LA County Library has announced that it has earned three Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo). The awards honor innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents.

“Over the past year, county officials and frontline employees have demonstrated bold, inspirational leadership,” NACo President Gary Moore said. “This year’s Achievement Award winning programs illustrate the innovative ways counties build healthy, safe and vibrant communities across America.”

LA County Library was honored for Systemwide Virtual Programming: Connecting Across the County. The library’s virtual programming is a system-wide multi-division strategy to deliver thoughtful, impactful, cohesive Library offerings digitally, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and onward. Weekly pre-recorded videos and live interactive events offer programs for all ages and interests, and a way for customers to access essential resources, education, and connection with their communities. Though programming covers a wide breadth—from STEAM, to cultural history, to book talks—specialized resources were created for targeted populations, addressing the impacts of the pandemic to their lives.

A second award was given for Bridging the Digital Divide: Laptop & Hotspot Loans, Park & Connect, and Printing Pickup. The library’s new technology-focused services offer many ways for countless LA County residents who lack reliable internet or access to computers at home to gain the connectivity essential for their lives, making steps toward bridging the digital divide. Laptop & Hotspot Loans allow customers to borrow a Chromebook laptop and wireless hotspot for 3 weeks, just like a book, with the option to renew. Park & Connect expanded existing Wi-Fi at select libraries to the entirety of the parking lot, allowing anyone with a Wi-Fi enabled device to get connected with ease. Finally, a Printing Pickup program at all 80 locations offering Sidewalk Service, allows customers to print 10 pages daily using a wireless printing app and pick them up like any other item.

The third award the library system received was for 19th Amendment Centennial Commemorative Artworks – Joint Award with LA County Department of Arts and Culture. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors identified August 2019-August 2020 to celebrate 100 years since the ratification of the 19th Amendment of the United States, granting women the right to vote. To honor the centennial and the ongoing work toward achieving equity, the Department of Arts and Culture collaborated with the LA County Women and Girls Initiative, to commission six artists to create commemorative artworks.

The project invited LA’s creative community to explore and celebrate the achievements of the Suffragists and place the movement in a larger historical context. The resulting artworks reflect a diversity of women and perspectives and highlight themes such as empowerment, civic engagement, resiliency, and the right to vote. The original artworks were made into posters, downloadable graphics to encourage voting in the November election, and, through a partnership with LA County Library, three of the artworks were turned into special edition library cards and distributed at Library locations offering Sidewalk Service during the Safer at Home orders. The 19th Amendment Centennial project is an excellent demonstration of a successful collaboration between several County departments and agencies.