Inviting. Informing. Transforming. » About » Library News » Library Recognized for Community Impact and Leadership in Nationwide Innovations Initiative

Library Recognized for Community Impact and Leadership in Nationwide Innovations Initiative

November 16, 2017 (Canton, Ohio) – Stark County District Library is pleased to announce that it has been named a 2017 Top Innovator by the Urban Libraries Council (ULC). Only ten libraries received this honor nationwide.

The library’s winning initiative was the Mobile Device SmartKit, a new tool to introduce users to the library’s tech and digital offerings. It consists of a pen/stylus, microfiber wipe, and quick start cards with information on e-collection apps, wireless hotspots, wireless printing, and help services including the new tech helpline and 1-on-1 appointments.

The 2017 Innovations Initiative showcases leading “best” and “next” practices that demonstrate the value and impact of public library service in the 21st century. These practices embody ideas, approaches and insights which other libraries can adapt. Winners were honored on October 13 the ULC’s Annual Forum in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

A panel of judges selected Mobile Device Smart Kit from a pool of over 250 submissions as one of 10 library practices that best embodies the 21st-century library’s role as a community leader and pioneer for positive change.

The Library was honored earlier in the year at the PR Xchange put on by the Library Journal, with awards for both its new Mobile Device SmartKits and New Cardholder Email Series.

SmartKits are available free in all branches year round. This upcoming holiday season, the library will be bringing back the popular holiday gift program with a popup location in Belden Village Mall from December 4- January 3.

“Now, more than ever, libraries must act as leaders in their community to provide resources that many have taken for granted,” said ULC President and CEO Susan Benton. “During times of economic and social difficulties, these libraries have stepped up to the challenge of inspiring change while helping their communities thrive.”

To learn more about the ULC Innovations Initiative or to view a full list of winners, visit



One of the 9 largest library systems in Ohio – and the county’s oldest library – Stark County District Library serves the community through 10 locations, six mobile libraries, and a 24/7 digital branch.

A 2009 winner of the prestigious National Medal for library service, the Library serves over 140,000 active cardholders, annually circulating 3.85 million items from its 1.5 million item collection and providing access to an additional 66 million items from lending networks throughout Ohio. Each year the library presents more than 9,000 programs for 175,000 attendees and provides 240,000 computer sessions on the publicly available computers found in each branch.

Today, as it reimagines itself as The Smart Store, where everything is free®, the Library is emerging as a national thought-leader with innovations such as its “no overdue fines” policy, the BikeSmart bike sharing network, and the Start Smart School Partnership.

For more information, call 330.452.0665 or visit

# # #

Stark County District Library: Start Smart. Stay Smart. Share Smart.