Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Urban Libraries Council Honors Austin Public Library with 2020 Innovation Award

For immediate release
December 22, 2020

Contact:  Sharon Herfurth, Austin Public Library, 512-974-7420, sharon.herfurth@austintexas.gov

Urban Libraries Council Honors Austin Public Library with 2020 Innovation Award

APL+ Demonstrates Transformative Approach to Revolutionizing Public Libraries

Austin, TXThe Urban Libraries Council announced Austin 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.
Austin Public Library's APL+ virtual programming platform was selected by a panel of expert judges from 260 submissions in 10 categories that showcase creative thinking and imaginative applications of library resources. Austin Public Library won in the category of Customer Experience, 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.
"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 Austin Public Library for creating an initiative that will positively impact their community and serve as a model to public libraries throughout North America."
APL+ is a video platform for Austin Public Library's virtual programming developed by APL staff in response to the challenges of providing programming during the pandemic. Since launching APL+ in April, staff have created over 150 virtual programs that have been viewed more than 22,000 times. You can explore APL+ videos for all ages on a variety of topics at library.austintexas.gov/aplplus
"Innovation and technology are crucial to serving diverse customers and communities. The pandemic elevated the role of technology and using it to reach as many people as possible. Libraries must continue to innovate in order to meet the demand of current and future challenges," said Roosevelt Weeks, Director of Austin Public Libraries.
All 2020 ULC Innovations entries can be viewed at urbanlibraries.org.
Austin Public Library is a part of the City of Austin and includes the Central Library, 20 branches, Recycled Reads bookstore, and the Austin History Center. The Austin Public Library provides knowledge, technology, and inspiration.
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.

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