The Urban Libraries Council (ULC) unveiled it’s second round of Top Innovators at its annual member meeting, held June 25 in New Orleans during the American Library Association’s (ALA) annual conference.
The programs and strategies identified range from improvements and internal operations to outreach programs, partnerships, branding, and more.
The 11 Top Innovators, by category, are:
- Civic Engagement: Calgary Public Library, AB, for its Civic Literacy programming.
- Collections: Johnson County Library, KS, for its work initiative to streamline materials handling that resulted in $130,390 in annual savings, and more, in the first year.
- Economic & Workforce Development: Houston Public Library for its WeCAN Works program to prevent high school drop-out, support GED attainment, and provide digital literacy and workforce skills training.
- Education: Chicago Public Library, IL, for its YOUMedia teen learning space.
- Health, Wellness & Safety: Pima County Public Library, AZ, for its Refugee Health Fairs.
- Literacy: Pierce County Library System, WA, for its Our Children Are Ready for Reading program to help raise the teaching skills of in-home daycare providers.
- Operations: The San Francisco Public Library for its Gen PL: The Next Generation of Library Leaders internal leadership training program.
- Organizational Change: Edmonton Public Library, AB, for its highly regarded rebranding effort that puts “We Share” at the heart of the library.
- Positioning the Library: Springfield City Library, MA, for its A Brighter Future for Springfield Today strategic planning effort.
- Sustainability: Greensboro Public Library, NC, for its building of the Kathleen Clay Edward Library as the first library to be an Environmental Education Center.
- User Experience: Orange County Library System, FL, for its Right Service at the Right Time e-government interface.
Such awards help identify models for librarians to adapt to local settings, but they can also act as a powerful advocacy tool when taken back home, noted Miami-Dade Public Library’s Raymond Santiago, outgoing chair of the ULC board. Recipients agreed, thanking ULC for “giving us a platform to share our story,” said one, and vowing, said another, to bring the award back home to show the mayor on Tuesday.
“Libraries make us all stronger”
ULC also named the recipient of the 2011 Urban Player award, James E. O’Donnell, president of the board of the Bridgeport Public Library, CT. He was honored for his leadership in turning around the library’s budget outlook, most notably with winning a 2009 referendum to establish a dedicated a 1-mill tax. “This is a gentleman we all need in all of our communities,” said Santiago.
The ULC meeting had energized him to confront the problems that still exist in Bridgeport, O’Donnell said, accepting the award. “I can rethink what is a joke in Bridgeport: In Bridgeport only the strong survive, and libraries make us all stronger.”
|Data-Driven Libraries: Navigating Options & Measuring Outcomes: Librarians today are facing the inescapable reality that data is slowly beginning to govern much of what they do, and they need to determine the most constructive way to deal with this ocean of information that a growing number of software companies and applications are making available. Sign up for this free webcast series to learn innovative data-driven solutions that will help you navigate through the data to create viable plans for your library's future.|