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  • Monday, November 21, 2022 12:04 PM | Anonymous

    Inspired by their Sesquicentennial Soiree a year ago, Senator Jack Reed nominated Pascoag Public Library in Burrillville for the Institute of Museum & Library Services (IMLS) National Medal for Museum & Library Service. This is the nation's highest honor for museums & libraries that make significant & exceptional contributions to their communities.

    Recipients will be announced in Spring 2023.

    "It's a bit of a cliche, but in this case we feel it truly is an honor just to be considered for this award. Then, to be nominated by someone with the stature of Senator Reed, well, we're thrilled & grateful beyond measure." (quote: Board of Trustees President Kathan Lambert & Library Director Gretchen Hanley)

  • Monday, November 07, 2022 12:51 PM | Anonymous

    Native American collection expanded

    Native American collection at the George Hail LibraryThe George Hail Library is pleased to announce the release of a new special collection of books on the local history of the Pokanoket people. This collection was generously donated by the American Indian Study Committee. The circulating collection is available to all patrons with an Ocean State Library card in good standing. The American Indian Study Committee was appointed by the Warren Town Council in 2020
    Read more on the Sowams Heritage Area website.

    Welcome Michaela Hutchinson, Youth Services Librarian

    Jill and Michaela standing in front of a stone wall at the George Hail Library.We have two new wonderful staff members on our team at the George Hail Library.  Jill C-D (left) who started in August and now Michaela Hutchinson (right), our new youth services librarian.  Michaela recently graduated from Simmons College and this is her first professional position.  Her last position was in Burlington, MA.  We are excited to have both here at the George Hail Library.

  • Thursday, October 06, 2022 9:27 AM | Anonymous

    P2PU Logo and RILA LogoPeer 2 Peer University (P2PU) and the Rhode Island Library Association (RILA) welcome library staff to build a learning community with fellow librarians across the state. P2PU is developing five workshops on in-demand topics for Rhode Island library staff. Join any of the five 60-minute workshops on our calendar about these advanced facilitation techniques:

    • Oct. 13, 2022 - Best practices for co-facilitating peer learning (Click here to RSVP)
    • Dec. 8, 2022 - Self-advocacy: Looking out for yourself when running a program (Click here to RSVP)
    • Feb. 9, 2023 - How to lead technical programs when you’re a non-expert (Click here to RSVP)
    • April 13, 2023 - How to navigate sensitive and interpersonal topics (Click here to RSVP)
    • June 8, 2023 - Safe Spaces: Balancing feeling safe with feeling challenged (Click here to RSVP)

    Additionally, P2PU will create three learning circle facilitator guides on topics of interest to the Rhode Island library community to be completed by the end of 2022: 

    • LGBTQ+ services (Queering Identities: Sexuality and Gender Identity)
    • Writing for change (Writing grant proposals, applications and op-eds)
    • Advocacy in public libraries (PLA’s Turning the Page)

    Since 2016, P2PU has supported RILA in running learning circles. These free, peer-led study groups can increase patron engagement and retention in online courses, and they provide an accessible and supportive environment for learners. Providence Public Library initially worked with ESOL students to run citizenship prep learning circles where adults at various levels of readiness prepared for the citizenship exam process, practiced English, and built relationships with their peers. In 2021, P2PU worked with Amrita S. Patel and Denise LaForce, former colleagues at Charlotte Mecklenburg Library (CML), to develop course materials on How to Talk about Race. Facilitators across the country have adapted this learning circle to navigate these difficult and necessary conversations in their communities. (Read more about this project at their blog!)

    At the heart of the success of learning circles is the community of facilitators that make them happen. We’re grateful to the facilitators in the RILA library community who voiced their interest in these topics, and we look forward to continuing this work. Email us at thepeople@p2pu.org with any questions about how to join our peer learning community.

  • Friday, August 12, 2022 11:18 AM | Anonymous

    Does talking about policies sound less exciting than watching paint dry? Would you rather organize your junk drawer than review your collection development practices? If so, it's time to reframe how you think about these important tools as embodiments of our professional principles.  In the first session of this two-part series, we will share our experiences with current concerns about library resources and services and learn about best practices for library policies that support us in promoting intellectual freedom and social justice. The second session will be a hands-on workshop focused on writing or revising policies based on what we learned in the first session. By the end of the series, we should feel more confident in our abilities to protect access to the information that meets the needs of our communities.

    Register For Part One

    Martin Garnar, PhD, is the director of the Amherst College Library and the editor of the 10th edition of the Intellectual Freedom Manual. His professional activities and speaking schedule reflect a profound inability to say no. A native New Yorker, Martin lives in western Massachusetts with his husband Mark and their impossibly cute miniature dachshunds.

  • Friday, August 05, 2022 11:25 AM | Anonymous

    Cornucopia of Rhode Island: A library community of color. Request for proposals.On behalf of the Cornucopia of Rhode Island (CORI), we are delighted to invite current library school students and recent MLIS graduates to submit proposals for a poster presentation at the Cornucopia of Rhode Island annual mini conference on Thursday November 3, 2022 from 2:00-4:30pm. While not required, we encourage posters on the conference theme of ‘Recruitment and Retention of Librarians of Color’. We are also seeking posters on topics pertaining to diversity, equity, and inclusion in libraries.

    For consideration, please submit a 150 word (maximum) abstract of your poster topic by September 9, 2022 to cori@rilibraries.org. Selected posters and presenters will be notified by September 26, 2022. Questions may be directed to the conference organizers at cori@rilibraries.org. See attached flyer for more information [pdf].

  • Tuesday, August 02, 2022 10:16 AM | RILA Communications (Administrator)

    submitted by Pamela Schwieger, Youth Services Coordinator at East Providence Public Library

    I am proud to report that, on Saturday, June 25, the East Providence Public Library held its first Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH). Aside from the heat, it was a beautiful day filled with love and acceptance, fun, and lots of color! Our DQSH was part of the largest Pride Event the city of East Providence has ever had. The day began with an inaugural East Providence Pride Parade, followed by a flag raising and speakers at City Hall; and continuing with music, GIANT bubbles, crafts, and LGBTQIA+ informational tables on the lawn at Weaver Library. And, of course, the culmination of the day, what everyone was waiting for, was the Drag Queen Story Hour performed so fabulously by Haley Star.

    Our Pride Event and DQSH turned out to be a wonderful celebration of diversity and inclusion, however, the weeks leading up to the event had their ups and downs. We had the pleasure of collaborating with East Providence’s new LGBTQIA+ Advisory Board and Mayor DaSilva who encouraged us to turn our DQSH program into a larger, all-afternoon, Pride event. We were also supported by local agencies like PFLAG Providence, EPHS Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA), Newman Congregational Church, the Parasol Patrol, and more. Although we were given much positive feedback, not everyone was happy to hear about this event, and we also received phone calls and social media posts from members of the local and statewide community whose goal was to have the event canceled. Our performer, Haley Star, was also the victim of a great deal of hate speech. So much so that she took to her Facebook page to make a statement to defend the DQSH and invite others to come and support East Providence Pride Day. 

    Thank you to Haley Star for being the brave person that you are, and for so eloquently reminding us that: “Events like these are for the children who don’t quite feel 100% seen yet, and have family members strong enough and brave enough to bring them there to experience an afternoon of joy, laughter and love to allow them to develop into their own true self.” I hope the children who attended this program felt encouraged to be exactly who they are, and to accept the differences of others.

    And, finally, thank you to Rashaa Al-Sasah, Emma Brelsford, Colin McCullough, and all the staff at West Warwick Public Library for hosting their DQSH in 2021. From the moment I left your incredibly positive and uplifting event last year, I knew that I needed to bring Drag Queen Story Hour to the families of East Providence.



  • Wednesday, July 27, 2022 1:05 PM | Anonymous

    Photo of Elena Rios, a young woman with round glasses and long dark hair, standing in front of green foliage.The Cranston Public Library is pleased to announce the hiring of Elena Rios as the new full-time Youth Services Librarian at the Central Library. A lifelong resident of Cranston, Rios began working at Cranston Public Library in 2017 while she was a student at Cranston East High School. During her time with CPL, she has worked as a Page, a Library Aide, and Part-time Youth Services Librarian. She recently graduated from Simmons College, completing both her bachelor's in Information Technology and Master of Library Science.

  • Friday, July 15, 2022 10:21 AM | Anonymous

    Inspired by a program at the 2022 RILA Conference, Assistant Circulation Manager Mary Albanese was on a mission to establish a food and necessities pantry at the library. "We get a lot of patrons, especially students after school, who are hungry or need an item that we don't regularly provide. Or they do not have money to buy a snack. We also have parents who come to programs looking for an item and it will save them money and a trip to the store. We want to provide as much as we can to our community."

    With the understanding that the pantry would be patron-driven, semi-private, and anonymous, the library soon set up a spare book cart and soon the donations came flooding in. Red.Lined.Period soon caught news of the pantry and reached out to Library Director Stefanie Blankenship via their Instagram post. Now Red.Lined has partnered with the library to provide feminine and incontinence products for those in need. Their mission, "Fighting Menstrual Product Insecurity in Rhode Island," is now benefiting North Providence Residents.

    Items brought to the pantry must be unopened, non-perishable, and not expired. Mary's hope is to acquire larger shelving as the pantry grows bigger and more visible in the community.

  • Friday, June 17, 2022 10:37 AM | Anonymous

    Photo of the Rhode Island State House, a large domed marble building. Text reads "Thank you! RI House of Representatives votes to fully fund State Aid to Libraries."

    The Rhode Island Library Association (RILA) applauds the RI House of Representatives' passage of the Fiscal 2023 state budget which includes $1.4 million in additional funding for libraries. For the first time since 2009, this budget fully funds state aid to public libraries at the funding level outlined in RI General Law 29-6-2. This additional funding will positively impact public libraries in every city and town in Rhode Island. Also included in the $1.4 million is additional funding for the Statewide Reference Resource Center also known as AskRI to continue funding for online learning and tutoring services available to all Rhode Islanders.

    “The Rhode Island Library Association applauds the House for its visible support of Rhode Island libraries by fully funding state aid to libraries. This action continues to build our communities resources and we are excited to see this commitment,” said RILA President Rachael Juskuv.

    RILA thanks Speaker Joe Shekarchi for his support of libraries and his recognition of the role libraries play in supporting constituents’ needs for access to information, technology, health and wellness resources, educational supports, and social connections.  We thank the Speaker for his strong leadership for including this additional funding in the budget.

    RILA also thanks Representative David Morales (Providence) and Representative Jackie Baginski (Cranston) for being strong library advocates and their efforts along with the 40-plus sponsors of House bill 7916 for bringing much needed attention to this long standing funding issue.

    During National Library Week in April, Representative Morales and fellow legislators highlighted the essential work performed by libraries during the pandemic and the importance of full state funding by visiting all nine Community Libraries of Providence. “It was gratifying to host Representative Morales and to share the impact these state resources will have on our community,” said CLPVD Director Cheryl Space.

    The Rhode Island Library Association urges the RI Senate to pass the FY23 budget with the inclusion of these important funds for our public libraries.

  • Saturday, June 11, 2022 10:04 AM | RILA Communications (Administrator)

    Welcome to the RILA Bulletin Spotlight Series, where we feature the important work of a different RILA or RI library section, committee, roundtable, initiative, or organization in each issue.

    Questions or suggestions for this column? Please send an email to communications@rilibraries.org.

    June 2022 Spotlight: RILA Intellectual Freedom Committee

    For this issue, we asked Tayla Cardillo to tell us about her role as Co-Chair of the Intellectual Freedom Committee. Tayla is the Branch Librarian of the Oak Lawn Branch of the Cranston Public Libraries in Cranston, Rhode Island.

    What is the mission or purpose of the Intellectual Freedom Committee?

    To help libraries in their role as protectors of Intellectual Freedom and the First Amendment as well as inform the Rhode Island Library Community about issues of Intellectual Freedom.

    When was the Intellectual Freedom Committee formed?

    This January, the Committee was reactivated after a period of inactivity.

    What made you personally interested in being involved with this committee?

    I think protecting people's intellectual freedom as well as their right to read and access information is one of the most important aspects of our jobs as library professionals. Frequently, the stories of marginalized groups are the ones that get labeled as obscene or inappropriate for children, so it is important to make sure that those voices are not silenced by the white heteronormative majority. Part of the reason many of these groups, especially the LGBTQAI+ community, don't know their own history is because their voices were silenced in the past. That's what I want to try to work to stop.

    What is this committee’s proudest achievement?

    Since this committee is just getting restarted, I am proud of the work the committee has done in the short period of time we've been meeting to get this committee going again. With the help of the Communications Committee, SLRI, and the RILA Board, we created an Intellectual Freedom statement for RILA and put a page with resources to help the RI library committee learn more about Intellectual Freedom on the RILA website. I'm proud of what we accomplished in the first half of the year, and I'm excited to see what we'll do in the second half and beyond!

    What ongoing challenges does this Committee face?

    Our biggest ongoing challenge is figuring out the best way to support libraries and school districts who are facing book challenges. Do they need legal support, or support creating a solid collection development policy? Do they just want support from peers who understand what going through a challenge is like? These are the questions the committee has been grappling with since the beginning.

    If money and time were not an issue, what is the Intellectual Freedom Committee’s number one wish list item to support its mission or purpose?

    Creating a way for us to collect data about book challenges and other instances of censorship in RI and have people within the library community: 1) be aware that they can report censorship to us, and 2) feel safe and comfortable reporting to us.

    What partnerships with other groups or individuals (inside or outside of RILA) have been most beneficial for this Committee to meet its goals or objectives?

    Our partnership with the Communications Committee has been great because we did not have to reinvent the wheel when it came to getting information about Intellectual Freedom out there to people. They have a platform and they know how to use it and they were willing to share that platform with us so that we could get this information out there.

    Is this Committee looking for new members, and how can those interested get involved?

    Yes, we would be happy to have anyone interested in Intellectual Freedom to join us, and they can email ifcommittee@rilibraries.org to indicate their interest in joining the committee.

    What book are you reading now that you’d like to promote?

    I just finished Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett Krosoczka, which is a graphic memoir about his childhood being raised by his grandparents. The author’s mother was in and out of jail and rehab programs due to her drug addiction, and his father was absent from his life until he was a young adult. It was a great look into the effects of addiction on a family through the eyes of a child, and I think it will help a lot of kids who have complicated family situations feel seen.

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