Based in Washington, D.C., and founded in 1971, the Urban Libraries Council is one of the premier membership associations of North America's leading public library systems. With the help of its 151 members in the United States and Canada, ULC initiatives strategically advance the value that 21st century libraries provide communities in critical areas such as education/lifelong learning, workforce and economic development, public safety, health and wellness, and environmental sustainability.
The Birmingham Public Library is the first in Alabama to join the ULC, according to its website. BPL’s membership in the Urban Libraries Council was spearheaded by Executive Director Floyd Council, who began leading the city system in November 2017 after a nationwide search spearheaded by the BPL Board of Trustees.
James Sullivan, president of the BPL Board of Trustees, said the Birmingham Public Library will benefit from the connections and resources provided by being a ULC member.
"Strategic partnerships allow us to teach and learn from one another,” Sullivan said. “If we as a board are serious about ensuring our library system continues to add value to our community, then being active participants with organizations like the Urban Libraries Council is vital for us and the city of Birmingham."
The Birmingham Public Library is joining public library systems across North America in a movement to better surrounding communities, said Urban Libraries Council President and CEO Susan Benton.
“We welcome Birmingham Public Library as the newest member of the Urban Libraries Council, a network of the most innovative and forward-thinking libraries,” Benton said. “The Birmingham Public Library will now have a more powerful voice at a critical time."
As thought leaders and change agents, ULC libraries regularly receive accolades at the national, regional, and local levels. While ULC libraries primarily represent urban and suburban settings, lessons from their work are widely adapted by libraries of all sizes, including those in rural settings.