News & Media

Urban Libraries Council Recognizes Memphis Public Library as a ‘Top Innovator’

JobLINC Demonstrates Value and Impact of Public Libraries in the Community

Memphis, Tenn. (July 22, 2014) – The Urban Libraries Council (ULC) announced the Memphis Public Library and Information Center as one of its 2014 Top Innovators during the Next Libraries Conference, June 22-24, in Chicago. A panel of expert judges selected Memphis Public Library’s JobLINC from more than 180 applications in the fifth annual ULC Innovations Initiative. 

ULC’s Innovations Initiative highlights members’ programs, services, and operating practices that demonstrate their leadership by creating new approaches and practices to ensure the public library continuously meeting the ever-changing needs of the community. Memphis Public Library’s JobLINC won in the category of Economic & Workforce Development.
JobLINC Manager Robyn Stone responded to the recognition with appreciation: “We are so excited to receive this award. When we developed our new vehicle, the goal was to be sure we were equipped with the tools that job seekers will need now and in the future. As we approach 25 years of providing service to the Memphis area, JobLINC strives to remain relevant, a trusted information provider and an advocate for job seekers.
JobLINC stays abreast of the changing trends in job readiness and workforce development through technology, research and collaboration with other workforce development agencies.
As a mobile technology center, JobLINC meets the customers where they are. We are committed to "‘satisfying the customer’s need to know.’"
Director of Libraries for the Memphis Public Library Keenon McCloy stated, “It is a tremendous honor that JobLINC was selected as the Top Innovator in Economic and Workforce Development by the Urban Libraries Council, which is a testament to the cutting edge strides exemplified in the City of Memphis and the trendsetting standard the Memphis Public Library illustrates. Last year alone, the expert staff served over 5,000 Memphis residents with resume, interviewing technique, and job/career assistance; this is due to the Library’s and JobLINC’s established collaborations with more than 1,500 community organizations. We are grateful for the recognition and look forward to continuing to serve the public. We would like to thank the Plough Foundation whose $314,000 gift provided the state-of-the-art mobile service vehicle that affords the Memphis Public Library’s JobLINC services to the community.”
City Mayor A C Wharton underscores the value of the award by stating, “Our libraries are one of the building blocks of our community, proving that they serve as more than just a place to house books. Among the many valuable resources our libraries offer, the job and career services are greatly utilized, and we are glad the Plough Foundation saw the value and provided such a generous gift. Being recognized with the Top Innovator Award for the consistent, hard work of the JobLINC staff is an honor not taken lightly. With our city’s focus on increasing jobs, this award further illustrates the efforts the Library puts forth to assist every customer who walks through its doors with unlimited opportunities.”
In announcing the 2014 Top Innovators, ULC President and CEO Susan Benton said these libraries and every library that submitted programs for the Innovations Awards this year demonstrate the amazing work that takes place in libraries every day.
“On behalf of the ULC community throughout North America, I congratulate The Memphis Public Library and Information Center’s JobLINC for being selected as a 2014 Top Innovator. You and your library staff are commended for setting the pace for growth, change and innovation in the field,” Benton said. “Each submission highlights exactly how public libraries create value and impact in local communities.”
Category: Economic and Workforce Development
Top Innovator: Memphis Public Library (TN) JobLINC: Mobile Bus for Job Seekers and Employers
Honorable Mention: King County Library System (WA) Building a Workforce that Reflects Our Community
For a complete listing of the 2014 Top Innovators, including Honorable Mentions, in 10 categories, go to
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About the Memphis Public Library & Information Center

The Memphis Public Library and Information Center (MPLIC) is committed to satisfying the customer’s need to know. With 18 Library locations throughout the Greater Memphis area, MPLIC offers an array of programs, services, and resources for citizens and visitors to enjoy. They include JobLINC mobile career services, LINC/2-1-1 telephone referral services, a TV and radio station (WYPL TV-18, WYPL FM 89.3), a small business center, laptops for checkout and free Wi-Fi access, in addition to books, e-books, DVDs, records, compact discs, and educational programs for children, teens, and adults. Customers can find age-appropriate services and a list of Library locations at
Memphis Public Libraries are publicly and privately funded. Approximately three million people visit the Memphis Public Library and Information Center each year.

About the Urban Libraries Council

As a membership organization made up of America’s premier public library systems and the organizations that serve them, the Urban Libraries Council (ULC) has spent more than 40 years enriching urban communities by strengthening their public libraries. While ULC members primarily represent urban and suburban libraries, lessons from their work are widely used by all libraries. ULC serves as a forum for thought leaders sharing best and next practices resulting from targeted research, education, and emerging trends. Our programs are recognized for creating new frameworks that invigorate public libraries and their communities.