With funding around the United States and Canada constrained, libraries are leveraging the public’s investment by finding innovative approaches to strengthen their communities. The Urban Libraries Council recently recognized 10 libraries as “Top Innovators.” These libraries have proven themselves unfazed by the rough terrain and are providing their communities with essential resources through inventive programs. The Cedar Rapids Public Library “Summer Dare Everywhere” program was recognized as a “Top Innovator” in the Learning: Birth Thru Teens category.
A panel of expert judges selected the Cedar Rapids Public Library from a pool of over 250 submissions as one of 10 library practices that best embodies the 21st century library’s role as a community leader and pioneer for positive change.
“Now, more than ever, libraries must act as leaders in their community to provide resources that many have taken for granted,” said ULC President and CEO Susan Benton. “During times of economic and social difficulties, these libraries have stepped up to the challenge of inspiring change while helping their communities thrive.”
The Summer Dare Everywhere Program grew out of a shared commitment between the Library and local childcare providers to find ways to reduce the summer slide among underserved children.
“Summer Dare Everywhere breaks barriers to library access during summer months, when kids are most vulnerable,” said Dara Schmidt, Library Director. “It elevates existing summer programs by taking the Library to them and creating literacy experiences across the community.”
The complete list of 2017 ULC Innovations can be viewed at UrbanLibraries.org.
About Urban Libraries Council
Urban Libraries Council (ULC), founded in 1971, is the voice for public libraries and the force that inspires them to evolve. ULC creates the tools, techniques, and ideas to make ongoing improvements and upgrades in services and technology. ULC also speaks loudly and clearly about the value public libraries bring to communities, and secures funding for research that results in the development of new programs and services. And by serving as a forum for library leadership, ULC produces innovative ideas and best practices that ensure community impact.