WEDNESDAY, November 18, 2015
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Hartford Public Library Receives Funding to Boost Citizenship Initiatives

Often referred to as "the great equalizer" in communities across North America, the public library provides all members of the community equal access to information and opportunity, regardless of their backgrounds. Hartford Public Library (HPL) is cementing its role as a vital hub of opportunity for new Americans thanks to a $16,000 grant from Boston-based Project Citizenship to strengthen and expand services that help immigrants become U.S. citizens. The grant will cover the cost of providing free legal counseling for citizenship applicants and help combat immigration services scams.

HPL is also the first and only institution in Connecticut to receive a Project Citizenship award. In recent years, the Library has become a shining example of how libraries can engage and support local citizenship initiatives. In 2010, HPL became the first public library to receive funding from the U.S. Citizenship and Integration Services (USCIS) to expand programs in Hartford, as well as the first library to apply for and receive Board of Immigration Appeals recognition and staff accreditation in 2013.

Click here to learn more about HPL's Project Citizenship grant.

Sno-Isle Libraries Explores Future Innovation in First TEDx Event 

On November 6, Sno-Isle Libraries held its first TEDx event onstage before a packed 700-seat auditorium in the Edmonds Center for the Arts. During the event, 23 speakers ranging from engineers to musicians explored the theme "Creating New Futures" through a series of creative and engaging presentations. The event was webcast live and shown at locations throughout Snohomish and Island counties.

The TEDx program is designed to help local communities, organizations and individuals spark  connections and conversations on innovative topics through events similar to the popular TED Talk series. TEDxSnoIsleLibraries was such a success that Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory, Executive Director of Sno-Isle Libraries, announced that the Library plans to hold another TEDx event in 2016.

"All of these audiences will have experienced what a library is and what we offer our communities," Woolf-Ivory wrote in a blog post. "Because, at its essence, TEDx is a library without walls providing ideas worth spreading."  

Click here
to learn more about the TEDx event.

King County Library System Claims Victory in a Battle of the Book Sorters   

Last Tuesday, King County Library System (KCLS) reclaimed their 2015 National Library Sorting title after a friendly, yet heated, book-sorting competition with New York Public Library (NYPL). KCLS clinched the title by sorting 12,572 books in one hour, just narrowly beating NYPL's count of 12,371.

The idea for the annual competition came about when staff from NYPL visited KCLS a few years back to view their automated materials-handling system, eventually installing their own in their Queens distribution center. The two libraries have been holding the competition since 2010, with KCLS taking back the lead with a 3-2 record this year. The competition even garnered national media attention from The New York Times and was featured in a segment on NBC Nightly News.

Click here to learn more and view a behind-the-scenes look at the friendly feud.

Anythink Libraries Leads Culture of Learning Indoors and Outdoors

A recent article from The Denver Post highlights how Anythink Libraries is helping children and patrons create a culture of learning both within and outside of Library walls through its federal and state park initiatives, as well as onsite nature education programming.

Last month, Colorado State Library and Colorado Parks and Wildlife launched the pilot program Check-Out Colorado State, which provides Anythink and seven other public libraries with special passes and equipment to encourage Coloradans to visit and explore their state parks. Each library received two seven-day park passes that came with a backpack filled with maps, brochures, binoculars, and other materials to use during visits to Colorado's 42 state parks. The pilot program also includes ULC members Aurora Public Library and Denver Public Library.

In addition to the state program, fourth graders can also visit Anythink Libraries to check out park passes to over 2,000 federally-managed parks through the nationwide Every Kid in a Park campaign.

Click here to read the full article. 
The Green Teen Garden Project @ Cupertino Library


Teens in Cupertino replace their smart phones and tablets with rakes, seeds, and soil for four months to develop gardening and sustainability skills. The Santa Clara County Library District's Cupertino Library Green Teen Garden Project teaches these new skills through a four-month, hands-on program led by library staff and veteran gardeners. Participating teens learn best gardening practices and green living skills by maintaining a self-contained, organic garden located inside the library's courtyard. After two years of operation, the project has produced 40 teen eco-enthusiasts and donated more than 45 pounds of fresh organic vegetables to people in need.

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

Gale and California State Library Team Up For Diploma Program

The California State Library and Gale, a part of Cengage Learning, recently partnered to lead a statewide pilot program that offers accredited high school diplomas and career certificates at more than 30 libraries across California, including 13 ULC member libraries.
The educational service, known as Career Online High School, provides online classes and academic coaching to integrate non-traditional and/or adult learners back into the educational system and prepare them for jobs in growing sectors of the economy.

Click here to learn more about the program. 
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