2024 RILA Conference Recap - Wednesday, May 22nd

Saturday, June 08, 2024 11:17 AM | RILA Communications (Administrator)

Submitted by Robin Nyzio, Adult Services Librarian, Cranston Public Library

Navigating the Census Bureau’s Website to Find the Data You Need

This was a great refresher to learn about how to better access Census Bureau information. David Kraiker from the U.S. Census Bureau also mentioned a site with their history: census.gov/history. He talked about the difference between the American Community Survey (ACS), which focuses on how people live, vs. the census, which focused on where people live. He also pointed out that the Census Bureau is a federal agency that contracts with other federal agencies, including the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Veteran Briefings: The VA Providence Healthcare System; Essential VA Websites and Veteran Suicide Prevention

VA Chief Librarian Cheryl Banick spoke generally about the VA itself before bringing up Community Engagement & Partnership Coordinator Kim Ferrante, LICSW. Kim is interested in outreach events at public libraries. As we all know, suicide is a public health concern for everyone and especially so for active duty and veterans. Kim has outreach programs focused on Lethal Means Reduction where she has free gun locks, ammunition locked bags, and medication bags. To contact her: kimberly.ferrante@va.gov.

Keynote speaker: Raul the Third

Having worked in children’s and teen services previously, I was aware of his work. His first book, Lowriders from Space, was created in collaboration with Portland, OR librarian Cathy Camper who reached out to him after seeing his artwork in a zine he created! He wrote and illustrated his newest picture book called Vamos! Let’s Go Read as a tribute to public libraries, where he spent so much of childhood and where he got his start illustrating as well. Great talk.

Libraries as a Trusted Election Resource 

State Librarian Megan Hamlin-Black offered the Voter Information centers available to libraries. They provide a voter registration application, mail ballot application, signage, and more. She mentioned that a voter ID is available to those who are unhoused or their gender doesn’t match their state-issued ID. Those who don’t have an address can use the city or town hall as their address. She also talked about the Civics Education Division of the Secretary of State’s office. She supports lowering the voting age to 16 because it’s a way to create lifelong voters, which makes a lot of sense. 

Building Information Literate Communities

Heather Pouliot Kisilywicz, MLIS, is a professional archivist and genealogist who believes that learning more about genealogy resources can benefit all public librarians. She talked about the ramifications of DNA testing for families who may not want to know that they are no longer related, for example.

"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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