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  • Friday, February 02, 2024 3:34 PM | Anonymous

    The Rhode Island Genealogical Society welcomes applications for small amounts of funding in support of purchases, content, or preservation of records to those researching Rhode Island ancestors. Public or non-profit libraries within Rhode Island or non-profit organizations serving as repositories are welcome to apply for funding. Awards typically range from $300-$2000. All awards will require a final report within twelve months.

    Please visit the RIGS Preservation Grants page, copy the following questions into an email and answer each one. Email should be sent to outreach@rigensoc.org. Applications are due annually on March 15 and awards will be announced at the RIGS Annual Meeting in May or June; letters of award/decline will follow. 


  • Friday, February 02, 2024 3:01 PM | Anonymous

    Community Painting Day on Friday February 23rd

    Get ready for a splash of history at the George Hail Free Library! Youth Services Librarian Michaela Hutchinson, Director Chris Matos, and local artist Mallory Angell have teamed up to create a historically inspired mural in the Youth Services room.

    This isn't your ordinary mural—it's an adventure! Covering four walls, it'll be a treasure hunt of hidden objects, each with a story tied to Warren and the library. But here's the twist: it's a community creation! Warren residents will have the power to name the mural and dive into the artistic action by helping paint sections of it.

    Mark your calendars for the "Community Painting Day" on Friday, February 23rd! We're calling on local students to join us in adding color to the mural under the guidance of Angell. Special thanks to the Warren Heritage Foundation, the Jay Barry Cultural Arts Committee, and the Friends of the Library for making this project possible.

    Community Mural Painting Day is on February 23rd, 10 am - 12 pm. Registration will be required. Registration opens February 9th here: https://oslri.libcal.com/event/11983655


  • Monday, January 29, 2024 3:25 PM | Anonymous

    Book Lovers Local Author Expo

    Cumberland Public Library hosting annual Local Author Expo. Come meet and greet with 35+ New England authors - and learn more about their books or writing!

    Saturday, February 24, 2024

    1pm-4pm

    No registration required. More info here: https://fb.me/e/1aof2ANU4

  • Friday, November 17, 2023 3:36 PM | Anonymous

    Did you know there is a connection between family history research and information and visual literacy? True! Genealogy research offers a gateway to asking better questions. Exploring genealogy research covers ACRL's six frameworks for information literacy, including creation as a process or research as an inquiry.  It also inspires a love for local and state history to understand the context around an ancestor's life. 

    The Rhode Island Genealogical Society offers a list of vetted, quality in-person, virtual, and hybrid speakers and programming suggestions - so whip out that 2024 calendar and contact us at info@rigensoc.org

  • Thursday, November 16, 2023 11:08 AM | Anonymous

    Meredith earned her MLIS from Rutgers University in 2011. She was previously the Librarian at the International Tennis Hall of Fame, an Adult Services Librarian at the Pawtucket Public Library, and a Project Archivist for the Tennis Channel. Meredith lives in Rehoboth, MA with her husband and son, and in addition to her job at George Hail she also works at the Blanding (Rehoboth) Public Library. She just finished listening to the audiobook of The Forgotten Room by Karen White, Beatriz Williams, & Lauren Willig and is currently reading Don't Forget to Write by Sara Goodman Confino.

    Photo of white woman with curly brown hair. She is wearing glasses and a dark red shirt. She is seated in front of a window.

  • Thursday, November 16, 2023 10:13 AM | Anonymous
    Write Rhode Island and We Are ALL Readers are co-sponsoring "We Belong on the Page," an all-ages exhibit, designed to highlight the importance of books with BBIPOC and LGBTQ+ representation. Students are invited to create banned book cover redesigns that focus on issues of identity and representation, or other aspects of the banned book that make it important to them. You can learn more about "We Belong on the Page" at http://www.weareallreaders.com/webelongonthepage.html.

    Submissions are being accepted from January 15, 2024 until March 21, 2024 at 5pm. The opening reception for the art exhibit will be on April 6, 2024 at the We Are ALL Readers festival held at North Kingstown High School.

    http://www.weareallreaders.com/webelongonthepage.html Poster for We Belong on the Page: Rhode Island Teens Fight Censorship and Erasure. RI students in grades 7 through 12 are invited to submit work to this traveling exhibit. Directions and submission information is on this page including links.


  • Monday, October 02, 2023 6:18 PM | Anonymous

    The Rhode Island Latino Books Award (RILBA) Committee is seeking new members to serve a 2-year term beginning September 2023. Each year, the RILBA committee selects the nominees for grades kindergarten through 12th for the award. Rhode Island students are encouraged to read from the booklist and vote for their favorite book.

    For more information, please visit: http://www.rilatinoarts.org/LatinoBooksMonth.html 

    Members must:

    • Be a Public Youth Services Librarian in Rhode Island, a School Librarian or Educator/Teacher.
    • Commit to read 5 to 10 books each month, for nine months, including chapter books, picture books, graphic novels, etc.
    • Have experience working with school-age children or teens.
    • Have an interest in children’s or teen literature, or both.
    • Starting in September 2023 and through May 2025, commit to attend virtual meetings on the first Monday of every month, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

    About the Rhode Island Latino Books Award

    The Rhode Island Latino Books Award is a program of Rhode Island Latino Arts (RILA). Now in its ninth year, RILBA promotes the love of reading among Latino young people through the celebration of Latino authors, illustrators, and books that highlight Latino culture and Latin American identity. Through this year-long celebration, RILA encourages librarians, teachers, educators and booksellers to promote books written by and for Latinos, and we encourage all Rhode Islanders to read books in both English and Spanish and written by Latino authors and illustrators.

    Please feel free to contact Maria at mcotto@pawtucketlibrary.org with any questions.


  • Wednesday, June 21, 2023 4:23 PM | RILA Communications (Administrator)

    Patrons are thrilled with the return of Museum Passes at the North Providence Union Free Library. With the help and dedication of its Met School Intern, Jennifer Cortez, the library now has 16 passes for families to enjoy. As part of her end-of-year school exhibition, Ms. Cortez shared her process and progress with classmates, advisors, staff, and members of the public.

    The library wished to provide its patrons with this much needed service. Following the pandemic, many businesses suffered losses and did away with the program or put them on hold. Timing worked in the library's favor, as staff thought carefully about how to acquire new passes and took time to find the funding.

    Staff time also played a factor in the delayed return of museum passes. With staff turnover and the return of in-person programs, the time needed to call, email, follow up with, and research available institutional memberships was lacking. In stepped student intern Jennifer Cortez, from the Met School. Miss Cortez is a freshman at the Met School and wished to do her field study at the North Providence Union Free Library, as she is an avid reader and thrives in educational environments. Jennifer, along with Youth Services Coordinator Jenny Durant and Director Stefanie Blankenship, worked out a plan to bring passes back to the library. So far, 16 passes have been secured, with the hopes of acquiring 20. Miss Cortez also used this process as her exhibition project for school, which must show evidence of learning in many facets.



    Patrons have responded enthusiastically to the return of the pass program, especially for the Audrain Automobile Museum, Mystic Seaport, and Capron Zoo. Though the library is still waiting on some of the guaranteed passes, the excitement is evident.


  • Tuesday, June 13, 2023 2:23 PM | RILA Communications (Administrator)

    Submitted by Robin Nyzio, Branch Librarian at William Hall Library, Cranston

    It was great fun to be inside the Providence Public Library for the conference this year. With the parking lot only a few feet from the front door and all the beautiful inside spaces, I really enjoyed the whole experience -- especially all the tasty food.

    But, back to the sessions I attended...

    Rearranging Religion to Decolonize Dewey was presented by a Springfield, MA, librarian, Elizabeth McKinstry. This project focused on making the 200s represent more of the world religions instead of being so heavy on Christianity and Judaism. For example, instead of putting religions of East and Southeast Asian origin in the 290s, they are shifted to the 220s, thereby establishing them chronologically as being older than Judaism and Christianity. 

    You Don’t Need to be a Cybersecurity Expert to be Cybersecure, presented by PPL’s Beatrice Pulliam and OSL’s David Demick. Among the tips I took away from this session was that we need to use passphrases instead of passwords and that ‘length is strength’ when it comes to passwords. They also mentioned this website as a way to check your security: https://www.security.org/how-secure-is-my-password/

    Championing the Library: Practical Tips for Handling Difficult Patron Interactions gave solid tips on things to say in response to questioning from patrons. Kit Grant, a crisis communications manager, along with EP Director Meredith Bonds-Harmon, offered role-plays that were very helpful. Here are a few of her tips:

    • When in doubt, be the library. When a person starts asking about the appropriateness of materials, don’t take it personally but have a general answer ready, such as: "Thanks so much for the great questions. We like to have a variety of resources available because the library is for everyone."
    • Do not match negative energy, voice, tone, or language. She encourages us to practice staying relaxed, calm, and polite in all situations, so we won’t get flustered by demanding patrons or pushy people.

    Rack of Eye: Managing Implicit Bias in Collections at Steamship Historical Society. Astrid Drew is the archivist for the Steamship Historical Society of America in Warwick. She talked about her collection, which was very fascinating, and I encourage you to look at their website: https://shiphistory.org/. What Astrid and her team set out to do was to bring out more information about the people of color who built the ships and stayed below decks once they were underway, rather than only focusing on the engineers who designed the ships, the captains and crews, all of whom were, by and large, white. 

    First Amendment 101: Common Exceptions to Free Speech Protection Justin Silverman, Executive Director of the New England First Amendment Coalitiontook us through what is and is not protected under the First Amendment. He cited Texas v. Johnson, the case having to do with burning the American flag, and gave us this great quote: "The Court noted, 'If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.' There is a lot of great information on this website and you can subscribe to get email updates specific to RI.


  • Friday, June 02, 2023 10:22 AM | RILA Communications (Administrator)

    The Rhode Island Library Association (RILA) presented its yearly awards at its Annual Conference, which was held May 24 and 25 at the Providence Public Library. The theme for the conference was “Keep Calm and Read On.”


    "This year’s award recipients are truly deserving of this honor,” said RILA President Beatrice Pulliam. “We were so fortunate to have each of our honorees present at our awards reception and be able to celebrate their achievements in front of their friends and family."

    The 2023 RILA Award winners are:

    Library Champion Award: Senator Hanna Gallo, District 27, Cranston and West Warwick.


    Senator Gallo is one of the most active supporters of libraries in the General Assembly. She has been an important ally as RILA advocated for full funding of state grant-in-aid to Rhode Island’s public libraries. Her advocacy was instrumental in state aid increases including $900,000 in 2017, $200,000 in 2019 and finally achieving full funding with an additional $1.5 million in 2022.
    For the past eleven years she has supported her local Cranston Public Library with legislative grants that have been used to support youth services programs across the CPL system.

    “Senator Hanna Gallo has been a true friend and champion to our libraries and we look forward to working with her for years to come,” said Ed Garcia, director of the Cranston Public Library.

    Outstanding Librarian Award: Chaichin Chen, Resource Sharing Coordinator, Office of Library and Information Services.

    Chen retired from the Office of Library and Information Services in 2022 after 25 years of serving the state. She served as Resource Sharing and Network Services Coordinator.  Chen’s long commitment to resource sharing culminated in the development of the regional Sharing Visions summit that began in 2020 and brought together state library agency staff and librarians from across New England. Her unfailingly pleasant demeanor and extensive knowledge made technical innovations that much easier for library staff.

    “Chaichin leaves big shoes to fill at the Office of Library and Information Services, and will be much missed here and in the library community,” said Karen Mellor, Chief of Library Services for the state of Rhode Island.  


    Outstanding Library Paraprofessional Award: Maria Melvin, Human Resources Coordinator, Community Libraries of Providence.


    Melvin operates a complex human resources department single-handedly, handling benefits, payroll, and maintaining accurate files for all staff. As the Human Resources Manager, Melvin is an integral part of the union negotiating committee, prepares job descriptions, participates in every interview, and onboards all new staff. When staff are out on medical or other leaves, Melvin is sure to send flowers and cards on behalf of the library.  

    “Despite her deep well of responsibilities, she also finds time to uplift the staff and to bring joy, and tons of fun, to every gathering.  She loves the Community Libraries of Providence and is dedicated to the mission of the library. She is always willing to do the work to make change possible,” said Cheryl Space, director of the Community Libraries of Providence.

    Meritorious Friend of the Library Award: Josephine Sassi, Friends of the West Warwick Public Library.


    Sassi has been a tireless and dedicated supporter of the West Warwick Public Library for well over a decade. She currently supervises a group of volunteers who stock and run the “Book Nook”, the library store through which the Friends raise funds for library programming and services. She is responsible for the Friends’ gift basket raffles, which happen twice a year. The displays are so professionally done and elaborate that they draw people into the library who might not otherwise visit, and raise substantial and much-needed funds for the library.

    “Her multiple contributions to the life of the West Warwick library are made in a manner that is utterly dependable but also utterly unassuming. Without her presence, the library would be a poorer place – literally as well as figuratively,” said Colin McCullough, director of the West Warwick Public Library.  

    Trustee of the Year Award: Ken Findlay, Board of Trustees, Exeter Public Library.

    Findlay has worked tirelessly to improve the library’s standing and base of support. His experience as Assistant to the Town Council has been invaluable in guiding the library’s many projects and initiatives, from launching a new website to major building repairs. In addition, as Interdepartmental Project Manager/Institutional Programs and Services for the RI Department of Corrections, Ken serves on the State Library Board representing the interests of incarcerated persons. He exemplifies in every way the qualities that RILA has identified in a Trustee of the Year.

    “As a result of Ken’s leadership, the library’s standing towards the community has comprehensively improved. Ken has expertly and patiently shepherded numerous items through the necessary processes to ensure their success,” said Tien Tran, director of the Exeter Public Library.  


    The Rhode Island Library Association is a professional organization that serves its members through career development, education, advocacy, networking partnerships, and legislative action. The core vision of RILA is to inspire and promote excellence in library services, through training, innovation, and advocacy.

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"Rhode Island Library Association" is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Rhode Island Library Association, P.O. Box 6765, Providence, RI 02940

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