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San José, CA—The Urban Libraries Council (ULC) has selected San José Public Library (SJPL) as one of only ten libraries to receive the 2012 ULC Top Innovators Award. SJPL was selected for its Work Wise literacy program in the category of Education, Literacy & Lifelong Learning.
Work Wise is a vocational ESL and literacy training program that improves the job performance of workers in San José. Through a combination of classroom instruction tailored to the specific industry, and individual tutoring provided by trained volunteers, participants improved their English skills and increased their proficiency on the job. San José Public Library’s adult literacy program Partners in Reading, developed and delivered Work Wise.
“We are proud to be recognized for this innovative program, where 97% of participants improved their competence on the job,” said Anne Cain, SJPL Interim Library Director. “Workplace literacy is a win-win for employees and employers in San José and we look forward to expanding this service.”
In announcing the 10 Top Innovators, ULC President and CEO Susan Benton said the winning programs demonstrate the remarkable work that occurs in libraries every day. "These programs emphasize the foundations of 21st century library service and demonstrate how public libraries are building community and changing lives everyday,” Benton said. "We congratulate the winners for their innovation, creativity, and commitment to meeting the changing needs of the communities they serve."
The 10 innovative programs were selected from nearly 200 entries. ULC, a membership organization made up of North America's leading public library systems, launched the Innovations Initiative in 2010 to capture and showcase creative programs that demonstrate the vital role public libraries play today in community life.
As a 2012 Top Innovator, San José Public Library was honored at the ULC Annual Forum June 21-22, 2012 in Newport Beach, California. View the 2012 Top Innovators Brochure.
About the Urban Libraries Council
As a membership organization made up of America’s premier public library systems and the organizations that serve them, the Urban Libraries Council (ULC) has spent more than 40 years enriching urban communities by strengthening their public libraries. While ULC members primarily represent urban and suburban libraries, lessons from their work are widely used by all libraries. ULC serves as a forum for thought leaders sharing best and next practices resulting from targeted research, education and emerging trends. Its programs are recognized for creating new frameworks that invigorate public libraries and their communities.
About San JoséPublic Library
San José Public Library system (SJPL) is the largest public library between San Francisco and Los Angeles on the West Coast of California, serving a culturally diverse population of approximately 946,000 in the nation’s 10th largest city. SJPL is recognized across the country for its innovation and leadership in the field and is one of the busiest libraries nationwide, with an annual checkout rate of more than 13.5 million items through 19 currently operating locations. In 2011, SJPL received the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor for museums and libraries. For more information, visit www.sjpl.org.