Urban Libraries Council Honours EPL for Library Innovation 

Mâmawô ayâwin Highlights Importance of the Role of Public Libraries 

For Immediate Release:  

Urban Libraries Council Honours EPL for Library Innovation 

EDMONTON, AB, January 21, 2022 – The Urban Libraries Council announced the Edmonton Public Library (EPL) as one of 10 Top Innovators during the 2021 Innovations Celebration held virtually on Friday, Jan. 21. The annual Innovations awards recognizes transformative programs that address structural racism, bridge digital divides, provide lifelong education opportunities, meet the needs of under-resourced populations and improve essential library service delivery from ULC’s member library systems across the U.S. and Canada. 

Mâmawô ayâwin was selected by a panel of expert judges from over 250 submissions in 10 categories that showcase creative thinking and imaginative applications of library resources. The EPL won in the category of Communicating the Library’s Value, with award winners being recognized for their level of inventiveness, the outcomes achieved and the ability for other libraries to adapt and implement their work. 

“Creativity and inventive approaches continue to thrive at ULC member libraries, and this year’s winners are no exception,” said Urban Libraries Council President and CEO Susan Benton. “This year’s submissions highlight our libraries’ remarkable capacity for leadership, commitment and determination during a time of continued change and stress. We celebrate EPL for developing a leading-edge program that will transform their library and community, serving as a model for all public libraries in North America.  

Mâmawô ayâwin, nehiyawewin for “all being together”, is EPL’s new program in support of Indigenous services at the Library. This campaign is an extension of EPL’s work to promote public dialogue about truth and reconciliation, and positions gathering as fundamental to our community work. Recognizing the powerful role of imagery in storytelling, EPL commissioned local Indigenous artist Lance Cardinal to create the stunning illustration. The program provides Edmontonians ways to engage online and offline, including speaker presentations from community and thought leaders, language classes and resource sharing. 

“EPL is thrilled to be an Honourable Mention winner for Mâmawô ayâwin, which opens a dialogue about Indigenous cultures, truth and reconciliation.” says EPL CEO Pilar Martinez. 

EPL works with the Indigenous community to develop and deliver Mâmawô ayâwin. The name is in nehiyawewin, is significant to the land on which EPL is located. The program has reached thousands of Edmontonians. 

All 2021 ULC Innovations entries can be viewed at urbanlibraries.org 



About the Edmonton Public Library
The Edmonton Public Library (EPL) is proud to be 2014 Library of the Year, as well as the first public library in Canada to win Canada’s Most Admired™ Corporate Cultures award by Waterstone Human Capital, as of 2018! We’ve come a long way since 1913 when books were all you could find on our shelves… and we’re just getting started! Today, EPL carries everything you care about. We are Edmonton’s largest lender of all manner of information and entertainment. Our professionally trained staff take you beyond Google with the knowledge, discernment and desire to help you navigate a universe of information. The second most visited place in Edmonton, every year EPL hosts over 15.4 million in-branch and online visits across our 21 branches and website. We deliver our incredible content to you everywhere – in the library, at home or on your handheld device. Unmatched access and unrivalled value – that is today’s EPL. EPL is a registered charity and relies on donations to enhance services. Spread the words. www.epl.ca/give 

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 160 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.