reservations must be made by September 26. 

If you cannot make it to the Annual Forum, Dr. Nobel has a new book coming out on October 3 titled Project UnLonely: Healing Our Crisis of Disconnection. 



The Future is Now: Youth Voices Leading Change

Tuesday, September 19 | 2-3 p.m. ET

As state and local governments increasingly legislate and set policy limiting students’ access to books and information, young people are rising up to say “enough."

Libraries across the United States are finding ways to amplify teen voices in policymaking, ensuring everyone’s right to read and encouraging civic engagement. In ULC's upcoming webinar "The Future is Now: Youth Voices Leading Change," three leaders from across the country will share what they are doing to protect, preserve and advocate for First Amendment rights and freedoms. Hear from experts from Brooklyn Public Library, Los Angeles Public Library and Students Engaged In Advancing Texas.

Don't miss this expert-led panel discussion — See full webinar details and register below.



ULC Libraries Celebrate Library Card Sign-Up Month

It is great to see all the creative ways ULC member libraries are celebrating and promoting Library Card Sign-Up Month to your communities! Stay tuned to ULC's social accounts for highlights. Here are a few of our members' activations:

Jacksonville Public Library: In Jacksonville, Mayor Donna Deegan and the City Council made the awareness month official with a city proclamation, recognizing the importance of the public library.

El Paso Public Libraries: El Paso Public Libraries marked the beginning of Library Card Sign-Up Month with the release of a limited-edition library card featuring a design that celebrates the local spirit and culture of El Paso.

Carlsbad City Library: To promote new library card sign-ups, Carlsbad City Library is taking to social media to share all the benefits of a library card — like thousands of books, apps and e-content.


Teens & Tweens Tackle Loneliness and Conflict Through "Circle Keeping" Program

Milwaukee Public Library

The Milwaukee Public Library is tackling teen loneliness and conflict through the "Circle Keeping" program, a space that seeks to help teens develop the skills needed for a healthy and safe life — and avoids the disciplinary action of banning teens from the library when conflicts do arise. READ MORE.

Joining the Fight Against the Opioid Crisis

St. Louis County Library

St. Louis County Library is the latest library system to announce that it will offer the overdose reversal drug Naloxone, available free of charge at all 20 county library branches. “Individuals who need a kit can request one with no questions asked,” Library Director Kristen Sorth said at the news conference at the Lewis and Clark Branch Library. The branch was chosen for the announcement because it’s in a postal ZIP code with one of the highest number of overdoses in the county. READ MORE.

Making Community Connections at The Kitchen

Edmonton Public Library

At Edmonton Public Library's Stanley A. Milner Branch, community members can take advantage of The Kitchen, a 2,100-square-foot state-of-the-art cooking space. There, the library hosts classes and special events that aim to do more than fill empty stomachs; its larger purpose is to nourish skills, food literacy and community connections. READ MORE.

Bringing Together Fans of All Ages at Third Annual LibCon

Iowa City Public Library

The Iowa City Public Library hosted its third annual LibCon comic book convention this weekend, which brought comic, cartoon, and art lovers of all ages together to enjoy their favorite hobbies. Marking the first LibCon since 2019, comic fans were treated to a convention featuring a wide variety of booths and activities. READ MORE.


From the CEO: The Fundamentals of Learning and Building Community

ULC President & CEO Brooks Rainwater

"As we approach the change of seasons, it is a time to take root in the fundamentals of how libraries encourage lifelong learning and build community. From leading back-to-school programs, providing free entrepreneurial and creative resources and connecting with other leaders in the field, this fall is about laying a strong foundation for the year ahead."

Read ULC President and CEO Brooks Rainwater's full September message by clicking below.

Read More



Johnson County Public Library

Johnson County Public Library in Indiana hosted their annual Cultural Fair last weekend to encourage people to meet their international neighbors.

Read the Tweet

Central Arkansas Library System

CALS celebrated Library Card Sign Up Month with North Little Rock Public Libraries by hosting a Rock, Paper, Run 5K and a Cool Down Afterparty!

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Metropolitan Library System

Metropolitan Library System has premiered a engaging new promo for the system: "Wherever you can imagine, Metro Library takes you there."

View the IG Post

Douglas County Libraries

New library card sign-ups are going strong at Douglas County Libraries in Colorado!

Read the Tweet

Questions? Want to Submit a Story?

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

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