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Action Team: Economic Opportunity

About This Page

The Economic Opportunity Action Team evaluates trends and topics in the world of entrepreneurship, and economic and workforce development, looking for best practices among libraries and how to apply them. In 2023, we will continue to assess and apply learning from the 2022 Lessons from the Field, supporting libraries as they place themselves more prominently as part of their communities’ entrepreneurial ecosystems, focused primarily on building partnerships to create sustainability.

ULC members: To join our Partnering with Schools Action Team, please contact Shari Henry, Director of Democracy and Community Impact, shenry@urbanlibraries.org.

Learn more about ULC's action teams

Team Objectives

    1. Help your library move into your library’s entrepreneurial ecosystems, particularly as you draw from the recent findings and reports of the cohort that explored how libraries are closing the economic opportunity gap. What ULC-created tools are you using (if any)? How are they working for you? What feedback do you have for us?
    2. Draw on partners to address financial literacy education for all ages.
    3. Address the differences and overlaps of workforce development and entrepreneurship, help grow cross-municipality partnerships (especially with Economic Development Departments), and helping start-ups with library information and resources.

    A Message from the Team

      Economic opportunity is top of mind for nearly every North American city and county. This was true even before COVID-19's devastating impact, which has disrupted industries, shuttered businesses and put millions of workers out of jobs.

      As drivers of local innovation, job creation and economic resilience, public libraries have an essential part to play in strengthening the local support network for economic opportunity, particularly for professionals from traditionally underserved backgrounds such as women, people of color, justice-involved citizens, immigrants and veterans.

      Representing diverse perspectives from communities across North America, our team is dedicated to elevating the role of libraries as hubs for small business and entrepreneurial ecosystems. To achieve that goal, we are working together to build blueprints for activities, partnerships and success metrics that can help all libraries confidently own their critical role in supporting the equity and health of the local economy.

      Participating Libraries