On November 3rd, Let’s Move In Libraries, a national organization focused on the critical importance of community collaboration to community health, awarded Holly City Development Corporation (HCDC) a 2023 I Partner With My Library Award. Ten organizations from around the country were recognized during Let’s Move In Library’s ZOOM ceremony.
Courtenay Reece, Director of the Millville Public Library, nominated HCDC for this brand new award program. In presenting the award, by Dr. Noah Lenstra, Associate Professor Department of Library and Information Science School of Education at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro shared that it was, “For their successful 6-year community collaboration focused on creating an annual PlayStreets celebration, in which the library, the Holly City Development Corporation and dozens and dozens of other partners worked together to create a yearly summer event, closing the street to traffic to open the streets for a day of play.” Lenstra went on to say, “More recently, the partners have worked together to secure $1,170,000 in state and federal funding to support the expansion and renovation of the 1965 existing library, which is located in one of the poorest districts in New Jersey. We commend HCDC and it’s Executive director, Heather Santoro, for this work. Congratulations!”
The creation of Let’s Move In Library was inspired by Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Initiative, which from 2010 to 2017, sought to increase healthy living among Americans by promoting Healthy Eating and Active Living, or HEAL, across the entirety of the US federal government. Fifty-five organizations were nominated for the “I Partner With My Public Library Award” which celebrations community collaborators.
Since 2016, the non-profit organization Let’s Move in Libraries has been a national and international voice advocating for strengthened partnerships between public libraries and others that want communities to be healthier places for all. Through this work, they have seen that public libraries can do a lot to promote health, but this health promotion work is almost always made possible by community partners and community collaborators. Recognizing a gap around this topic, in 2023 Let’s Move in Libraries launched the annual I Partner with My Public Library Award to begin the process of creating a platform to celebrate and acknowledge the crucial work of community collaborators to the work of public librarianship. This award is open to all partners, not only those focused on health promotion.
About Holly City Development Corp
HCDC serves as a catalyst for neighborhood change in downtown Millville. Areas of focus include community building and resident engagement, real estate development and redevelopment housing construction, rehabilitation and financing, and economic development.