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Two Librarians & A Microphone

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#OnTheRoadULC: Interview with ULC President/ CEO Susan Benton

Learn how President and CEO of Urban Libraries Council, Susan Benton, sees the ULC leading forward and how it is encouraging libraries to do the same for their communities.


#OnTheRoadULC: Featuring Montgomery County Public Libraries

The REAL Program, coordinated by the Jewish Council for the Aging’s Heyman Interages Center, the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and Montgomery County Library, helps children and families make good use of time while waiting for HHS services at four County offices. It provides community book collec­tions, information resources on literacy and healthy habit development for caregivers; and guidance on using the public library.


#OnTheRoadULC: Featuring Howard County Library System

Looking for a way to build on its educational mission, Howard County Library System saw an opportunity with the upcoming renovation and expansion of its Elkridge Branch. The dark, drab building was transformed into the DIY Education Center, offering a collection of tools such as baking pans, home improvement tools, and hiking poles. The program also included participatory classes for members of the community to gain experience and see professionals use the tools need to build a wall, change...


#OnTheRoadULC: Featuring Broward County Library

We sit down with the Director of Broward County Library, Kelvin Watson, to discuss their award-winning program, BCLFit Wellness Centers. This pilot program launched to combat cultural, physical and economic barriers that interfere with healthy choices and active lifestyles and has been recognized by the Urban Library Council (ULC) as a 2018 Top Innovator in the Health, Safety and Sustainability category. The Wellness Centers are designed to nurture a healthy lifestyle for 200 families...


#OnTheRoadULC: Featuring Providence Public Library

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, by 2020 there will be 1.4 million computer science jobs in the United States, and only 400,000 qualified candidates. Rhode Island assessed the need of computer science skills in their community and made it a priority to integrate programs into every K12 classroom. With the ability and agility to respond immediately, Providence Public Library launched Rhode Coders and Data Navigators programs for adults and teens to address the workforce and...


#OnTheRoadULC: Featuring Kansas City Public Library

Tune in to hear how Kansas City Public Library (KCPL) took action when several accidental shooting incidents involving children in their community kept happening due to improperly stored weapons in private homes. KCPL collaborated with Moms Demand Action and the Kansas City Police Department to offer a non-partisan program, Be Smart Safe Gun Storage. Police provided free gun locks to anyone who asked – no questions asked – and information sessions were offered to patrons at two library...


#OnTheRoadULC: Featuring Edmonton Public Library

The Voices of Amiskwaciy is a digital, public space that shares and preserves the power of indigenous stories. It encourages community members to discover and create this type of digital storytelling online and further the reach and spirit of reconciliation. Fun Fact: Amiskwaciy is a shortened version of amiskwaciy-wâskahikan, which translates to "Beaver Hills" in Cree, referring to the Edmonton region!


#OnTheRoadULC: Featuring San Mateo County Library

San Mateo Public Library has transformed the dreaded annual self-review into a process empowers and motivates their many employees. Through the implementation of weekly check-ins and transparent communication, employees are more satisfied and higher performing. With 93% of their employees feeling valued in the workplace, the library can truly live up to its greatest potential...and your's can too.


#OnTheRoadULC: Featuring Ottawa Public Library

When Ottawa Public Library identified a need in their eBook offerings, they negotiated a secondary Express eBook platform to improve their patrons' loan options. Express eBooks now contribute to about six percent of their eBook checkouts and it continues to grow with a higher turnover. Lesson learned: sometimes two really is better than one!


#OnTheRoadULC: Featuring Spokane Public Library

Move over Jimmy Fallon! Lilac City Live is a “late” night talk show hosted in a custom-built performance space in the Spokane Downtown Library. Featuring musical performances, stand-up comedians and interviews with local authors, artists, and celebrities, Lilac City Live as transformed the Downtown Library into a lively, multi-generational community destination, attracting an average of 300 people to each show.


#OnTheRoadULC: Featuring San Jose Public Library

San Jose Public Library, located in one of the most diverse cities in the nation, expanded their Partners in Reading program to better serve the unique needs of their community. Their adult literacy program, Empowerment Through Writing, gives adults who read below ninth grade level a chance to improve their reading and writing skills. By participating, learners are able to share their story, put their words to paper, and present their narrative in an emotional and powerful event during...


#OnTheRoadULC: Featuring Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library

Tampa-Hillsborough overhauled its existing, antiquated staffing model to reflect the realities of today’s services. By taking a critical look at a "day in the life of a librarian," they were able to bring more clarity to job descriptions, empower staff through career growth and allow a broader access to benefits. Tune in to hear how their focused efforts increased customer satisfaction and saved the library $780,000!


#OnTheRoadULC: Featuring Pima County Public Library

Pima County Public Library evaluates their Code of Conduct to separate consequences between youth and adult; aligning with youth developmental milestones and cognitive markers. This would address the issue of high-needs youth being disproportionately suspended. The Library trained staff, community partners, and youth to co-create alternatives to traditional disciplinary actions. The effort has reduced suspensions of minors by nearly 75% to date.


#OnTheRoadULC: Featuring Austin Public Library

As a public awareness tool, social media can be used to assist libraries with communication, visibility, and exposure. Tune in to hear how Austin Public Library’s citizens proactively raise awareness of the public library through their Social Media Ambassadors Program, including how APL engages with the community and encourages ambassadors to spread library initiatives. #APLambassador


#OnTheRoadULC: Featuring DC Public Library

There’s something magical about accessing past memories. The staff at DC Public honed in on that important facet of storytelling when they realized that gentrification might erase some of the landscape many of their residents found familiar. In an effort to help their community preserve personal memories and local history, they developed the Memory Lab Network, where patrons can access the tools/ training needed to digitize their records.


#OnTheRoadULC: Featuring Lexington Public Library

Lexington Public Library in Kentucky doesn’t let a snow day stop them from getting the job done. When they identified snowy days as the perfect opportunity for fun instruction time, the team decided to create fun and engaging online content that could reach parents, no matter what digital platforms they preferred. Listen is as they discuss the online snow day learning activities they created for parents and guardians to replicate with their kiddos in the comfort of their own homes.


#OnTheRoadULC: Featuring Hartford Public Library

During episode 4 of our #OnTheRoadULC road trip, we sat down with top innovators Noma Naficy and Beverly Redd to discuss their workforce and economic development programming at Hartford Public Library in Connecticut. Building upon an already strong immigrant programming framework, in order to further immigrant integration into the community fabric, the team launched their Immigrant Career Pathways Initiative three years ago. By partnering with other community agencies, the local school...


#OnTheRoadULC: Featuring San Francisco Public Library

When San Francisco Public Library recognized approximately 50% of 3rd and 4th graders in their community were not reading at grade level they decided to step up immediately. Tapping into the need across their community to assist struggling young readers with developing learning and reading strategies, they developed the FOG (Free Orton-Gillingham) Readers program. Led by their learning differences librarian, Laura Lay, and built upon the expansions of their adult literacy learning programs,...


#OnTheRoadULC: Featuring Los Angeles Public Library

As a community resource for all members of society, libraries play an integral part in building the thriving and diverse country we have now. To help new community members successfully become integrated into American society, LA Public has developed the New Americans Initiative. By stationing six centers across library branches in order to expand access to information, services, and resources among immigrant community members, library employees working in conjunction with community-based...


#OnTheRoadULC: Featuring Brooklyn Public Library

Like the start of many great ideas, Amy Mikel conceived the concept of Teacher Lab in 2014 while promoting a completely different initiative to local Brooklyn teachers. She quickly discovered that teachers had many questions about the library, the available resources, and how they could use this information to better equip their students. With the steadfast support of her forward-thinking team at Brooklyn Public Library, Amy elevated Teacher Lab from a small experimental program, to a...