DC Public Library Teens Honored by Urban Libraries Council

Teens of Distinction Program Earns 2009 Award for Excellence

(Washington) – The DC Public Library’s Teens of Distinction Program received the 2009 Urban Libraries Council (ULC) Highsmith Award for Excellence at the ULC’s annual conference on July 12.  The award honors the leading urban and metropolitan library youth development program in North America.   

The Teens of Distinction program provides part-time, year-round employment for high-school age D.C. residents.  The library designed the program to attract academically successful teens by providing premium wages for jobs and leadership opportunities.  The teens - who assist with customer service, collections management and special programming - have been instrumental in creating teen-centered programming and pinpointing ways to improve library service to teens.    

“What sets this library program apart is its holistic approach to youth development – from workforce readiness and gainful employment to leadership development and community involvement,” said Luis Herrera, chair of the selection committee for the Highsmith Award of Excellence and Director of the San Francisco Public Library. “This is a model program that is truly making an impact on youth and community in the District of Columbia.”

“The Teens of Distinction Program is a successful partnership,” said Ginnie Cooper, chief librarian for the D.C. Public Library.  “The library is fortunate to have great teens who participate in the program and produce remarkable results.  The library is also grateful to the City Council who expanded the program after seeing the results of our pilot program two years ago.”

Media Contact:
George Williams
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