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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 Brochure

All 2020 Entries Are Live!

Click the link below to learn which member libraries have been selected as Top Innovators and Honorable Mentions from among the 260 entries submitted to the 2020 ULC Innovations Initiative!

Rewatch the 2020 ULC Innovations Initiative Celebration

Originally broadcast on 12/11/2020, this virtual event celebrated the award winners for ULC's 10th Annual Innovations Initiative. In addition to learning about this year's Top Innovators and Honorable Mentions, viewers joined Richard Reyes-Gavilan, the event MC and DC Public Library's Executive Director, for a behind-the-scenes look at DCPL's newly renovated MLK Jr. Memorial Library.

This event was sponsored by Ingram Content Group.

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Meet the 2020 ULC Innovations Initiative Guest Judges

ULC was honored to have the support of three esteemed guest judges in selecting the winners of our 2020 Innovations Initiative:

  • Deborah Fallows, Reporter for The Atlantic and Fellow at New America
  • Fay Horwitt, President, Forward Cities
  • Michael Scott, State Librarian, State Library of Iowa

Read below to learn more about each judge.

330 Deb Fallows

Deborah Fallows

Reporter for The Atlantic and Fellow at New America

Deborah Fallows is a writer and a linguist. She has written for The Atlantic, National Geographic, Slate, The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Washington Monthly. Her latest book, co-written with her husband, James Fallows, is Our Towns: A 100,000 Mile Journey into the Heart of America, a New York Times bestseller. The book is the basis of an upcoming HBO documentary, also called Our Towns, which HBO will air early in 2021.

330 Fay H

Fay Horwitt

President and CEO, Forward Cities​

Fay Horwitt serves as the President and CEO of Forward Cities, where she oversees programmatic strategy and serves as the executive lead of the ESHIP Communities initiative. Fay is a sought after presenter, trainer and thought leader on the topic of equitable entrepreneurial ecosystem building. Never one to be content with status quo, she has also recently begun addressing a new need in local communities: ecosystem healing — helping pivot ecosystems and institutions in this time of the dual pandemic of COVID-19 and heightened systemic racism.

330 Michael Scott

Michael Scott

State Librarian, State Library of Iowa

Michael Scott is the State Librarian of Iowa. Previous to this position, he was the Assistant Director for Southeastern Libraries Cooperating (SELCO), the regional public library system serving 11 counties in Southeastern Minnesota. He has also worked as the library manager at medical systems in Minneapolis, Minn., and Orlando, Fla. Michael received his Masters of Library Science from the University of Missouri in 1994 with nearly 30 years of experience of working in libraries. Michael is currently the President of the Western Council of State Libraries. He has also served as the Legislative Chair and ALA Chapter Councilor for the Minnesota Library Association, and Chair of both the Twin Cities Biomedical Consortium and the Tampa Bay Medical Library Network.