After several years of reduced library hours due to city budget challenges, the voters of Duluth passed a referendum in 2011 that freed up additional funding for the library. This vote of confidence inspired the library’s staff and supporting organizations to take library services to the next level by not only restoring the hours that had been lost, but by organizing more programs and free events at the library than ever before.

The Duluth Public Library has never been as viable as it is now. When I was a kid I remember going to the old Duluth Public Library and it was an honor to have a library card. I don't ever remember so many services and free things going on for the community and kids especially to be involved in.

The Voice of the People Awards for Transformation are given by the  International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and the National Research Center, Inc. (NRC) to the communities showing the biggest improvement in service ratings as voiced by their own residents through the National Citizen Survey™ (NCS), a tool that enables local governments to gather high-value citizen data to inform budgeting, goal setting, performance measurement, and program planning. Winners are identified from the communities that conducted the NCS in 2012 and showed the greatest improvements in ratings from their last survey and larger than improvements shown in all other eligible jurisdictions.

“The Duluth Public Library is very excited to hear that we have received the Voice of the People Award for Transformation in public library services,” says Carla Powers, Library Services Manager. “Within the last couple of years, our library has grown from a place to check out books to a hub of community activity, and that infusion of positive energy is indicative of a broader movement in the Duluth community.”

See the citizen survey here

Press release from