The Urban Libraries Council is dedicated to strengthening and advancing the essential role of public libraries as a dynamic place for innovation, equity, and opportunity. We connect public library leaders and drive transformative change to enrich the lives of individuals and urban communities across North America.
Urban libraries are a critical resource for transforming lives and strengthening communities.
About Our Work
The Urban Libraries Council is an innovation and action tank of North America’s leading public library systems. We drive cutting-edge research and strategic partnerships to elevate the power of libraries as essential, transformative institutions for the 21st century. We identify significant challenges facing today’s communities and develop new tools and techniques to help libraries achieve stronger outcomes in education, workforce and economic development, digital equity and race and social equity.
More than any civic institution, the social capital and wealth of resources that libraries provide have a positive impact on community well-being. ULC’s role is to raise the profile of libraries as essential agents that transform people and communities. To advocate for the value of libraries as essential community institutions, ULC’s work emphasizes the following strategic themes:
ULC believes libraries are cornerstones of democracy. Democracy’s future is diminished when people’s access to power, information, a diversity of voices and the ability to influence policy are restricted. The battle to protect democracy is a global struggle playing out at the local level and libraries have landed on the front lines.
Promote Education and Literacy
We believe libraries are critical to a knowledge economy and that education and literacy transform lives. Education transforms the lives of individuals and is the foundation for strong, economically vital communities. In the knowledge economy, the library is the learning institution ready to guide and support citizens at every age and level of need.
Propel Economic Vitality
We believe libraries are fundamental to local economies, supporting the workforce and entrepreneurs. Public libraries are essential to promoting equitable economic mobility and offering programming and services for all local workers, jobseekers, entrepreneurs, and business owners.
Advance Equity and Inclusion
We believe libraries are essential to helping all citizens realize their full potential. ULC convenes and supports library leaders and library EDI professionals in directly addressing structural racism, systemic inequity and social injustice within the library and across the community.