This Week at ULC

Newsletter | February 1, 2023


We are excited to announce that ULC’s 2023 Innovations Initiative will launch on February 16! Starting in 2010, ULC's annual Innovations Initiative has recognized and raised the visibility of cutting-edge programs, strategies, tools, techniques and ideas from ULC’s entire membership. The awards program provides libraries a tremendous opportunity to tell your story and gain recognition for the huge impact you’ve made in your communities.

Entries will be open February 16 - March 17. Stay tuned to ULC Communications for information about the 2023 categories and review these frequently asked questions to prepare for your submissions.

ULC looks forward to receiving submissions from each ULC library!

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This week, ULC released our latest white paper, “Food is a Right: Libraries and Food Justice,” which addresses the current state of food insecurity across North America and the strategic role libraries play in addressing local needs. Included in the paper are descriptions of programs, services and activities leading libraries are implementing and recommendations for other library leaders to follow in ensuring their community is nourished.

Thank you to the members of the ULC Libraries and Food Security Cohort for participating in the initiative and contributing to this report!

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ULC Members Celebrate Black History Month

Boston Public Library, Hamilton Public Library, Nashville Public Library

In celebration of Black History Month, public libraries across the U.S. and Canada are engaging their communities in activities and critical conversations about Black history and culture, and shedding light on the structural racism and bias that is deeply embedded in our societies.

Throughout the month, ULC joins this celebration by highlighting member library voices and work. We invite members to submit Black History Month stories by emailing To start off, we are sharing some member programming that highlight Black authors and local history:

Boston Public Library: Boston Public Library kicked off its Black History Month celebrations with the release of its annual “Black Is…” booklist, which this year features 75 titles published in 2022 that “commemorate the achievements, complexities, struggles, and culture of the Black experience,

Hamilton Public Library: Hamilton Public Library has compiled a list of reading recommendations that honor the legacy of Black Canadians. The list includes fiction, as well as books that explore the histories, art and cultures of Black Canadians. Hamilton will also host art exhibitions and author talks.

Nashville Public Library: Throughout Black History Month, Nashville Public Library is promoting its renowned Civil Rights Room — a space devoted to the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement in Nashville. The room holds the library’s Civil Rights Collection, an extensive catalog of books, artifacts, photographs and oral histories from the Civil Rights Movement.

Pictured: Pioneer Library System Executive Director Lisa Wells at the January 29 session at LibLearnX.

Addressing Learning Loss Through Partnerships

Pioneer Library System

At ALA's recent LibLearnX conference in New Orleans, Pioneer Library System joined Noble Public Schools for session called "A+ Outreach: Collaborating to Address COVID Learning Loss." This session outlined how the local school system partnered with the library for a virtual schooling pilot program of tutoring and enrichment. Julie Curry, Principal of John K. Hubbard Elementary School was joined by Lisa Wells, Executive Director of PLS.

“It isn’t that rigid, one-on-one tutoring that you might think of or kids might dread. It’s fun,” said Kelly Sitzman, panel moderator and director of communications and employee development at PLS. 

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Boosting Early Literacy in Vancouver with $150K Grant

Vancouver Public Library

The Vancouver Public Library will expand its early literacy programs thanks to a recent $150K grant from the Simon K Y Lee Foundation. The three programs to benefit from this grant are Alligator Pie, Mother Goose and Inclusive Storytimes — programs designed to reach families facing disadvantages that impact over 10,000 children and their caregivers.

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Celebrating the 12th Annual Take Your Child to the Library Day

Hartford Public Library

Hartford Public Library is celebrating Take Your Child to the Library Day (TYCLD) on February 4! Take Your Child to the Library Day is an international initiative that encourages families everywhere to take their children to their local library and raises community awareness about the importance of the library in the life of a child. This awareness day launched in 2011 in Connecticut by librarians Nadine Lipman (Waterford Public Library, retired) and Caitlin Augusta (Stratford Library) with artist Nancy Elizabeth Wallace.

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Meet Femi Adelakun, ULC's Director of Research and Data. Femi joined ULC in December and is already an invaluable addition to our team. You can reach Femi by emailing

Stay tuned for more video introductions from the ULC team in the coming weeks!


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:

  • Reference Librarian (Grants) - Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library
  • Library Manager - Youth Services - Dakota County Library
  • Community Technology Center Supervisor - Denver Public Library

ULC members can now access the 2023 CEO Member Directory through the ULC's Member Knowledge Exchange. The directory features the name, title and contact information of each library director in ULC.

If you have a resource you'd like to share with other member libraries in the Knowledge Exchange, please email


ULC EDI Officers Call

Member Group Call

February 6 | 3-4 p.m. ET


ULC Analytics and Tech Leaders Call

Member Group Call

February 9 | 2-3 p.m. ET


ULC Social Workers Call

Member Group Call

February 13 | 4-5 p.m. ET


Working with Middle School Students

Summer Learning Boot Camp #2

February 16 | 2-3 p.m. ET


ULC Education Leaders Call

Member Group Call

February 20 | 2-3 p.m. ET



The National Civic League's 2023 All-America City Awards application is live and open for submissions. This year's awards will recognize communities that are working to improve the health and well-being of young people, with particular attention to efforts that engage young people in this work. The 2023 awards seek to identify communities that are breaking down barriers to meaningful youth participation and enacting programs that will improve quality of life for youth, and, by extension, all members of the community. Deadline is February 15.

Learn More


April 27-28, 2023 | Columbus Metropolitan Library

Library Journal Public Library Safety Summit

How can public libraries provide physically and emotionally safer and more secure environments for patrons and staff while protecting their privacy and maintaining open, equitable, and welcoming spaces?

Library Journal invites library directors, chief librarians, security heads, HR leaders, facilities directors, public service leaders and and other stakeholders in library safety to join peers from major North American library systems to learn about best practices from within and outside the library field. We’ll explore and workshop effective approaches and real-life examples, as well as address legal, technical, policy, staffing, and training challenges.



Skokie Public Library

Skokie is encouraging problem solving skills with their magnetic STEM wall — check it out!

See the IG Post

Grand Rapids Public Library

In honor of Black History Month, Grand Rapids Public Library is sharing a recent discovery of "magic lantern" slides showing the early Tuskegee Institute.

Read the Tweet

Richmond Public Library

Richmond Public Library (Va.) is celebrating its 100th anniversary with a traveling exhibit exploring its history.

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Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library

Check out the kudos that the Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library received from a patron.

Read the Tweet

Questions? Want to Submit a Story?

Contact ULC's Director of Communications Paul Negron at

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