San José Public Library Recognized with National 2021 Innovation Award


Nancy Macías, (408) 712-2150

For Immediate Release

Monday, January 24, 2022

San José Public Library Recognized with National 2021 Innovation Award

Library’s Caregiver Support Program Exhibits Transformative Impact on Community

San José, Calif. (January 24, 2022) - The Urban Libraries Council (ULC) announced the San Jose Public Library (SJPL) as a Top Innovator in the Education-Adults category during the 2021 Innovations Celebration for its Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FFN) Caregiver Support Network program. The annual Innovations Awards recognize transformative programs that address structural racism, bridge digital divides, provide lifelong education opportunities, meet the needs of under-resourced populations, and improve essential library service delivery across North America.

"The San José Public Library is proud to offer the FFN Caregiver Support Network program to local home-based care providers of children ages 0-8," says City Librarian, Jill Bourne. "Since its launch on January 13, 2021, the program has seen an 82% growth, having mentored more than 150 caregivers, with an additional interest list of over twice that number.”

San José Public Library’s FFN Caregiver Support Network serves historically under-recognized and under-resourced informal licensed exempt caregivers (FFNs) through essential professional development opportunities and holistic supports that enable them to provide stable, responsive, and high-quality learning experiences for the children in their care.

"I want to extend my heartfelt congratulations to the Library for earning the Urban Libraries Council 2021 Innovations Award for the generous, ongoing support our Library offers to friends, families, and neighbors who work tirelessly as caregivers to so many children," said San José Mayor Sam Liccardo. "To all of the Library staff and the caregivers in our community, thank you for being exemplary models of service and compassion to the next generation of San Joséans."

The San José Public Library was selected by a panel of expert judges from over 250 submissions in 10 categories that showcase creative thinking and imaginative applications of library resources and was recognized for its level of inventiveness. “This year’s submissions highlight our libraries’ remarkable capacity for leadership, commitment and determination during a time of continued change and stress. We celebrate the San José Public Library for developing a leading edge program that will transform their library and community, serving as a model for all public libraries in North America,” said Urban Libraries Council President and CEO Susan Benton.

All 2021 ULC Innovations entries can be viewed at Learn more about SJPL’s FFN Caregiver program at

About the San José Public Library

San José Public Library is located in the heart of Silicon Valley and in the nation’s 10th largest city. SJPL serves a culturally diverse population of more than one million, making it one of the busiest library systems nationwide. It registers an average of over 4-million visits with a checkout rate of nearly 7-million items, annually. Alongside its award-winning staff, recognized for its innovation and leadership, SJPL strives to ensure that our services reflect the city’s rich diversity and every member in our community enjoys their library experience.

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 160 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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