2012 ULC Urban Player Awardee

June 22nd, 2012

Los Angeles Public Library Champion Lucy McCoy Named ULC's 2012 Urban Player Award Recipient Recognized for Tireless Advocacy Efforts

Longtime commissioner and champion of the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL), Lucy McCoy was honored with the 2012 Urban Player Award by the Urban Libraries Council (ULC). The award was presented at ULC’s Annual Membership Meeting this morning in Newport Beach, CA.

Each year, the Urban Player Award is presented to an individual who stands out as a strong and effective advocate for the public library. And this year, Ms. McCoy’s commitment to LAPL, first as a commissioner and later as a citizen advocate, was recognized.

“I am deeply honored to receive this award and I accept it on behalf of my many colleagues who have promoted and defended our libraries,” said McCoy. “We are passionate about libraries and recognize them as critical to the life and vitality of the rich fabric of communities that we call Los Angeles.”

McCoy’s advocacy for the Los Angeles Public Library, which serves the nation’s largest population, spans more than 15 years and culminated in 2011 with the passage of ballot Measure L, which reverses the worst cuts in the Los Angeles Public Library’s 140-year history and restores critical hours and services.

This historic measure amends the city charter to increase the library’s share of city funds over four years. McCoy began her work on behalf of LAPL in 1995, with her appointment to the Board of Library Commissioners on which she served for a decade, including seven years leading the board as president. During this time, she effectively engaged library staff, elected officials, Friends of the Library groups and the city’s diverse communities to bring about an unprecedented expansion of library services, technology and facilities.

In 1998, she successfully led a campaign to pass a $178-million bond to replace and expand outdated branches. This launched the largest library building project in the nation resulting in 64 rebuilt branches and nine new branches, all delivered on time and under budget.

In 2010-2011 McCoy served as pro bono chair of a citywide campaign that resulted in the passage of Measure L which substantially increased the LAPL’s share of existing city funds and is now restoring staff and 6-day-a-week service at all 73 libraries and 7-day-a-week service at nine libraries.

“The active engagement of civic leaders, such as Lucy McCoy, as an advocate for public libraries is invaluable. Ms. McCoy’s achievements on behalf of LAPL are truly historic and are a testament to the public’s belief in the value of libraries as a fundamental community resource,” said Susan Benton, President and CEO of Urban Libraries Council.

Lucy McCoy is co-founder and President of Sage Advisors, Inc., a strategic consulting firm for private and public sector clients that conduct business with public entities in the Southern California region. Prior to founding Sage Advisors, Lucy was a co-founder at Garcia, McCoy and Lee, a public affairs advocacy firm specializing in consulting and advocacy services for real estate development projects within the greater Los Angeles area. She has also served on the U.S. Small Business Administrations (SBA) National Advisory Committee, Board of Trustees and Executive Committee of the Board of Brentwood School, the Executive Committee of the California Breast Cancer Research Program, the Foundation Board of the California Science Center and, until recently, was a board co-founder and Executive Committee member of the Beyond Differences Foundation.