Dayton Metro Library named a top innovator of 2015

Jennifer Spillman (left) and Jean Gaffney (right) with the Urban Libraries Council Top Innovator award, presented June 25.

DAYTON – The Urban Libraries Council has recognized the Dayton Metro Library as a Top Innovator of 2015. The Library received a Collections Innovation Award for its Local Author Collection and Local Authors Event. Jennifer Spillman, the Library’s Adult Services Division Manager, and Jean Gaffney, Acquisition & Collection Development Manager, accepted the award at a ceremony on June 25 in San Jose, Calif., for their entry, “Dayton: The Cradle of Innovation.”

The Collections Innovation Award is one of 10 categories that recognize the value and impact of public library service in the 21st century. In particular, this award recognizes innovations in the curation or creation of print or digital content and new collection development practices, among other criteria.

“This is an important win on the national level for our Library,” said Gaffney. “It symbolizes the creativity and innovation that is encouraged by living the Dayton area and working at the Dayton Metro Library. We have embraced the ever-growing number of authors in our area. Seeing their titles on the shelves and in the online catalog validates their work and expands their audience. We now have an attractive collection of works by local authors featured at the Main Library.”

The Local Author Collection includes both self-published and mainstream published authors of all ages, for all ages. It includes fiction and nonfiction, books written as class assignments, poetry and audio-visual material. The items are catalogued and can be reserved and sent to branch libraries as requested. Since 2012, the Library has added approximately 300 items to the Local Author Collection. In 2014, these items circulated 355 times, a 47.9 percent increase in usage.

“When a local author comes to the Library to talk to us about adding a title to the Local Author collection, we also tell them about the Local Author event, which happens annually in the spring,” said Spillman. “It’s a time of celebration for the authors and for the Library. Each author is awarded the opportunity to sell their books to the public and to speak about their inspiration, motivation, and processes behind the writing and completion of their masterpieces.”

In April, thirty Library-sponsored local authors joined other writers and vendors in conjunction with the Dayton Book Expo at Sinclair Community College. More than 450 people attended the event.

“Since the time of the Wright Brothers and Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Dayton has been the home of innovation and creativity,” said Tim Kambitsch, Library Executive Director. “In this technologically advanced age, libraries do more than check out materials; they support patrons’ endeavors to create text, sound, visual items and nearly anything they can imagine.”

The Urban Libraries Council, founded in 1971, is a membership association of leading public library systems in the United States and Canada. For more information about the Local Author Collection or event, visit or call (937) 463-BOOK.