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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.

Landing Page Cover Image Landscape Entries Now Live

All 2020 Entries Are Live!

Click the link below to check out the 260 entries submitted by members to the 2020 ULC Innovations Initiative! ULC will be reaching out directly to the directors/CEOs of award-winning libraries this November. Stay tuned for information about this year's virtual Innovations award celebration.

2020 ULC Innovations Initiative Guest Judges

ULC is 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

ULC is consulting with these judges to determine the 2020 Top Innovator and Honorable Mention award winners, who will be announced during the upcoming Innovations Celebration (date TBA).

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, Forward Cities​

Fay Horwitt serves as the President 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.