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Written by Angela Hursh, Content Team Leader, Downtown Main Library

The Urban Libraries Council announced the Library as an Innovations Initiative Honorable Mention award winner during the 2019 ULC Innovations Celebration held on October 17 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The annual Innovations award program recognizes leading practices from ULC’s member library systems across the U.S. and Canada.

A panel of expert judges selected the Library as an Honorable Mention from 260 submissions in 10 categories that showcase out-of-the box thinking and creative applications of library resources. The Library received recognition in the category of Organizational Change and Strategic Management for work to improve communications across our county-wide system with 41 locations and over 850 staff.  

“We celebrate the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County for presenting a groundbreaking initiative that is sure to transform their community and inspire libraries across North America,” said Urban Libraries Council President and CEO Susan Benton.



One example of how the Eva Jane Romaine Coombe Director of the Library, Paula Brehm-Heeger, successfully addressed the communication challenges of a large library system is the creation of a weekly informational video featuring her and senior staff.  The Weekly Perspective video is shot in various Library branches and departments, as well as on-site at community and other events. Topics include the neighborhoods served by the Library, board and staff meetings, government relations, staff shout-outs, and initiative updates. 

Brehm-Heeger, with the support of Marketing and Internal Communications, also debuted an annual State of the Library address (for the public and staff), which detailed a vision for the Library’s future and was recorded and live-streamed for remote viewing. The video series averages 200-300 weekly views on the internal blog. The State of the Library post has more than 1,000 views. 

"Our weekly videos and regular town halls ensure staff hear the same information about the library's priorities in a clear and timely manner,” says Brehm-Heeger. “The videos also help put a face to the names of senior leaders who play a role in guiding major projects." 

All 2019 ULC Innovations entries can be viewed at urbanlibraries.org.