This has certainly been a year, and ULU has had a lot to do and say. We held another awesome conference, helped fight back the first cut to library funding in several years, got a TON of books to migrant kids and won awards.The following are some highlights of the donor supported work we have done in 2019!

Library Journal Librarian(s) of the Year 2020

Library Journal Cover.
Minds = blown

Lauren and Christian are completely blown away and humbled by being named 2020 Librarian(s) of the Year by Library Journal. This is a huge honor and an incredible recognition of the decade of work we have put into this organization. We also want to emphasize that this milestone would not be possible without the support of all of the people who have helped us over the years. All of our donors, volunteers, board members, and everyone who has come out and shown up for our work have made this possible. Thank you to Library Journal, for this honor and thank you to all of you for making it possible. 

urban librarians conference audience

Urban Librarians Conference
We held our 7th annual Urban Librarians Conference in 2019 with the theme Libraries as Place! ULCON gets better every year. This year we had 12 amazing sessions, 240 attendees, and a video welcome from Carla Hayden! (even if we unplugged the VGA cable, oops) For the first time, someone cooked as their presentation! How cool is that? We hope to see you next year, maybe as a presenter?

As ever, our spring and early summer was spent fighting for library funding in NYC. Facing the first cut to library funding in several years, ULU partnered with the library systems to push back. And we won! The NYC Council restored  the proposed cut and added funding for a total of $33 million dollars. 

OMG Book Awards and Every Kid Deserves Joy
In partnership with the REFORMA Children in Crisis task force, ULU applied for and was awarded $95,000 in book credits to purchase books for migrant children across 4 states, New York, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico. We were able to purchase over 15,000 books for agencies serving immigrant children, and to use our funds from the Every Kid Deserves Joy crowdfunding campaign with the Everylibrary Institute to send cold weather accessories and playground equipment to volunteers in Brownsville Texas. This has been a huge opportunity to directly support kids in crisis and we are very grateful for our partners, sponsors, and supporters who have made this possible.

Outstanding Services to Libraries Award
Lauren and Christian are so grateful to the New York Library Association for their selection as the recipients of the 2019 Outstanding Services to Libraries Award.  Being recognized by the members of NYLA means so much to ULU, thank you. Special thanks to Nick Buron, chief librarian for the Queens Public Library for nominating and advocating for us.

Changes a coming!
The roaring 20’s are going to be something else! First, welcome to our newest board members. Running a non profit organization is a lot of work, and the board is a huge part of making all of the work of ULU happen. Welcome to Scott Jarzombek, Lauren Bradley, Djaz F. Zulida, and Rosemary Kiladitis! We are all so excited to have them on board and excited about what we are going to be able to do together.
In other amazing news our Executive Director Christian Zabriskie has accepted the position of Executive Director of the Onondaga County Public Library System and is moving to Syracuse in the new year. Christian will be staying on as Executive Director of ULU and working remotely.
Next year we are looking forward to yet another amazing Urban Librarians Conference, more grant applications and new advocacy projects. We hope you will join us!