THURSDAY, July 2, 2015
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ULC Webinar: Partners for Education --- Strategic Coalitions for Early Learning
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
9-10 am PT | 10-11 am MT | 11 am-12 pm CT | 12-1 pm ET

  • Harriet Coalter, Director, Richmond Public Library
  • Patricia Hein, Parent Education Coordinator, Richmond Public Library
  • Dr. Thad Williamson, Director, Office of Community Wealth Building, City of Richmond
  • Ron Fairchild, Senior Consultant, Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

"Like many modern challenges, education takes a village - a well-coordinated network of government, businesses, and formal education institutions committed to improving education outcomes."

This quote from ULC's Leadership Brief: Partners for Education describes how important it is for public libraries to play a key role in local community coalitions focused on addressing critical education outcomes. With the increased awareness of and attention towards the importance of early learning and early literacy, there are growing efforts by municipalities across the country to coordinate services and deliver the best-possible interventions to children and parents.

Join your colleagues from the Richmond Public Library, along with Director of the City of Richmond's Office of Community Wealth Building, Dr. Thad Williamson, as they discuss their joint work to improve early childhood education opportunities in Richmond and the key contributions of the library. Joined by Ron Fairchild from the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, presenters will share details about the critical contributions libraries are making towards achieving early education outcomes. They will also share the successes and challenges of building and becoming part of the community's early learning coalition and the key to sustaining the work.

Click here to register.  

ULC-Edge Webinar: Edge 360 --- Success at All Stages of Participation in Edge
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
11 am-12 pm PT | 12-1 pm MT | 1-2 pm CT | 2-3 pm ET

Since Edge launched in 2013, 87 ULC member libraries completed the Edge Assessment and engaged the Edge Toolkit. This session will provide a unique opportunity for both current and potential ULC Edge users to learn from the experiences of libraries at all stages of participation in Edge. Participants will gain a better understanding of the need to continually assess and improve public access technology. Presenters will also share the importance of using quantifiable data to demonstrate both library value and library need, as well as cultivating and maintaining relationships with community partners.

Registration for the webinar is complimentary.

Click here to register. Learn more about the Edge Initiative here
ULC Announces the 2015 Top Innovator Award Winners  

The 2015 ULC Top Innovators and Honorable Mentions were announced and awarded at the first-ever Innovations Celebration, held at The Tech Museum of Innovation on June 25.

Guests included ULC members from all over North America and Megan Smith, United States Chief Technology Officer from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Ms. Smith gave great praise to ULC for providing public libraries with a platform to share, collaborate and promote their day-to-day work and community efforts. In addition to her remarks, Smith shared a letter from President Barack Obama about the value, strength and dedication of ULC libraries. Read the letter here and CONGRATULATIONS, ULC Members!

This year's ULC Innovations ranged from high school students tutoring elementary school students for credits, to matching library programs to community based organizations in order to further assist in meeting neighborhood needs.  


To read all of the submissions of the 2015 Innovations Initiative, visit the Innovations page on the ULC website.

ULC Members and Partners Gather in San Jose to Discuss: High Tech, High Touch, High Trust

The Urban Libraries Council convened a meeting this past week of the nation's leading public libraries to showcase their capacity for community leadership, innovation and transformation. The 2015 ULC Annual Forum, held June 25-26 in San Jose, centered on the theme "High Tech, High Touch, High Trust," and explored how emerging technology and shifting socioeconomic trends impact the library as a highly trusted and valuable public institution.

The Annual Forum led a series of interactive sessions and lively panels that featured experts both within and outside the library field, including keynote speakers: Dr. Moira Gunn, host of NPR's Tech Nation; Doug Lipp, head of Disney University; and Chip Heath, author of
Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

ULC Members also heard from a panel of tech leaders: David Leonard, Interim President of Boston Public Library, Georgia Lomax, Executive Director of the Pierce County Library System, Parker Hamilton, Director of Montgomery County Public Libraries and Vickery Bowles, City Librarian for Toronto Public Library. During the High Tech discussion, library speakers discussed the advances they are making for their communities, the partners they collaborate with to implement these advances, and the importance of keeping ahead of the curve by acting as technology leaders for their communities. In addition, civil rights activist Alvin Sykes sat down with Kansas City Public Library director Crosby Kemper for a High Trust discussion about his life and work in unsolved civil and human rights abuses, emphasizing the critical role that the library played throughout his journey for social justice.

In observance of Independence Day, the ULC offices will be closed on Friday, July 3.

San Francisco Public Library Becomes First
10 Gigabit Library in the U.S.

San Francisco Public Library (SFPL), the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC), and the City and County of San Francisco recently announced that they have collaborated to provide unprecedented direct connection at 10 gigabits per second access speed to CENIC's California Research and Education Network (Cal REN) and from there to the world.  


SFPL accesses city-owned fiber for the connections, which is a 10 Gigabit connection to its main library at 100 Larkin Street and 1 Gigabit at seven branch libraries, with plans to connect all 27 branch libraries at this speed. 

Learn more about SFPL's new broadband service here.

Louisville Free Public Library Welcomes New Director

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has named James L. Blanton the new Director of the Louisville Free Public Library. Blanton will replace interim director Lisa Sizemore, who took over in November of 2014 following the retirement of Craig Buthod.

Blanton has served as Director of the Daviess County Public Library since 2012 and previously spent 12 years with the Chesapeake Public Library in Virginia. He has led a number of innovative library initiatives throughout his career, including the recent ePublish or Bust program, which connects libraries across the state in an effort to support aspiring and published independent authors.

Learn more about Blanton's career here.

Libraries Engaging Youth in Learning Outside the Classroom    

The National Afterschool Association (NAA) recently shared a number of resources that libraries can use for tips on working and connecting with children and teens in Out-of-School Time (OST). Libraries provide a space for young people to engage in self-directed learning and collaborative exploration that can be tailored to their specific interests and skill sets, filling the education gap between home and school. Among the resources provided is the recording of a Google hangout featuring experts discussing how libraries collaborate with and create partnerships with out-of-school time youth organizations. 
View the NAA resources here.
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