This Week at ULC

Newsletter | August 24, 2022


Lessons Baltimore 2022

Growing Your Business Services to Improve Your Local Economy

Baltimore | September 21-23

Strengthening communities is the business of libraries — and growing your library’s business offerings is key to improving your local economy. Powered by strong connections with local businesses and entrepreneurs, libraries are in a prime position to expand their impact and expand outcomes that benefit their communities. Join ULC library leaders for our pivotal Lessons from the Field event in Baltimore where we will explore how libraries can equip themselves to be the business leaders of tomorrow.

During this conference, you will learn how to:

  • Develop key techniques to push your business services to the next level
  • Tell your library's business story to local leaders and key decision makers 
  • Measure the value of your library’s business resources and impact on your community

Participants will have a chance to hear success stories from ULC's Entrepreneurship cohort at interactive sessions held at Baltimore County Public Library and Enoch Pratt Free Library. We thank Gale Cengage for sponsoring this in-person event.

"Public libraries are essential to the economic vitality of their communities – serving jobseekers and job creators alike, and in particular fostering opportunity for the vulnerable and underserved. I am proud of the BCPL team who support entrepreneurs and small business owners through innovative and meaningful strategies. I invite others engaged in the work of community building and economic transformation to participate in this special ULC event, where we can share best practices, develop good ideas, and learn from each other. We are stronger together and our communities win when we harness the collective power of libraries."

— Baltimore County Public Library CEO Sonia Alcántara-Antoine

“I am excited to welcome Urban Libraries Council members back to Baltimore for this important session. At the Pratt, workforce development is a big part of what our customers turn to the library for, whether they are starting their own business, taking their career to the next level or building skills in a new field. The library plays an integral role in Baltimore’s business community.”

— Enoch Pratt Free Library President & CEO Heidi Daniel



The Library, Democracy and You

Urban Libraries Council

In our recent blog post, ULC's Carsyn Fessenden explores the pivotal role that libraries play in civil society and democracy. Learn more about how the public library creates a distinctive partnership between the government and civil society that is essential.

Learn More

ULC’s Member Hub makes it even easier for you to build relationships, develop your professional skills and share transformative tools and ideas with ULC library leaders across North America. The platform is available at

Members can access key resources on the left side of the homepage under “Member Hub.” For assistance with accessing or using ULC’s Member Hub, please email [email protected].

Our ULC Member Job Board is regularly updated as we learn of new positions that are open at our member libraries.

The latest job postings: 

  • Librarian, Children and Teen Services – Sunnyvale Public Library
  • Assistant Commissioner of Technology Content and Innovation — Chicago Public Library
  • Employee and Labor Relations Manager — Prince George's County Memorial Library System

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 [email protected].

The latest resources: 

Access the Member Hub
Fine Free Image People Linking Arms

Going Fine Free in Iowa City

Iowa City Public Library

Iowa City Public Library’s no-fine policy now applies to everything on loan at the library. ICPL previously eliminated overdue fines on books for children and young adults in May 2019. “Creating financial barriers to public library use is counterproductive and goes against the library’s mission to encourage more use, not less,” ICPL Director Elsworth Carman said.

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Offering Culinary Apprenticeships in Rochester

Rochester Public Library

Rochester Public Library is home to Foodlink Community Café, which is a “pay-it-forward cafe” to battle food insecurity. This cafe opened last year in downtown Rochester, N.Y. with the goal of offering yearlong classroom and hands-on training to prepare chefs from low-income and marginalized backgrounds for professional culinary careers. “Our program is over 85% people of color and over 60% women. We want our graduates to lead kitchens throughout our community,” said Director of Career Empowerment Jessica Scannel.

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Providing Health Resources at the Hospital in Vaughan

Vaughan Public Libraries

This year, Vaughan Public Libraries celebrates the one-year anniversary of the Mackenzie Health Vaughan Library. The branch, situated at Mackenzie Health’s Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital, provides health literacy programming, resources for new families and access to the library’s physical and digital collections, programming and events.

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Watch the Virtual Awards Ceremony

St. Louis County Library

On Thursday, August 25, we encourage all ULC members to cheer on St. Louis County Library as they receive their 2022 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor given to libraries and museums that make significant and exceptional contributions to their communities! St. Louis County Library is one of three libraries chosen for the award this year. The event will be streamed live on the IMLS YouTube channel at 3 p.m. ET.

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August 25
ULC Customer Experience Leaders
Member Group Call
August 25 | 3-4 p.m. ET
August 29

ULC Education Leaders

Member Group Call

August 29 | 2-3 p.m. ET

September 1

ULC HR Leaders

Member Group Call

September 1 | 3-4 p.m. ET

September 14
ULC Communications and Marketing Leaders
Member Group Call
September 14 | 3-4 p.m. ET

November 16-18, 2022

DC Public Library, Washington, D.C.

This November, the 2022 ULC Forum will convene our member community in Washington, D.C. Details and registration information are forthcoming!


New York Public Library

New York Public Library held their second "Anti-Prom", with the theme being "Bronx Rising."

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Shreve Memorial Library

At Shreve Memorial Library's North Caddo Branch, they've been making awesome custom t-shirts.

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San Diego Public Library

San Diego Public Library's booth was a hit at the Festival of Books, with hundreds of visitors meeting Odi the Coyote.

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Free Library of Philadelphia

Check out Free Library of Philadelphia's blog post about Black-owned businesses to honor National Black Business Month.

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Questions? Want to Submit a Story?

Contact ULC's Director of Communications Paul Negron at [email protected].

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