2011 Alliance Award Winner - Outstanding Achievement in Local Government Innovation
Libraries live and operate in a continual state of redefinition and transformation, as new technologies change the formats of our materials and the platforms for our information seeking and our communications with our users. As departments in local government, libraries can also play a transformative role in enhancing civic awareness and engagement through productive community partnerships; creative, nontraditional programming; and modeling of practical applications of new, important initiatives. Technically, for the library, as a source of knowledge in the community, across all subjects, there is no irrelevant theme, nothing that cannot be productively illuminated with library resources and resourcefulness.
In the case of Arlington Reads 2010, APL acted in partnership with a whole new cast of community individuals and organizations to demonstrate locally grown sustainability, living within its means, productive use of urban land, mutual dependence within the community, self-interest put aside for the common good, that small individual acts together can make a significant impact. APL assisted its local government in more effectively reaching the public and in making the abstract understandable.
Quantum leap of creativity? Perhaps more a case of integration than innovation, a change of focus rather than a change of direction. Instead of incurring new costs, the Library just redirected its un-augmented programming resources and staff energy to emphasize and accentuate a designated County theme. The benefits were significant--tangible and intangible--and are listed above. Those who benefitted include County government, the library and its staff, and the community at large.