This Week at ULC

Newsletter | October 19, 2022


2022 ULC Annual Forum: Creating a Place for Democracy

Washington, D.C. | November 16-18

Registration for the 2022 ULC Annual Forum will close on Friday, October 21 at Noon ET. ULC's hotel room block at the Grand Hyatt Washington is completely sold out.

The 2022 ULC Annual Forum: Creating a Place for Democracy invites executive library leaders to Washington, D.C. to engage in expert-led sessions on preserving democracy and cultivating the future of libraries as a central pillar within our communities. Stay tuned to ULC's social media (#ULCForum22), website and newsletter for additional details.

Below is a preview of the speakers that will present at the 2022 ULC Annual Forum.

Brian Bannon

Merryl & James Tisch Director, New York

Public Library

Brian Bannon is The New York Public Library’s first-ever Merryl and James Tisch Director. Bannon is the chief librarian responsible for directing NYPL’s 88 neighborhood branches, as well as the Library’s educational strategy. Most recently, Bannon was commissioner and chief executive officer of the Chicago Public Library, serving as chief library officer for one of the largest urban public library systems in the world. Bannon came to NYPL in 2019 with 20 years of experience in developing and implementing educational programs and leading large-scale operations that maximize impact for all citizens and contribute to a culture of learning, reading, and community learning.

Shamichael Hallman

Loeb Fellow, Harvard Graduate School

of Design

Shamichael Hallman is a social, civic and tech innovator. As a Loeb Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Design for the 2022-2023 academic year, he is exploring how urban design and planning can make for socially inclusive cities and welcoming public spaces. From 2017 to 2022 he served as the Senior Library Manager of the historic Cossitt Library (Memphis Public Libraries). The subject of his work has been featured in PressReader and Smithsonian Magazine. His 2020 TEDx talk "Reimagining the Public Library to Reconnect the Community" garnered international acclaim among library professionals.

Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson

Executive Director, Houston Public Library

Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson's impressive career as a library professional spans over 30 years. A strong and passionate advocate for public libraries, Dr. Lawson is keenly focused on ensuring that they remain highly visible and vibrant organizations that proactively contribute to the quality of life in their communities. She has served as the executive director of the Houston Public Library (HPL) since 2005. Dr. Lawson ensures that HPL is continuously evolving and moving forward a comprehensive, innovative platform of library services and programs to meet the diverse needs of Houston’s residents and the virtual environment.

Join 72 Leading Libraries from Across North America at the 2022 ULC Forum

The following libraries have registered for the 2022 ULC Forum. Ensure your library's voice is heard by registering today.

Alexandria Library

Allen County Public Library

Anne Arundel County Public Library

Austin Public Library

Baltimore County Public Library

Berkeley Public Library

Boston Public Library

Broward County Library

Calgary Public Library

Carlsbad City Library

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

Cedar Rapids Public Library

Chicago Public Library

Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library

Cuyahoga County Public Library

Dakota County Library

Dallas Public Library

DC Public Library

Do Space

Durham County Library

Edmonton Public Library

Enoch Pratt Free Library

Forsyth County Public Library

Free Library of Philadelphia

Greensboro Public Library

Halifax Public Libraries

Harris County Public Library

Hartford Public Library

Hennepin County Library

Houston Public Library

Jacksonville Public Library

Jersey City Free Public Library

Johnson County Library

Kansas City Public Library

Las Vegas-Clark County Library District

Lexington Public Library

Live Oak Public Libraries

Los Angeles Public Library

Louisville Free Public Library

Memphis Public Libraries

Metropolitan Library System

Mid-Continent Public Library

Milton Public Library

Milwaukee Public Library

New York Public Library

Olathe Public Library

Paterson Free Public Library

Pima County Public Library

Pioneer Library System

Poudre River Public Library District

Prince George's County Memorial Library System

Queens Public Library

Richmond Hill Public Library

Richmond Public Library

Sacramento Public Library

Salt Lake City Public Library

San Antonio Public Library

San Diego Public Library

San Francisco Public Library

San Mateo County Libraries

Santa Clara City Library

Sarasota County Public Libraries

Schaumburg Township District Library

Shreve Memorial Library

St. Charles City-County Library District

St. Louis Public Library

Stark County District Library

The Ferguson Library

The Seattle Public Library

Toledo Lucas County Public Library

Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library

Toronto Public Library

Thank You to Our Sponsors!

We thank Ingram Library Services for their generous support of the 2022 ULC Annual Forum Welcome Reception!

We thank Baker & Taylor for their generous support of ULC's 50th Birthday Celebration, which will be held during the Annual Forum.

We thank Group 4 for sponsoring a portion of the 2022 ULC Annual Forum!



Elise Calanni (she/her/hers)

Communications Manager

Elise brings a background of resource development, messaging strategies and audience-based communications to ULC. Prior to joining ULC, Elise sat on the Communications team at Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools and led resource and communication development for inclusion-driven work. Her combination of skills and passion for community programming will drive her work at ULC. Elise holds a Bachelor of Arts in media arts and design from James Madison University.

Learn More


Summer provides a time of tremendous opportunity for youth. However, it is also a time that reveals significant inequities for many, including children and youth of color, and those living in high poverty and with physical or emotional disabilities. On October 24,  the Urban Libraries Council, in partnership with National Summer Learning Association, will issue a Call to Action on Equity in Summer Learning during the National Summer Learning Conference. Join us on November 2 for a webinar to learn more about this initiative to deepen approaches and content in summer learning.

Webinar: ULC Call to Action on Summer Learning

November 2 | 2 p.m. ET

Join us for this upcoming webinar, where we will cover the latest research on learning loss, promising practices and the specifics of the Call to Action, including how your library can get involved to provide more equitable summers for under-resourced youth. We’ll provide details about an upcoming ‘boot camp’ of training webinars to help library teams reach new audiences in their work, engage more fully in their communities, and produce better outcomes for youth through targeted STEM programming for middle schoolers.

Register Now

National Summer Learning Conference 

October 24-26

Join the National Summer Learning Association in Washington, D.C. this October 24-26 at the annual Summer Changes Everything™ conference There is more national attention, resources and investment to support youth-service programs, policies and partnerships than ever before. It is critical for us to connect, reflect and build upon our efforts as we collectively plan to serve millions more youth in 2023.

Register Now


Recap of Lessons From the Field: Growing Your Business Services to Improve Your Local Economy

Urban Libraries Council

Library leaders from 22 ULC member libraries across North America convened in Baltimore, Md. to share and discuss how public libraries can continuously enhance their role as valuable players in the local economy. We thank our gracious hosts — Baltimore County Public Library and Enoch Pratt Free Library — for welcoming us to their beautiful spaces. And we especially thank Gale Cengage for their generous support of this Lessons from the Field event.

Learn More

Providing Hurricane Relief in Sarasota County

Sarasota County Libraries

Due to the flooding caused by Hurricane Ian, Sarasota County residents can apply for help at a FEMA Disaster Recovery Center located at the Shannon Staub Library in the city of North Port in Sarasota County. “People have been so grateful to be able to get back into the libraries for some very practical reasons including to cool off if they don't have air conditioning, to charge their devices and to connect via our internet and our Wi-Fi that is totally free to the public,” said Renee Di Pilato, Director of Library Services for Sarasota County.

Learn More

Granting Transit Riders Free eBooks in Columbus

Columbus Metropolitan Library

Columbus Metropolitan Library partnered with the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) to offer transit customers instant access to e-books and e-audiobooks – even without a library card. The free Read and Ride program allows customers with smartphones to scan signs displayed inside COTA vehicles, using its complimentary onboard Wi-Fi to access thousands of e-books and e-audiobooks. “We know that regularly visiting our 23 library locations can be a challenge for many,” said CML CEO Patrick Losinski. “We are thankful to our partners at COTA for helping us reach central Ohioans where they are and for helping us get library materials into the hands of more people in our community.”

Learn More

Going Fine Free in Broward County

Broward County Library

​​​Late fines will no longer accrue on borrowed Broward County Library materials. Customers will not be fined for items that are returned after the due date and all existing late fines will be removed. “Removing these late fines, while still requiring the items to be returned, allows more people to enjoy our materials for education, enrichment and inspiration,” said Broward County Library Director Allison Grubbs.

Learn More


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 [email protected] and we will gladly add it to the Job Board!

The latest job postings: 

  • Children and Teen Librarian I – Palm Beach County Library System
  • Programs and Partnerships Division Manager – Austin Public Library
  • Assistant Library Director – Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach

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

ULC Analytics and Tech Leaders

Member Group Call

October 20 | 2-3 p.m. ET


ULC Customer Experience Leaders

Member Group Call

October 20 | 3-4 p.m. ET


ULC Education Leaders

Member Group Call

October 31 | 2-3 p.m. ET


Call to Action on Equity in Summer Learning

National Webinar

November 2 | 2-3:30 p.m. ET

November 9

ULC Communications and Marketing Leaders

Member Group Call

November 9 | 3-4 p.m. ET




Wallace Foundation

The Wallace Foundation is seeking expressions of interest from groups of organizations that are working together to promote youth development, are seeking financial support to strengthen their work and can help them determine new directions for their Learning and Enrichment programs. Each group of organizations selected will receive grants averaging $200,000 for a year of work, as well as access to other supports such as peer learning and technical assistance.

Learn More

Wichita Public Library

A lovely couple stopped by Wichita Public

Library to print their marriage certificate application!

Read the Tweet 

Brooklyn Public Library, New York Public Library & Queens Public Library

New York libraries received $20 million through tech partnerships with, Best Buy Foundation and Joly Family Foundation!

Read the Tweet

American Society of Association Executives

ULC was honored at the ASAE Summit Awards Dinner on September 29 in Washington, D.C.

Read the Tweet

LA Public Library

Check out the LA Public Library’s viral tweet that explains their feelings about this Dodgers season.

Read the Tweet

Questions? Want to Submit a Story?

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

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