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Urban Leader Award

ULC's Urban Leader Award recognizes civic leaders and advocates for public libraries.

The ULC Urban Leader Award was established in 2001 to honor civic leader and former chair of ULC’s Executive Board, Betty Jane Narver, a long-time Seattle leader. And since then, ULC has continued to recognize civic leaders and advocates for public libraries.

Nominees may include library trustees, commission members, Foundation and Friends Group members, elected or appointed local government officials, school superintendents, and other civic/community leaders — leaders that are library champions.

2017 Urban Leader Award Winner

Christopher Coleman

Christopher B. Coleman

Mayor of Saint Paul

Christopher B. Coleman became the Mayor of Saint Paul in 2005 after several years serving on the Saint Paul City Council and doing integral work as a leader within his neighborhood and community. Immediately after taking office, the Mayor set forth on a journey to revitalize the City of Saint Paul, with the ultimate goal of making his hometown the most livable city in America. Mayor Coleman is also a large proponent of lifting up the people of Saint Paul, focusing on strong police and fire departments to make residents feel safe, and on racial equity and educational programs to close the achievement gap and better prepare the next generation of residents. Understanding that the future and current success of Saint Paul depends on our ability to equip our students with the tools for success from cradle to career, Mayor Coleman has introduced revolutionary programs that focus on how our students spend their crucial time outside of the classroom. Mayor Coleman has assembled the best minds and resources to enrich the lives of children by extending social and academic opportunities beyond the school day. Mayor Coleman has brought innovation and revitalization to the City of Saint Paul, allowing his national outlook to truly make Saint Paul the most livable city in America.

Past ULC Urban Leader Awardees include:

  • Don Iveson, Mayor of Edmonton, Alberta, CA
  • Karl Dean, Former Mayor of Nashville, TN
  • Joan & Irwin Jacobs, Philanthropists, San Diego Public Library
  • Susan Adkins, Trustee, The Seattle Public Library Foundation
  • Lucy McCoy, Library Champion, Los Angeles Public Library
  • James E. O’Donnell, Esq., President, The Directors of the Bridgeport Public Library & Reading Room
  • John W. Hill, President, Board of Library Trustees District of Columbia Public Library
  • Jean Brady, Chair, San Antonio Public Library Board of Trustees
  • Josephine Bryant, City Librarian, Toronto Public Library
  • Fontayne Holmes, City Librarian, Los Angeles Public Library
  • Lynn Lockwood, Assistant Director, Baltimore County Public Library
  • Carlton Sears , Director, Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County
  • Samuel Morrison, Director, Broward County Library