News Release - Rochester Public Library Named Top Innovator

 City of Rochester

News Release

(Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016)—Mayor Lovely A. Warren has announced that the Rochester Public Library (RPL) was named as one of 10 Top Innovators at the 2016 Urban Libraries Council (ULC) Annual Forum Awards Ceremony in Kansas City this October. The Rochester Public Library’s “Reimagining Business Reference in a Mid-Sized City” was selected from nearly 300 submissions across 10 categories that demonstrate the value and impact of public library service. RPL won in the category of Workforce and Economic Development.

“We are very proud of our public library system and the wide-ranging, positive impact it has on our community,” said Mayor Warren. “This recognition is proof that we have great staff who are constantly striving to create innovative and beneficial programming for our residents and businesses. One of the key services they provide is helping people with their job searches and helping businesses achieve success. Our libraries are key to our efforts to create jobs, which lead to safer, more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities for all of our citizens.”

“Today’s public libraries are thought leaders, educational institutions and technology centers that play a critical role in building and strengthening the fabric of their communities,” said Urban Libraries Council (ULC) President and CEO Susan Benton. “I commend the Rochester Public Library for illustrating a sustained commitment to creativity and innovation that truly transforms their community.”

The Library’s Business Division, under the leadership of City Business Research Specialist Jennifer Byrnes, implemented a three-point service delivery concept by providing services on-site, online and at the library. Business Division staff focus on market and venture capital research, small business development and grant funding. One expert librarian is assigned to each topic.

Currently one librarian is embedded at Eastman Business Park and another librarian curates business classes that regularly attract hundreds of people every year. As a result, Eastman Business Park tenants have free access to information to help grow their businesses, the library assists the Park administration in identifying and learning about potential tenants and the library is marketed as a “concierge service” to attract tenants.

The library has also partnered with the Friends & Foundation of RPL to purchase new database products in support of the program.

To learn more about the award, the Eastman Business Park program and/or the Library’s Business Division, visit:


News Media: For more information, contact Deputy Communications Director Donald Starver at 428-7135.