News Release - Urban Libraries Council Recognizes Rochester Public Library for Library Innovation

Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County

News Release

Urban Libraries Council Recognizes Rochester Public Library for Library Innovation;
Carlson Center for Intellectual Property Elevates the Value of the Library as a Community Institution

(Friday, Dec. 11, 2020) – The Urban Libraries Council (ULC) announced Rochester Public Library as an Innovations Initiative Honorable Mention award winner during its 2020 ULC Innovations celebration held virtually earlier today. The annual Innovations award program recognizes and raises the visibility of cutting-edge programs, strategies, tools, techniques and ideas from ULC’s member library systems across the U.S. and Canada.

Rochester Public Library’s Carlson Center for Intellectual Property was selected by a panel of expert judges from 260 submissions in 10 categories that showcase creative thinking and imaginative applications of library resources. Rochester Public Library won an Honorable Mention in the category of Workforce and Economic Development, with award winners being recognized for their level of ingenuity, the outcomes achieved and the ability for other libraries to adapt and implement their work.

“In the 10th year of our Innovations Initiative, we received the most dynamic and cutting-edge submissions to date. We celebrate Rochester Public Library for creating an initiative that will positively impact their community and serve as a model to public libraries throughout North America,” said Urban Libraries Council President and CEO Susan Benton.

Rochester Public Library partnered with Rochester Institute of Technology’s Simone Center for Entrepreneurship and Venture Creations incubator to provide expert research for students and staff on-site at the Simone Center. The Patent Virtual Assistance Center was established, which allows patrons to meet virtually with a patent examiner, cutting down on office actions that prolong the process and increase fees. The library also partnered with an IP (Intellectual Property) attorney to provide free consultations. The Rochester Public Library is one of two libraries in the U.S. to offer this service.

All 2020 ULC Innovations entries can be viewed at

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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 150 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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