San Antonio Public Library Wins Urban Libraries Council Top Innovator Award
The San Antonio Public Library has been named a 2012 Top Innovator by the Urban Libraries Council (ULC) for its health and wellness partnership with the San Antonio Food Bank. The awards were announced on June 22 at the ULC Annual Forum in Newport Beach, California. Library Director, Ramiro S. Salazar attended the conference and accepted the award in person on behalf of the Library and the Food Bank.
The award recognizes the San Antonio Public Library’s program to provide area teens with nutrition education, better food choices, cooking classes, and summertime meals and snacks – information that could be crucial to residents of a city facing all the issues arising from a growing obesity problem. The healthy eating program content was based on the ideas and recommendations that came out of regular discussions with teens. As a result of those discussions, the Library’s Teen Services department enlisted the skills and expertise of staff at the San Antonio Food Bank, which provided a licensed nutritionist who supplied guidance to teens and librarians and taught them about making healthy meal choices that would appeal to a teen’s palate.
Mr. Salazar stated, “This is yet another way that the San Antonio Public Library continues to expand its role as a community center. We are able to create partnerships with other organizations and make a difference to those who may require the most education and attention. It is these types of partnerships that will help us fulfill our mission to change lives through the power of information, imagination, and ideas. We are honored that the Urban Libraries Council recognizes our efforts.”
In announcing the Top 10 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 area building community and changing lives every day,” Benton said. “We congratulate the winners for their innovation, creativity, and commitment to meeting the changing needs of the communities they serve.”
The ten recipients of Innovator awards 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.