WEDNESDAY, August 19, 2015
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October 28-30, 2015 
San Diego, CA

The 2015 Leaders Partnering for Success ---  Social Innovation: Raising the Bar will bring together community thought leaders to discuss and focus on efforts around partnering for social innovation.

ULC leaders are encouraged to come with their school administrators, local government officials, and community leaders from United Way and other key organizations, including local businesses. Guest speakers include Stacey Stewart, U.S. President of United Way Worldwide, Lester Strong, Vice President and CEO of the AARP Foundation Experience Corps, Ralph Smith, Managing Director of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, Emily Kirkpatrick, Vice President of the National Center for Families Learning, and Michael Casserly, Executive Director of the Council of the Great City Schools.

Who will you bring to San Diego this October? View the current list of participating organizations here!

Visit the ULC website to view the conference agenda, speaker bios and more!

ULC Board Member Discusses Innovation in Library Technology and Community Service

How are libraries working to stay relevant in the face of 21st century technology and adapt to a new digital age? Vickery Bowles, ULC Executive Board Member and City Librarian for Toronto Public Library, believes the answer lies in harnessing that technology to reimagine the way libraries provide information and encourage the creation of new and innovative content.

In a recent article from Yahoo! Canada News, Bowles examines the various ways in which Toronto Public Library and many others are taking advantage of digital resources, new technology and a diverse range of community activities to engage patrons. These include "digital innovation hubs," where patrons learn how to use technology for creating and making, as well as broadening the scope of literary and cultural activities to showcase the community and create new partnerships.

Read the full article here.

Indianapolis Public Library IT Director Honored as a Community Tech Leader

The Indianapolis Business Journal and TechPoint, Indiana's technology growth initiative, recently named Indianapolis Public Library Director of Information Technology Services Debra Champ as a recipient of the first-ever Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the Year Award. Champ was selected to receive the award in the category of Not-For-Profit/ Government (Revenue Below $100 Million).

In her capacity as Director of Information services, Champ manages the IT infrastructure and digital services of a library system comprised of 550,000 cardholders with a collection of 1.8 million items. This also involves maintaining wireless capability at the Library's 24 locations where 10,000 unique devices are used each week by patrons to access online services. In addition to guiding the Library's long-term strategic planning around new and emerging technologies, Champ has led efforts to modernize the library's web services, such as audiobook downloads, digital magazines and an Ask-A-Librarian web chat service.

Click here to learn more about Debra Champ and the CTO of the Year award.

ULC Awards Deadline Less Than Two Weeks Away

"ULC has played an important role in my leadership development [...] most recently with the Joey Rodger Leadership Award, which allowed me to attend the Strategic Foresight Course at the University of Houston. This course enabled me to consider how to prepare for the future. Change is not about knowing what things will happen but rather about knowing the possibilities and anticipating when and how change will happen. In today's world, waiting for change is risky; we must instead sense change and respond."

- Lisa Wells, 2014 Joey Rodger Leadership Award Winner

ULC is now accepting nominations for the Urban Leader Award and applications for the Joey Rodger Leadership Award. Both awards recognize transformative leadership that advances the impact and strategic role of public libraries in communities across North America.

The deadline for both awards is Monday, August 31, 2015. Winners will be notified in mid-September and the awards will be presented at a special Awards Celebration during ULC's 2015 Leaders Partnering for Success ---  Social Innovation: Raising the Bar, October 28-30, in San Diego, California. 
Visit the ULC website to view the award guidelines, past winners and apply today!

ULC Welcomes Two New Member Libraries 

We are happy to announce that we have added two new libraries to the ULC family. Please join us in welcoming our newest members, Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library and Berkeley Public Library. We look forward to working with these two libraries and connecting their work to that of our other members and partners!

Rebuilding Libraries for the 21st Century

Drawing on its 2010 long-term facilities plan, Rethinking Libraries for the 21st Century, the Milwaukee Public Library (MPL) transformed how it plans for and replaces branch libraries to provide quality service while saving money and stimulating economic development. Two branches have been replaced as mixed-use developments in which MPL and developers share ownership through a condominium association and a reliable financing structure. Community involvement throughout the development process has led to overwhelming support for the new facilities and increased use of the branch libraries.

"The vision of the Milwaukee Public Library's new strategic plan is to establish MPL as an anchor institution that helps build healthy families and vibrant neighborhoods - the foundation of a strong Milwaukee," said Paula Kiely, MPL Director. "While keeping abreast of changes in technology and the way people use information to feed the mind, we continue to emphasize feeding the soul through inspired public art, repurposed materials, and holding to our tradition of providing a space for our customers to read, learn, and connect."

Click here to learn more about this innovative project. Visit the ULC website to view the complete list of 2015 Innovations.

Pasadena Library Director Finds Colorful Solution
to Summer Reading Challenge


While summer learning initiatives are vital programs for engaging children outside of school and preventing summer slide, what is the best way to get your community excited about these programs? For Pasadena Public Library Director Jan Sanders, the answer was to put her hair on the line.  

This year, Sander challenged her staff to sign up 5,000 individuals for the 2015 Pasadena Summer Reading Challenge, at which point she would dye her hair blue. The staff eventually got over 4,000 participants, who read over 16,300 books. Members of the community cheered the Library on, supporting their work. In honor of her staff's hard work and the excitement in the community, Sanders eventually dyed her hair blue, complete with a promotional bobble head doll. 

Reading Aloud to
Children Boosts
Literacy Skills

A recent study published in Pediatrics, a publication produced by the American Academy of Pediatrics, provides evidence that reading aloud to young children positively impacts their brain development. Specifically, the act of reading aloud to "activates the parts of preschoolers' brains that help with mental imagery and understanding narrative --- both of which are key for the development of language and literacy."

Read the full story here.
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