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About the Innovations Initiative

ULC's Innovations Initiative showcases out-of-the box thinking and new alignment of resources to further education for people of all ages, address race and social equity in our communities, build digital inclusion and digital literacy and enhance civic engagement for a strong democracy.

Innovations Landing Graphic

All 2021 ULC Innovations Entries Are Live!

Check out every “new” and “next” program, partnership, event and strategy submitted this year by ULC members.

Meet the 2021 ULC Innovations Initiative Guest Judges

ULC is honored to have the support of three esteemed guest judges in selecting the winners of our 2021 Innovations Initiative:

  • Melinda Cervantes, former Executive Director, Contra Costa County Library
  • Timothy Cherubini, former Executive Director, Chief Officers of State Library Agencies
  • Joey Crawford, ULC Executive Board Member

Read below to learn more about each judge.

Melinda Cervantes

Melinda Cervantes

Former Executive Director, Contra Costa County Library

Melinda Cervantes has an expansive career in public and academic libraries. Leadership development and strategic planning have been fundamental to the growth and success of each
organization, no matter the size. Melinda’s early work with diverse populations in Calif., Ohio, Alaska, Ariz. and Ore. has provided critical knowledge on which to build strong and engaged community libraries. The trajectory of Melinda’s library career offered and continues to deliver many new and challenging opportunities to celebrate and honor local cultures, history and traditions.

Timothy Cherubini

Timothy Cherubini

Former Executive Director, Chief Officers of State Library Agencies

Timothy Cherubini recently completed a seven-year stint as the first executive director of the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies. He led that unique, highly motivated, collaborative organization in its goal to strengthen libraries and their contributions to a technology-driven society by leveraging state library agencies’ collective national reach, peer network, cross-state lens, recognized field leadership, and ability to partner. Prior to joining COSLA, Tim held key positions with the SOLINET and LYRASIS library consortia where he served as a senior manager and frequent collaborator with members and partner organizations on initiatives aimed at extending the reach and effectiveness of libraries of all types to serve their communities. His experience as a practitioner includes positions in administration, collection development and management and music librarianship at three exciting academic institutions: Duke University, Emory University and the Ohio State University. He holds Master of Library Science and Master of Music degrees, both from Indiana University.

Joey Crawford

Joey Crawford

ULC Executive Board Member

Joey Crawford helps clients solve problems when the challenges they face require extensive media and marketing experience. He is someone with the ability to work with a variety of people/teams and a need to achieve outsized results through creative campaigns and interactive experiences. Joey possesses years of experience in both B2B and consumer marketing, with the ability to assess the landscape quickly, develop solutions swiftly and be mindful of the return on investment companies demand. While he works in in advertising and marketing, Joey’s mission is to help his clients solve their business challenges. Joey has a degree in International Relations/French from The Johns Hopkins University.

ingram logo

We thank Ingram Content Group for supporting the 2021 ULC Innovations Celebration and providing ULC members with new and useful tools for the field.

This year's Top Innovators will have the opportunity to:

  • Receive a one-year subscription to Ingram's brand new iCurate® Coming Soon service
  • Plus, the 2021 Top Innovator in Anti-Racism, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion category will receive a complementary iCurate® inClusive Diversity Audit of their print collection
I Curate Coming Soon Subscription

iCurate® Coming Soon

Easily Manage New, Forthcoming & Trending Titles

Remove the guesswork from new title selection with iCurate® Coming Soon, a cost-effective annual subscription that delivers hand-selected lists of prepublication titles monthly within ipage®.

Going beyond bestsellers, Coming Soon lists are based on the English regular print collection and include debut authors, surprise celebrity authors, and unpredictable successes. Mix and match list sizes to meet collection, budget, or selector needs.

I Curate In Clusive Audit

iCurate® inClusive

Effortless, Effective Diversity Audit

Save staff time and tedious effort with iCurate® inClusive, a one-time diversity audit comparing your English regular print collection to the average public library to measure, track, and improve the diversity of your collection.

Intentionally and aggressively diversify your collection with data-driven reports, charts, and lists that compare your library holdings to inClusive’s public library customer average broken out by age, collection, and diversity category within two weeks.