Santa Clara County Library District Wins Two Major Awards for Major Initiatives

Gilroy’s Rise Up Program and use of Headspace app recognized

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. – The Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD) has received a pair of major honors for innovative efforts that its staff has embarked on over the past year. The accolades come from the Urban Libraries Council (ULC), which represents 150 North American libraries, and the California State Association of Counties (CSAC).

“It’s great to see our staff’s extra effort to help improve the communities we serve recognized by groups as prestigious as ULC and CSAC,” said County Librarian Nancy Howe. “We will take these honors as validation of our approach to expand the types of services we offer to our patrons.”

The ULC award, which was announced last Thursday, October 17 during the organization’s 2019 Innovations Celebration in Salt Lake City, is for SCCLD’s “Lending Mindfulness: A Mental Health App Pilot”. The service was selected from among 260 submissions as the winner in the Wellness, Safety & Sustainability category for showcasing out-of-the-box thinking and creative applications of library resources. Award winners were recognized for their level of creativity, ability for other libraries to adapt their work and the outcomes achieved. SCCLD is the first public library in the nation to offer the mindfulness app, Headspace, opens a new window, to patrons for daily meditation. 500 people are currently enrolled. The president of ULC plans to personally present an award proclamation to SCCLD’s Joint Powers Authority at its meeting of January 23, 2020.

The second recognition is from the California State Association of Counties, opens a new window for Rise Up, a partnership between the Gilroy Library and various County agencies, including the District Attorney’s office and the Department of Child and Family Services. SCCLD was selected as the urban library winner for the Challenge Award in Administration of Justice & Public Safety. Working closely with the South County Youth Council and local nonprofits, Rise Up was created as a multi-pronged  intervention program designed to help parents of youth who have been involved in the criminal justice system steer clear of gangs and other negative behaviors.

“Rise Up has been the perfect approach to the challenges faced by Gilroy area youth,” said Mike Wasserman, County Supervisor and President of the Library Joint Powers Authority Board. “SCCLD has been a major partner in this effort, lending meeting space, planning, programming and personnel time.”

CSAC holds their annual conference Dec. 3-6 in San Francisco. They also plan to present their award in person to the County, date pending.