Award-Winning San Antonio Public Library is Innovation Trendsetter for Peer Libraries

SAN ANTONIO (July 9, 2015) — San Antonio Public Library Director Ramiro Salazar and other Library employees recently attended the 2015 ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition in San Francisco, California. The conference features programs, updates, conversations, and other events that cover key issues for libraries such as innovation and transformation, ebook lending and usability, digital content, community engagement, leadership, the impact and potential of new technologies, books and awards, development, teaching and learning, and best practices on a range of library-related concerns.

At this year’s conference, the San Antonio Public Library was the proud recipient of two prestigious awards: the 2015 AIA/ALA Library Building Award for Mission Branch Library and the Urban Libraries Council 2015 Top Innovator for Customer Service award for the Digital Library Community Project.

“It is an honor to be nationally recognized among our peers,” said Library Director Ramiro Salazar. “We will continue our innovative work and hope that our accomplishments as a department of the City of San Antonio will inspire other public libraries around the world.”

The AIA/ALA Library Building Award was created to distinguish accomplishments in library architecture. The Mission Branch Library was designed by local architects Muñoz & Company as part of the 2007 City of San Antonio bond package, and was built to high energy-efficient standards. The branch is located at the site of the former Mission Drive-in Theater, just north of the historic Mission San Jose and less than one block west of Mission County Park and the historic Mission Reach of the San Antonio River Walk.

“Muñoz & Company is very proud of the recognition given to our design by the American Library Association and The American Institute of Architects,” said Henry R. Muñoz III, CEO Muñoz & Company. “To be one of only six buildings in the United States, recognized in this manner is a rare honor. The successful collaboration between a community, a librarian and an architect must be carefully crafted like a good book. In the case of San Antonio’s Mission Branch Library, all of these voices came together to establish a place for people to gather, to learn and to create greater civic engagement. The Mission Branch Library design, tells stories about the people and the rich cultural identity of its neighborhood, sitting next to Mission San Jose, a newly created world heritage site; while addressing the issues of a vibrant, multicultural neighborhood of the twenty-first century. We will forever be grateful to the City of San Antonio, its library system, its leadership and every citizen who in some way helped to create this special place and earned this recognition.”

Since its opening, the Mission Branch has been a catalyst and model for new development along the newly formed Roosevelt Avenue Corridor district. Public input was gathered to inform the design as well as the library services offered at the branch library.

The Urban Libraries Council 2015 Top Innovator for Customer Service award is part of the ULC’s Innovations Initiative which showcases leading “best” and “next” practices that demonstrate the value and impact of public library service in the 21st century. These practices embody ideas, approaches and insights which other libraries can adapt. The San Antonio Public Library was awarded the Customer Service award for the Digital Library Community Project which began in 2014. The Digital Library Community Project is a collection of digital bookshelves placed at several community centers city-wide and three digital touchscreen kiosks at San Antonio International Airport to provide direct access to SAPL’s digital collection of eBooks, eAudioBooks, music and magazines for download.


For more information about these awards, contact Caitlin Cowart at or call 210-207-2638.


Posted on July 13, 2015, in PR. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Congratulations — & well-deserved! I have found myself “bragging” about SAPL several times over the past few years.
    The innovations, the services, the outreach—dramatic transformations since I first began using the San Antonio Public Library in 1968! You shine!

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