Media Relations Specialist
(Kansas City, Mo.) – The Urban Libraries Council announced the Kansas City Public Library as one of 10 Top Innovators during the 2020 Innovations Celebration held virtually on December 11. The annual Innovations award program recognizes and raises the visibility of cutting-edge programs, strategies, tools, techniques and ideas from ULC’s member library systems across the U.S. and Canada.
The Kansas City Public Library’s Community Street Sheet was selected by a panel of expert judges from 260 submissions in 10 categories that showcase creative thinking and imaginative applications of library resources. Kansas City Public Library won in the category of Race and Social Equity, with award winners being recognized for their level of ingenuity, the outcomes achieved and the ability for other libraries to adapt and implement their work.
“The Street Sheet is a prime example of how our Community Resource Team responds to the needs of our most underserved patrons,” said Outreach director Mary Olive Joyce. “It is a key part of our continuing effort "to meet people where they are."
Staff members of the Library’s outreach team created the Community Street Sheet when the COVID-19 pandemic forced shutdowns in March. The Street Sheet features lists of resources for all needs, ranging from finding shelter or a hot meal, to getting a COVID test. The sheet is updated constantly to make sure the information is accurate and patrons in need have the most options available.
“We are very proud of the impact of the Street Sheet” said Library Director John Herron. “It is more than information, it is an invaluable community connector.”
“This year’s winners have quickly taken bold moves to ensure that the library continues to serve the needs of the people in their community – especially those most vulnerable including children, stressed families, isolated seniors and struggling small businesses,” said Urban Libraries Council President and CEO Susan Benton. “In the 10th year of our Innovations Initiative, we received the most dynamic and cutting-edge submissions to date. We celebrate the Kansas City Public Library for creating an initiative that will positively impact their community and serve as a model to public libraries throughout North America.”
All 2020 ULC Innovations entries can be viewed at urbanlibraries.org.
About Urban Libraries Council
The Urban Libraries Council is an innovation and impact tank of North America’s leading public library systems. ULC drives cutting-edge research and strategic partnerships to elevate the power of libraries as essential, transformative institutions for the 21st-century. More than 150 urban member libraries in the U.S. and Canada rely on ULC to identify significant challenges facing today’s communities and provide
new tools and techniques to help libraries achieve stronger outcomes in education, digital equity, workforce and economic development, and race and social equity.