Libraries interested in replicating the ULP are encouraged to adapt the program to their own unique needs and situations.
In 2003, St. Catherine University (formerly the College of St. Catherine) in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and the St. Paul Public Library (SPPL) applied for a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to prepare target population groups to become paraprofessionals in public libraries, primarily but not exclusively in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area.
The target audience consisted of people from ethnic minorities and under-represented socio economic groups that reflected the population in the metropolitan area. The St. Catherine University and the Saint Paul Public Library believe that their experience can provide guidance to other libraries, particularly in urban areas, in recruiting, training, and placing community members that reflect the demographics of the community into the library community. By doing so, the Urban Library Program (ULP) is building careers and reflecting community.
The Urban Library Program Resource Manual is designed to describe the activities of the Urban Library Program with an emphasis on what worked to bring about success and the challenges SPPL and St. Kate’s faced in implementing the program. Each section includes an introduction, the ULP experience, recommendations for replication, and forms that can be used to plan.
The approach taken by St. Paul Public Library and the St. Catherine University is one approach that has proven successful. However, each community that replicates the Urban Library Program will have its own needs, institutional priorities, and community resources. If you like to receive a copy of the ULP Resource Manual by mail, please contact us: