2016 Annual Forum Highlights

This October, ULC library leaders from across North America gathered together in Kansas City, Missouri for the 2016 ULC Annual Forum: ULC Libraries - Getting to the Evidence. This year's Annual Forum — the largest in ULC history — brought together library teams, partners, and local and national leaders, to explore innovative strategies and initiatives that ULC libraries are using to measure and demonstrate community outcomes.

Kicking off the program with welcoming remarks from Crosby Kemper III, Director of The Kansas City Public Library, the Annual Forum featured engaging presentations from experts both within and outside the library field, spotlights on cutting-edge member programs, and productive working group conversations to help ULC members build their "evidence" skills. Discussion topics ranged from developing library return-on-investment (ROI) and impact studies to learning how to craft effective library stories.

In addition to a series of panels and discussion groups, ULC members also got a sneak peak at clips from Free for All: Inside the Public Library, an upcoming PBS documentary on the history of American public libraries and their role in modern society.

On Thursday, October 6, ULC recognized its members’ most impactful programs and leaders during a special Innovations and Awards Celebration at The Gallery, a beautiful event space in the heart of Kansas City's Power and Light District. During the award celebration, ULC announced and awarded the Top Innovators and Honorable Mentions from the 2016 ULC Innovations Initiative. In addition to the 2016 Top Innovators, ULC presented Lynn Williamson, Chief of the Neighborhood Library Services Division for the Free Library of Phildelphia, with the 2016 ULC Joey Rodger Leadership Award and Mayor Don Iveson of Edmonton, Alberta in Canada with the 2016 Urban Leader Award. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation received the 2016 ULC Executive Board Award for its work to advance computers, internet access and other public technologies as vital resources in public libraries across the nation.

Participants from the 2016 ULC Annual Forum lit up Twitter with some great reflections on their conference experience. Check out some of the top tweets shared!