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150+ North American Library Leaders Gather at Urban Libraries Council Democracy Forum in DC

At this critical time in our history, public libraries continue to be on the frontlines of protecting democracy – ensuring core values of free speech and access to information for all. The 2022 Urban Libraries Council Annual Forum will convene leaders from over 75 major urban library systems across the U.S. and Canada in Washington, DC. Hosted by DC Public Library, the Annual Forum brings the ULC membership together for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic to engage in expert-led sessions on preserving democracy and cultivating the future of libraries as a central pillar within our communities.

During the Annual Forum, ULC members will gather to celebrate 50 years strengthening and promoting the value of libraries. The ULC 50th Birthday Celebration will be held at DCPL's newly renovated Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library on Thursday, November 17.

WHAT: 2022 ULC Annual Forum: Creating a Place for Democracy | Full Conference Agenda

WHEN: Wednesday, November 16 to Friday, November 18

WHERE: DC Public Library – 901 G St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Wednesday, November 16: 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m. ET
Thursday, November 17: 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. ET
Friday, November 18: 9 a.m. – Noon ET

MEDIA: If you are interested in attending or connecting with any of our speakers/panelists, please contact Paul Negron at 202-750-8652 or


  • Brooks Rainwater | President and CEO, Urban Libraries Council
  • Brian Bannon | Merryl and James Tisch Director, New York Public Library
  • Daphna Blatt | Senior Director of Strategy & Public Impact, New York Public Library
  • Vickery Bowles | City Librarian, Toronto Public Library
  • Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson | Executive Director, Houston Public Library
  • Karl Dean | Former Mayor, Nashville
  • Shamichael Hallman | Loeb Fellow, Harvard Graduate School of Design
  • Christina Henderson | At-Large Councilmember, Council of the District of Columbia
  • Crosby Kemper | Director, Institute of Museum and Library Services
  • Anastasia Khoo | Chief of Staff and Chief Marketing Officer, Conservation International
  • Tommi Laitio | Bloomberg Public Innovation Fellow, Bloomberg Center for Public Innovation
  • Richard Reyes-Gavilan | Executive Director, DC Public Library
  • John F. Szabo | City Librarian, Los Angeles Public Library
  • Kelvin Watson | Executive Director, Las Vegas-Clark County Library District