SFPL Wins Urban Libraries Council Innovation Award

MEDIA CONTACT: Michelle Jeffers
(415) 557-4282; mjeffers@sfpl.org

July 11, 2011

San Francisco Public Library Wins Urban Libraries Council Innovation Award

Award-Winning Program Emphasizes Foundations of 21st Century Library Success

Jill Bourne accepting awardThe San Francisco Public Library has won a national innovation award for its Gen PL: The Next Generation of Library Leaders program. The 2011 Top Innovators awards were recently announced by the Urban Libraries Council, a membership organization made up of North America's leading public library systems. ULC launched the Innovations Initiative in 2010 to capture and showcase creative programs that demonstrate the vital role public libraries play today in community life.

San Francisco Public Library was recognized at the Urban Libraries Council Annual Conference, June 24-25, in New Orleans.

In announcing the top innovations, ULC President and CEO Susan Benton said the winning programs demonstrate the remarkable work that occurs in libraries every day. 

"The Gen PL program emphasizes the foundations of 21st century library service which go far beyond the traditional role as book lenders – it demonstrates how innovative programming can transform communities," Benton said. "We congratulate San Francisco Public Library for its innovation, creativity, and commitment to meeting the changing needs of the communities they serve."

Eleven programs were selected from more than 200 entries. Visit the ULC website at www.urbanlibraries.org for more information about the winning innovations and all of the submissions.

San Francisco’s Gen PL program is a leadership training program designed to develop the next generation of library and city leaders and has also served to strengthen collaboration among library units, improve internal communication and enhance library effectiveness.

“The goal of the program is to build a culture at SFPL that recognizes the talent and leadership skills of our staff, at all levels of the organization, and to provide them with the tools and resources to ensure that the Library is well positioned to continue to serve our diverse community. We are proud that the Library is developing strong cohort of future leaders!” said City Librarian Luis Herrera.

About ULC. The Urban Libraries Council is a membership organization made up of America's premier public library systems and the corporations that support them. While ULC's members primarily represent urban and suburban libraries, its work is widely used by all libraries. ULC strategically addresses issues important to all communities including education, workforce and economic development, public safety, environmental sustainability, health, and wellness. As ULC celebrates its 40-year anniversary, its work focuses on helping library leaders develop and use skills and strategies that match the challenges of the 21st century.

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