The Santa Rosa Library is an Urban Libraries Council Top Innovator
The Urban Libraries Council (ULC) recently announced the Santa Rosa Library as one of its 2014 Top Innovators during the Next Libraries Conference held in Chicago. A panel of expert judges selected this year’s honorees from more than 180 applications in the fifth annual ULC Innovations Initiative.
The library was recognized for its community focused Snacks Program which won an Honorable Mention in the category of Health, Wellness, and Public Safety.
Caitlin Burns, a Library Associate at Santa Rosa Library, was inspired to start the program in collaboration with the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, the Pima County Health Department, and the University of Arizona College of Nursing because of the strong correlation between nutrition and educational performance. "I always thought that a youth food program would be a natural fit for the public library due to how many children and teens rely on our resources every day."
"We're proud to have a program that provides healthy snacks for some of our youngest patrons," said Pima County Public Library Executive Director Melinda Cervantes. "It's another way that we're supporting the needs of the community and creating lifelong connections to the library."
In announcing the 2014 Top Innovators, ULC President and CEO Susan Benton said that every library that submitted programs for the Innovations Awards this year demonstrates the amazing work that takes place in libraries every day.
"On behalf of the ULC community throughout North America, I congratulate the Santa Rosa Library for being selected as a 2014 Top Innovator. The library staff are commended for setting the pace for growth, change and innovation in the field," Benton said. "Each submission highlights exactly how public libraries create value and impact in local communities."
Caitlin Burns would like to see the Snacks Program at Santa Rosa Library turn into something more. In fact, the Eckstrom-Columbus Library is planning to start an afterschool snack program this Fall.
"If kids start coming to the library for snacks, they just might end up staying for the books, the story times, and the tutoring sessions, too!"
Read more about all of the ULC’s 2014 Top Innovators.