March 18, 2019
Public Libraries Are Teaming Up to Prepare Middle Schoolers for 21st Century Careers and Increase Access to STEM Learning Opportunities. The Urban Libraries Council convened leaders from 11 public library systems in Chicago on March 13-14 to kick off pilot programs designed to test new approaches to engaging low-income middle school youth in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. These programs are extensions of ULC’s Partners for Middle School STEM initiative – a two-year project focused on building multi-sector community partnerships to increase STEM learning opportunities for underserved middle school students. [Full Announcement].
March 4, 2019
Enhanced Management and Benchmarking Tool Equips 21st-Century Public Libraries to Elevate Their Community Leadership Role. The Urban Libraries Council has launched Edge 2.0, a new version of its renowned benchmarking and management system for public libraries. Over 2,600 libraries of all sizes across the U.S. and Canada have used the previous version of Edge to assess their programs and services, identify areas for improvement and elevate their role in advancing community priorities, with a special focus on public access technology. Edge 2.0 revises and extends the scope of the system’s benchmarks to incorporate a broader focus on the library’s capacity to advance community digital inclusion priorities, including digital awareness, literacy and mastery. [Full Announcement].
January 16, 2019
Urban Libraries take a leading stance to advance equitable data governance and literacy in the age of artificial intelligence. The Urban Libraries Council has launched a new initiative to empower North American public libraries to stand at the forefront of the movement for an equitable and inclusive future for the storage, privacy and application of data as AI technology becomes more ubiquitous. This initiative began with a working group meeting held January 9-10 that convened library leaders from across the U.S. and Canada to discuss opportunities for libraries to collaborate in order to get ahead of the potential risks presented by AI and to maximize the technology’s potential for public good. [Full Announcement].
December 19, 2018
New toolkit guides libraries in enhancing their support of entrepreneurs. Public libraries are uniquely positioned to support individuals in pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams by offering free access to technology, meeting spaces, skills training, information and networking opportunities. However, there is no set model for how libraries can best leverage those assets, and there are opportunities for all libraries to elevate their position in their community’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. [Full Announcement].