Skip Navigation
Back to Navigation

2024 Innovations Initiative Now Open!

The 2024 ULC Innovations application cycle is NOW OPEN! Entries will be accepted until August 9, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. ET. All active ULC member libraries can participate in the 2024 Innovations Initiative. A panel of judges will award one Top Innovator and one Honorable Mention for each of the 6 recognition categories. The Top Innovators in each category will receive one complimentary registration to the 2024 ULC Annual Leadership Forum.

Submit Now!
Homepage Innovations Submit Now

ULC Annual Business Meeting | Thursday, June 20, 2024

Join ULC on Thursday, June 20, 2024 at 4:00 p.m. for our virtual Annual Business Meeting. During this meeting, members will hear a mid-year report from ULC President and CEO Brooks Rainwater on the current state of the organization, highlights of successful programs from ULC members and details on upcoming events like the 2024 ULC Annual Leadership Forum.

Register Now
Ulc Homepage 12

Strategies for Libraries Responding to the Critical Issue of Homelessness

In this month's "From the CEO" message, ULC President and CEO Brooks Rainwater presents takeaways from the recent CEO Roundtable in Los Angeles, an event focused on strategies for public libraries’ responsiveness to the critical issue of homelessness.

Read Now
Ulc Homepage 11

2024 ULC Library Insights Survey Now Open

The annual Library Insights Survey (LIS) is now open for ULC members. We are seeking information from member libraries on their budgets, staffing, operations, visitors and programs to help strengthen and advance the essential role of public libraries in our cities.

Learn More
2024 Lis Homepage2

"How a Mobile Barbershop Helped Increase Childhood Reading in Cleveland"

In partnership with Barbershop Books, ULC’s Barbershop Books Pilot for Libraries supported a small cohort of libraries in 2023 and 2024 to provide reading opportunities to Black boys directly in barbershops in their local communities. The Cleveland Public Library knew participation would be beneficial as it aligned with the library's goal to put books into the community and possibly create change.

Read the Blog Post
Blog Main Cleveland Bsb2024

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.

View Now
Ulc Homepage Mlk Case Study

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.

View Resource
Beyond Books Homepage

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.

Learn More
Advocacy Homepage

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.

Get Started
New Member Hub Homepage

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.

Learn More
Website Upcomingevents2

Impact Stories

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

Learn More
News Homepage


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

Learn More
Website Focus Area Innovations


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

Learn More
Website Initiatives

Edge 360

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

Learn More


Eship Toolkit Icons Touching Edges Eship Toolkit Icon Step 4

Preserve Democracy

ULC believes libraries are cornerstones of democracy.

Stem Toolkit Icons Touching Edges Eship Toolkit Icon Step 7

Promote Education and Literacy

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

Eship Toolkit Icons Eship Toolkit Icon Step 1

Propel Economic Vitality

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

Eship Toolkit Icons Touching Edges Eship Toolkit Icon Step 5

Advance Equity and Inclusion

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

Learn More

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.

Learn More About ULC

Interested in Membership?

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

View Membership Benefits