This Week at ULC

Newsletter | March 1, 2023


ULC'S 2023 Innovations Initiative is now open, and there are just a few weeks left to submit! Showcase your “new” and “next” programs, partnerships, events and strategies by submitting today.

To help prepare your submission, view our Innovations FAQs and delve into our 2023 Innovation Categories Brochure. Approved submissions will be posted live to the ULC website within one week of their submission. ULC will announce the Top Innovator and Honorable Mention award winners in each category during a virtual event later this spring.

The deadline for submissions is March 17, 2023. Each entry should feature library programs, initiatives and transformative ideas that have either launched in 2022 or achieved significant breakthroughs during that time. Reminder: Anyone can submit an Innovation, but all submissions must be approved by the library's director.

Submit Now


Libraries are not Neutral

ULC President and CEO Brooks Rainwater

Introducing a new recurring blog series: "From the CEO," a monthly message from ULC's President and CEO Brooks Rainwater. This month, Brooks writes to members about the importance of resilience as North America's libraries face increasing challenges. Though it seems there are frequent attacks on libraries, there is reason to be optimistic and continue to share our stories of impact with ULC peers.

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. 



Mark your calendars! 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! Stay tuned to ULC's social media, website and newsletter for additional details.

For questions about this year's Annual Forum, please contact ULC's Membership Executive and Senior Advisor Colleen Morsli at


Committing to Indigenous Programs and Services for new Ādisōke Library

Ottawa Public Library

Ottawa Public Library has received a major gift from BMO to its fundraising campaign for the new Ottawa Central Library at Ādisōke. The donation of $100,000 over five years will go towards Indigenous programs and services. The development of Ādisōke has been a true collaboration between the library and the Anishinābe Algonquin Host Nation — which gave the name for the facility — and the further Indigenous community.

"Developing Indigenous services and programs are a major focus for Ottawa Public Library as we continue to work with the Algonquin Anishinābe Host Nation and the urban Indigenous community to advance reconciliation,” said Chair of the OPL Board, Councilor Matthew Luloff.

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Celebrating 50 Years of Hop Hop in Queens and Beyond

Queens Public Library

Queens Public Library (QPL) has announced it has partnered with more than 30 organizations around the country - including libraries, museums, colleges, universities, and archives - to commemorate the 50th anniversary of hip hop and to recognize its global artistic and cultural impact since its birth in the Bronx. "Collections of Culture: 50 Years of Hip Hop Inside Libraries, Museums and Archives" will be a six-month celebration, funded through a $267,760 grant from IMLS.

"We are thrilled to share our experience with libraries, museums and other educational institutions across the country to celebrate hip hop's 50th anniversary, and we are grateful to the Institute of Museum and Library Services and to our partners for their tremendous support in making sure that hip hop remains part of our culture for generations to come," says QPL President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott.

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Going Fine Free in Harris County

Harris County Public Library

Last week, the Harris County Commissioners Court unanimously approved a proposal by the Harris County Public Library (Texas) to eliminate late fees! HCPL previously waived late fees in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, but this policy is now permanent. “We want to remove barriers and ensure that our collections and services are available equitably,” HCPL Executive Director Edward Melton said. “A late fee should not keep someone from the information and resources that can literally change their lives for the better.”

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Supporting Women Storytellers in Hartford

Hartford Public Library

Just in time for Women's History Month, Hartford Public Library is hosting workshops, a Literary Art Wellness Retreat and other literary programming as part of a new project to support women in the Greater Hartford area in writing and publishing their own narratives. This project was made possible as part of a partnership with Hartford’s L.I.T, and Every Kinda Lady Co., as well as a $25,000 grant from the Cornelia T. Bailey Foundation. Workshops for adults and teens will be held throughout the winter and spring of 2023.

Learn More


Security in Libraries: Finding the Right Fit for Your Community

Mid-Continent Public Library

Hear from Mid-Continent Public Library's Director of Security Dustin Koopman about how to ensure safety and security in public libraries. No library has the same needs as another, so Dustin offers guiding questions and a framework for understanding the importance of safety and security in each library's environment.

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Meet Michelle Hamiel, ULC's Director of Racial Equity and Community Impact. Michelle joined ULC last year, having previously served as Prince George's County Memorial Library System's chief operating officer, leading the mission, vision, innovation and operations of the library's 19 branches and the county detention center. You can reach Michelle 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:

  • Division Manager of the Integrated Library System (ILS) - Houston Public Library
  • Electronic Resources Manager - Las Vegas-Clark County Library District
  • Supervisor Librarian (Adult Services) – 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 Analytics and Tech Leaders Call

Member Group Call

March 9 | 2-3 p.m. ET


ULC Collections Leaders Call

Member Group Call

March 9 | 3-4 p.m. ET


ULC Communications & Marketing Call

Member Group Call

March 15 | 3-4 p.m. ET


ULC EDI Officers Call

Member Group Call

March 15 | 3-4 p.m. ET


STEM Planning in Summer

Summer Learning Boot Camp #3

March 15 | 3-4 p.m. ET



Toronto Public Library

Toronto Public Library has just launched the Book Sanctuary collection — 50 books that are frequently challenged or banned.

Read the Tweet

Austin Public Library

Last weekend, Austin Public Library hosted the "Eat the World" culinary event for Cooking Day!

Read the Tweet

Columbus Metropolitan Library

Columbus Metropolitan Library is celebrating 150 years this year. CEO Pat Losinski joined "The Confluence Cast" podcast to highlight the special celebration on March 4.

Read the Tweet

Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library

The Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library is teaming up with the Topeka Zoo for "BonteBOOK Club." Zookeepers are reading to Monty the Bontebok to get him acclimated to people!

See the IG Post

Questions? Want to Submit a Story?

Contact ULC's Director of Communications Paul Negron at

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