WEDNESDAY, November 4, 2015
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ULC Announces 2015 Leadership Award Winners

ULC announced the winners of the 2015 Joey Rodger Leadership, Urban Leader and Executive Board Leadership awards at a special celebration on October 29 during the 2015 ULC Leaders Partnering for Success conference in San Diego. The awards recognize transformative leadership in individuals that advance the impact and strategic role of public libraries in communities across North America.

Karen Beach, Deputy Director of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation, received the 2015 Joey Rodger Leadership Award. Dedicating over 20 years of service to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Ms. Beach developed innovative outreach initiatives to high-need communities with a strong focus on early literacy, helped build over 130 community partnerships and led the expansion of the Library's community volunteer program.

Former Nashville mayor Karl Dean received the 2015 Urban Leader Award for his work to advance Nashville Public Library's (NPL) role as a vital education institution, supporting investment in the Library and helping position NPL as the central partner in citywide education initiatives.

For the first time, the ULC Executive Board has presented a special Executive Board Award to Reed Hundt, CEO of the Coalition for Green Capital, and John Beahn, Counsel for the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, for their outstanding work with ULC to secure a higher reimbursement rate for urban libraries in the recent modernization of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) E-rate program.

Read the full ULC press release to learn more about our 2015 award winners.

ULC Members and Community Partners Gather in San Diego for a Powerful Discussion on Education and Racial/Social Equity 

This past week ULC convened a meeting of more than 100 attendees in San Diego to showcase what communities can achieve when library leaders, local government and other key civic leaders work together to address critical challenges. The 2015 Leaders Partnering for Success conference, held October 28-30 in San Diego, centered on the theme "Social Innovation: Raising the Bar" and explored how libraries can engage and leverage community partnerships to address issues related to education and racial/social equity.

In her opening remarks on Thursday, ULC President and CEO Susan Benton highlighted the importance of strong, diverse partnerships to help libraries achieve better outcomes in their communities, saying that "innovation never happens in isolation, but in teams." The program continued with powerful presentations focused on framing the core concepts of social innovation in the context of racial/social equity, and how library leaders should take collective action and engage community partners to achieve social and racial equity.

Building on Thursday's discussion, the final day of programming delved deeper into the issue of education. Conversations shone a spotlight on the need to move education beyond a school-centered approach and instead engage public libraries and other vital institutions as partners to create a system of care for all community members.

Stayed tuned for more on Leaders Partnering for Success updates! A full conference summary, session overviews and photos will be showcased on the ULC website soon.

Howard County Library System Celebrates 75th Anniversary with Community Festival  
On October 24, Howard County Library System (HCLS) celebrated their 75th anniversary with a special community festival. "Celebrate 75! A Community Anniversary Fest" drew a crowd of 1,600 to the Library's Miller Branch in Ellicott City, MD and included praise from top elected officials, touting the library as an important education institution in the community. The event also featured a technology petting zoo and an appearance by children's author and Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter Barry Louis Polisar.

The event not only marked the library's 75th anniversary, but also celebrated a new generation of students and library-lovers in an opening ceremony that featured 135 Howard County middle school students who pledged to carry on the HCLS legacy as Guardians of the "Chapters-of-Our-Lives" Time Capsule. The Time Capsule captured items that represent HCLS and the year 2015, with student volunteers pledging to carry the first chapter of the HCLS legacy forward for the next 25 years.

Click here to learn more about the Celebrate 75! campaign.  View a recap of the event's opening ceremony here
Scaling Connected Learning for Teens


Teen participation in Chicago Public Library's (CPL) YOUMedia sites grew by 50 percent in 2014 thanks to the coordinated work of a new teen services team that was created to scale, accelerate, lead, and support CPL's Connected Learning services. Over the past year, the library hired more than 30 new teen library staff, established teen programs in 25 branches, and integrated a summer youth employment program. The teen services team was charged with overseeing hiring, deepening professional development goals and routines for new staff, and designing and delivering expanded teen services.

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

How Public Libraries
Can Support Broadband Adoption

The National League of Cities recently featured a guest blog from ULC and the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) showcasing the role that libraries play in broadband adoption. This post explains how libraries have become an essential partner to achieve success in today's digital environment and highlights the work of Kansas City Public Library and the Kansas City Coalition for Digital Inclusion.

Click here to read the blog post.

Last Chance to Submit Nominations for Library Journal's 2016 Movers and Shakers

The Library Journal Movers & Shakers awards profile 50-plus up-and-coming individuals who are innovative, creative, and making a difference. From librarians to vendors to others who work in the library field, Movers and Shakers 2016 will celebrate the new professionals who are moving our libraries ahead.

Click here to nominate a partner or individual from your library by Friday, November 6, 2015.
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