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A Case Study on Public Libraries and Economic Vitality

How are libraries recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic? This is a big question that frequently guides the research conducted by the Urban Libraries Council. While libraries with a downtown location historically contribute a significant amount of steady foot traffic and daytime population and serve as trip attractions, has that been happening since the pandemic? ULC is sharing some of our preliminary research around the connection between public libraries and economic vitality in a new case study about what is happening at the DC Public Library, and its impact on Downtown DC foot traffic.

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Webinar Recording | Advancing Digital Equity Through Federal Programs and Library Partnerships

This webinar brought together national library associations to discuss how libraries will be leading opportunities created through the Digital Equity Act, which provides $2.75 billion to states through grant programs that promote digital equity and inclusion.

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ULC Member Conversation | Big Read Best Practices

Join ULC peers for an insightful conversation exploring the power of community reads! Whether you're a seasoned participant or considering launching your first One City/One Book initiative, this discussion is for you. Library leaders from San Francisco Public Library, Chicago Public Library, and DC Public Library will share their experiences, covering everything from book selection to program design and funding.

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Webinar | ACP Next Steps: A Pathway to Affordable Broadband and Greater Digital Equity

The U.S. Congress failed to extend funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), and now up to 23 million households may lose access to affordable broadband service as soon as next month. With this financial lifeline winding down for millions of lower-income families, veterans, and seniors, how can libraries continue to help close the digital gap?

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Webinar | Creating & Supporting Management & Leadership Advancement Opportunities

Join ULC members from the Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library for an insightful webinar showcasing their groundbreaking Community Leadership Certificate pilot program. This collaborative initiative, between the library system and Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, was created so library staff members could gain access to leadership and management roles without the prerequisite of an MLS/MLIS degree.

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New Resource | Beyond Books: A Conversation Guide

This guide is intended to support hosting community conversations about the changing role of libraries, highlighting community impacts and building local support. Users will find recommendations such as developing a project plan, suggestions for inviting community stakeholders, and tips for staying connected with local community leaders after the event. Also available within the guide are brainstorming worksheets, a printable discussion guide and sample outreach materials to get you started.

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2024 ULC CEO Roundtable

In partnership with the Los Angeles Public Library and the LA County Library, ULC will host the CEO Roundtable from May 19-21, 2024 in Los Angeles. This exclusive event will offer library directors/CEOs the opportunity to engage and participate in intimate and interactive discussions that offer solutions to current challenges that can make a lasting impact within your library and community.

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ULC's Policy and Legislative Priorities

Through engagement with lawmakers in Congress and U.S. federal agencies, ULC is advocating for several key policy positions that center the critical role that public libraries play in urban communities. ULC’s advocacy strategy seeks to garner more support and funding for policies that strengthen and advance the essential role of public libraries.

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Introducing the New ULC Member Hub Experience

ULC is excited to bring members a new Member Hub experience, which has a familiar feel to a social media account in terms of how it looks and the communication features available. This new site, designed just for library members of ULC, is the best way to stay engaged with what’s happening at libraries across North America and get to know better the library staff leading this work.

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New Data Released by Urban Libraries Council

A new collection of data gathered by the Urban Libraries Council establishes a better understanding of pre- and post-pandemic library services and operations. City and county library systems from across the U.S. and Canada participated in the first-ever ULC Library Insights Survey. ULC members from 98 libraries provided data around the topics of Attraction and Attendance, Location Experience and Use of Space, Programs and Services and Staffing and Budget.

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For over 50 years, the Urban Libraries Council has served as an outcomes-driven research and innovations network of more than 170 leading North American public libraries.

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Impact Stories

Discover how ULC member libraries invigorate and inspire public libraries on our blog.

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Find out the latest news and updates on the vital issues facing ULC members.

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Get inspired by cutting-edge work that addresses key issues among the ULC membership.

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Edge 360

New benchmarks for anti-racism, digital equity, economic opportunity and education.

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Preserve Democracy

ULC believes libraries are cornerstones of democracy.

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Promote Education and Literacy

We believe libraries are critical to a knowledge economy and that education and literacy transform lives.

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Propel Economic Vitality

We believe libraries are fundamental to local economies, supporting the workforce and entrepreneurs.

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Advance Equity and Inclusion

We believe libraries are essential to helping all citizens realize their full potential.

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The Voice of Public Libraries

ULC provides a forum for library leaders to share best practices and innovative ideas that inspire programs that support 21st century learning, a strong economy and an active democracy.

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Interested in Membership?

Find out how ULC membership empowers hundreds of leading library systems across North America.

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