WEDNESDAY, May 11, 2016
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ULC Webinar: Coming Together - How Skokie Public Library is Addressing the Topic of Race
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
9-10 am PT | 10-11 am MT | 11 am-12 pm CT | 12-1 pm ET

For many of us, race and racism are not easy topics to address, yet the Skokie Public Library, along with local partners, found a way to start the difficult conversation and engage the community by weaving aspects of the topic into day-to-day activities and programs.

Listen in on May 18 as Skokie Public Library and one of its partners, Niles Township High Schools District 219, discuss Coming Together: Voices of Race, a community program that provides residents the chance to weigh-in and share their thoughts and feelings on racism through events like reading groups, open discussions, exhibits and workshops that address and explore the topics of race and social equity.

During the webinar, the Skokie Public Library team will share the lessons and practices they used to create the program and discuss how they prepared their staff to lead mindful, respectful and responsible community programs. You will also hear about the community's participation and engagement and learn how the library gained program acceptance. The team will discuss the tactics they have used to maintain the momentum of the program and keep the conversation fresh and ongoing.

Register today to participate and receive a recording to share with staff!

ULC Member Group Calls

ULC @ 2016 ALA Annual Conference
  • ULC Annual Member Breakfast
    Saturday, June 25, 2016, 8:00-9:30 am ET

    ULC members are invited to join us hear updates from the ULC leadership, review the slate of ULC Member Candidates and elect the new board, and connect with your peers. For more information, please contact Katherine Behrens.

2016 ULC Annual Forum 
ULC Libraries: Getting to the Evidence
October 5-7, 2016
Kansas City Marriott Downtown - Kansas City, MO

Urban libraries, like results-oriented organizations in all sectors, need the right language and data to understand and ensure that our work is meeting the goals we've set for ourselves. Join us at this year's ULC Annual Forum as we focus on exploring and developing a framework that we can all use to describe the outcomes and impacts that we create for the individuals and communities we serve - both at the local and national level.

Visit the ULC website to learn more and register by June 1, 2016, to lock in the discounted early bird rate!

If you have questions, please contact Katherine Behrens, ULC Member Programs Executive.
ULC, NCFL Release New Leadership Brief on Family Learning in Libraries

ULC is excited to announce the release of our newest Leadership Brief, Libraries Supporting Family Learning, which builds on our partnership with the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) to increase awareness of the role that libraries play in creating opportunities for families to learn together. 

With its sustained commitment to a lifetime of learning and its stature as a trusted community hub, there is no better resource for families learning together than the public library. Libraries Supporting Family Learning explores how learning environments with engaged families can improve education outcomes and includes five action strategies that libraries can implement to expand these opportunities in their communities. This Leadership Brief can be used with school and early childhood educators, business and community leaders, as well as elected officials who may not understand the special role libraries serve in helping young parents and family members become their children's first and best teacher.

Libraries Supporting Family Learning highlights successful family learning initiatives led by ULC members Fort Worth Library, Nashville Public Library, Richmond Public Library, San Mateo County Libraries, Calgary Public Library, Madison Public Library and Providence Public Library.

Read NCFL's Hotspot for Families Learning blog to learn more about the publication. Visit the ULC website to download Libraries Supporting Family Learning and other ULC publications.

Lexington Public Library Re-imagines Summer Reading Program for the Community 

This summer, Lexington Public Library is redesigning its 60-year-old summer reading program to create an interactive and engaging learning experience that is more community-oriented, more educational, and more varied in its offerings. The program, known as Discover Summer, allows patrons of all ages to earn points by participating in library activities and programs, visiting community partner sites, and reading throughout the summer.

Community partnerships allow the library and stakeholders to come together and build a learning ecosystem that supports students through the summer months. A partnership with the school system provided students with Student Success library cards that also allow them to receive special discounts and coupons at partner sites in the community. The Lextrans public transit system also provides free bus rides along special routing maps aligned with programming to break down transportation barriers and help participants explore their community.

One of the most innovative aspects of the program is the Library's partnership with author Alane Adams and Artifact Technologies to incorporate the mobile gaming app Battlekasters into its program. Battlekasters, based on Adams' Legends of Orkney series, weaves together gaming, reading and learning by turning library branches and the city of Lexington into a living game board. Visiting special "beacon" sites lets players earn points in the summer program and video game, learn about library resources, and receive special coupons and event notifications while visiting program partner sites.

The Library will also host a series of special STEM activities for young people through hands-on Discovery Labs, LEGO programs and coding classes.

Visit the Lexington Public Library website to learn more and view the full list of Discover Summer events.

Kent District Library Supports U.S. Troops with Book Donations

While public libraries play an important role in providing services and resources to patrons within their communities, Kent District Library (KDL) recently took it an extra step further by shipping print and digital resources to troops serving overseas.

In March, KDL worked with Sergeant Richard Lovegrove of 1-182nd Field Artillery Regiment (FAR) to shore up his troops' sparse book collectionas a means of boosting morale and providing entertainment while separated from their homes and loved ones. An initial shipment of three boxes of books, audiobooks and KDL swag more than doubled the company's collection and a second shipment of 200 books is scheduled for July.

Click here to read the full story.

The 2016 ULC Innovations Initiative opens on Wednesday, June 1!

Visit the ULC website to view the latest updates and past library innovations. 
E-RATE 2016:
Libraries and consortia should note that they will not notice any differences in the EPC system when the 2016 E-rate window for schools closes on May 26, 2016, and their new window opens. All EPC screens and data entries will remain unchanged. The second filing window for libraries and consortia will close on July 21, 2016.
The weekly calls with ULC members and state E-rate coordinators will continue to be held every Tuesday at 2 pm ET through the end of the new July window for consortia and libraries.

If you would like to join the calls or would like a live demonstration of any sections of the EPC, please contact Katherine Bates. 
FCC Releases Lifeline Modernization Order
On April 27, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released the FCC Lifeline Modernization Order, which will expand the Universal Service funded Lifeline Program to include broadband subsidies to qualifying low-income households beginning December 1, 2016. This Order is the first step in a process that will include operational activities, plans and initiatives over the next several months.

The broadband adoption gap among low-income households has been long-established, but the Lifeline program is the first sustained federal effort to bridge that gap by addressing the monthly cost of service. The Lifeline program currently provides a monthly $9.25 subsidy for voice telephone service to over 13 million low-income households.

While the modernized Lifeline program is targeted toward addressing cost, the FCC recognized that cost is only one barrier to adoption and is also launching a digital inclusion campaign that will accelerate its digital literacy and outreach efforts. Over the next six months, the FCC's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau will develop a Digital Inclusion Plan to address the non-price barriers to broadband adoption. The plan will engage consumer groups, community and philanthropic organizations, local government, and industry stakeholders to explore strategies to increase the availability of affordable service and equipment, digital literacy training, and programming as the Lifeline broadband program is implemented. Opportunities for libraries to contribute and participate will be available.

Thank you to Connected Nation for providing a summary of the Order and comprehensive list of FAQs. For future updates, check the ULC website or contact Katherine Bates.

American Libraries Releases 2016 Library Systems Report

American Libraries recently released Library Systems Report 2016, which analyzes major shifts and business developments in the industry of library technology and service products. The technology infrastructure of a public library system can play a large role in how conveniently and efficiently it services patrons, particularly considering how digital resources and content delivery services continue to evolve. From high-profile mergers to innovations in web-based platforms and open source software, this detailed report provides public libraries with an overview of industry trends to inform decisions around library technology.

Apply for the 2016
Toyota Family Teacher of the Year Award!

Monday, May 16, is the last day to nominate an educator for NCFL's Toyota Family Teacher of the Year award, which recognizes community education leaders dedicated to improving literacy educational outcomes among youth and adults. This initiative is an excellent opportunity to showcase innovative education initiatives and highlight the role that libraries play as community centers for lifelong learning.

The grand-prize winner will receive a $20,000 grant to further ongoing family engagement efforts. One runner-up will receive $5,000. Both individuals will be officially announced in Detroit, Mich., on October 19, 2016, at the Families Learning Summit.

The deadline for nominations is 11:59 p.m. EDT on May 16, 2016. Click here to learn more and nominate an educator in your community!
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