• Monday, April 08, 2024 11:43 AM | RILA Communications (Administrator)

    Dr. Donna Gilton at a CORI Fall Conference, Rhode Island State HouseI first met Dr. Donna Gilton over 20 years ago when I was a librarian at Hartford (Connecticut) Public Library, attending a conference at the New Haven, Connecticut Public Library. I believe the all-day conference was on diversity in our local libraries. Donna was in attendance with Dr. Michael Havener, the then Dean of the University of Rhode Island Graduate School Library and Information Studies program. The main speaker was Dr. Carla Hayden, the current Librarian of Congress, who at that time was the CEO of Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland. While working on her Ph.D. at the University of Pittsburgh, not only did they room together, but Donna and Dr. Hayden became very close friends.

    I saw Donna a few other times before relocating to Rhode Island at various library conferences. We were always cordial and she invariably had something humorous to share to make you laugh.

    Upon retiring from HPL and moving to South County, near URI, I met with Dr. Havener to discuss the number of unrepresented students of color in the GSLIS program. I humored him by stating, “I guess they do not have any Black librarians in Rhode Island other than Dr. Gilton.” I asked him this question due to my attendance at a Rhode Island Library Association annual conference at Bryant University. I remember seeing only one librarian of color that spring day, Marlene Lopes, former special collections librarian at Rhode Island College, who became a member of CORI. 

    I am not sure what Dr. Havener said to Donna. She always used to tell me, “He instructed me to meet with you.” I recollect saying to her, “As a seasoned educator and a pioneering voice in the library world, and due to your immense expertise and passion for librarians, he selected the right professor to meet with me.” And not to mention her institutional and community knowledge. These words would always make her smile, that grin and smirk she would portray.

    During our first meeting, she stated that Attorney Denise Dowdell, a former librarian, should be on board for future meetings as we discuss the under-representation of Black librarians in the state. Thus, the idea and discussion proved feasible to organize a group of librarians of color in RI. Therefore, Cornucopia of Rhode Island: A Library Community of Color (CORI) was established. 

    Dr. Havener, Dr. Gilton, Denise, and myself would meet several times a month at the home of Dr. Gilton and her mother, Mrs. Hattie Gilton, whom we decided would be ex-officio of our organization. Plus, Mother Hattie always prepared a full course meal, whether it was breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and we always sat at the formal dining room table and ate off fine China plates. No wonder it took forever to incorporate, we procrastinated just to continue with Mother Hattie’s sumptuous meals. 

    After months of meetings, research, discussions, and Denise’s design of the CORI logo, in September 2005 we had our inaugural program at URI’s University Club. An invitation to every RI librarian and library worker of color that Gilton and Havener could think of, including current and former URI GSLIS Prism Fellows, was disseminated. Librarians of color from neighboring Connecticut and Massachusetts were also invited, and many attended. Our featured speaker for the luncheon was Andrew P. Jackson (Sekou Molefi Baako), former executive director of the Queens Library's Langston Hughes Community Library & Cultural Center in New York. Andrew has returned to RI on several occasions as guest speaker for CORI as well as for RILA annual conferences.

    CORI founders Gilton, Dowdell, McGhee, and Havener
    at the first CORI program in September 2005

    Since inception, CORI has presented at RILA’s annual conferences as well as established a yearly fall mini-conference. Guest speakers for both have included well known and prominent librarians throughout the country. From Dr. Hayden, who returned her honorarium from RILA and benefited it to CORI, with the stipulation that it be used for future CORI programs, to presidents of ALA, former ALA executive director Tracie Hall, and Jack Reed, Senior Senator of Rhode Island. Whenever we invited a notable speaker to Rhode Island to speak pro bono or at a lower speaker’s cost and they accepted our invitation, Donna and I would always be tickled pink.

    Dr. Carla Hayden with three of CORI's founders Dowdell, Gilton, and McGhee

    Without Dr. Gilton’s input and URI GSLIS support, there would be no CORI. In between writing her books and numerous articles, teaching, and playing the piano for her church choir, Donna was always present for CORI. We normally carpooled together or with other CORI members in our area of the woods to drive throughout Rhode Island for our Saturday morning meetings. I will forever cherish those drives and Donna’s funny stories. When Donna learned that she had cancer, her tenacity and good humor never quit. She preserved through it all without murmuring or negativity and always had a joke to share.

    Rest in peace, my first librarian friend in Rhode Island. Your kind spirit and willingness to march on will always be remembered with a smile.

    For additional information on CORI, visit https://rilibraries.org/cori

    Submitted by,

    Ida D. McGhee

  • Tuesday, April 02, 2024 2:52 PM | Anonymous

    Shannon McClintock Miller will be keynoting RILINK's summer conference on July 24th. Conference is from 8:00am to 3:30pm. Registration information coming soon! 

    Save the Date RILINK Summer Conference July 24 Registration Info Coming soon

  • Monday, April 01, 2024 8:30 PM | Anonymous

    The Graduate School of Library and Information Studies is pleased to announce the winners of this year’s awards for Library of the Year and Alumni of the Year. The Library of the Year for 2024 is the Rhode Island State Archives in Providence, Rhode Island. Each year, GSLIS honors two alumni: one who graduated 10 or more years ago and another recent alumnus who graduated within the last 5-10 years. Our Alumna of the Year for 2024 is Stephanie Mills and our Recent Alumna of the Year for 2024 is Alyssa Taft. These awards will be presented at the GSLIS Annual Gathering, to be held May 3, 2024 at the URI Alumni Center in Kingston, RI. The Annual Gathering is an evening of professional camaraderie and celebration that will celebrate these award winners, along with our alumni, current students, and larger community, as well as a panel on Collaboration, comprised of Ashley Selima, RI State Archivist and Public Records Administrator, Stephanie Mills, Librarian at Park View Middle School, and Alyssa Taft, Teen Librarian at Cranston Public Library.

    The Rhode Island State Archives is being recognized for its focus on serving the people and history of Rhode Island through in-person and virtual exhibits, collaborations with state and local agencies, and outreach to the people of Rhode Island. The RI State Archives engages in a wealth of collaborations, including with the New England Document Conservation Center to help preserve the RI Bill of Rights. They offer a variety of public programs, such as their Genealogy Open Houses, Map Nights, and a Parks & Recreation Panel offered in collaboration with RI Recreation and Parks Association, RI Department of Environmental Management, and the City of Providence. Continuing their efforts to broaden access to state historical collections, the RI State Archives has created several interactive stories through a partnership with Google Arts & Culture, including stories on RI parks and recreation, the Gaspee Raiders, and RI wild weather, among others. GSLIS selected the Rhode Island State Archives as Library of the Year for 2024 because of their commitment to public service through collaboration with state and local agencies, other partners, and the public. As State Archivist and Public Records Administrator Ashley Selima told URI Magazine, “Being a small part in helping people become more civically engaged is a really rewarding thing.”

    Since graduating from URI GSLIS in 2007, Stephanie Mills has worked as the Librarian at Park View Middle School in Cranston, RI. Mills has been recognized for her collaborative work with teachers and other librarians. She has even collaborated with her students, seeking their input to help select books for an ARPA-funded grant from the RI Office of Library and Information Services in 2021. Among many other accomplishments, Mills was named School Librarian of the Year in 2020 by the School Librarians of Rhode Island. Cranston Public School Superintendent Jeannine Nota-Masse was quoted in the Cranston Herald as saying, “Stephanie is a wonderful example of a school librarian who has gone above and beyond to keep our students engaged in reading, in learning, and in utilizing our library’s many resources and supports. Our libraries are community hubs and Mills’ library at Park View Middle School certainly illustrates that important community dynamic.” This reflects Mills’ view of the library as “the hub, the place that brings together a community of readers,” as she explained to the URI Magazine. She described her collaborative teaching efforts in a blog post for Springshare in 2015, noting that she “work[ed] with different teams, many content areas and two grade levels on a daily basis.” Mills’ partnership with Alyssa Taft, the Recent Alumna of the Year, was featured in School Library Journal. URI GSLIS is proud of Stephanie Mills and all of her exemplary contributions to school librarianship and community building in Rhode Island.

    Alyssa Taft graduated from URI in 2017 with both an MLIS and MA in English. Taft’s MLIS degree was completed with School Library Media certification, and she first worked as the library media specialist at Portsmouth Middle School before joining the Cranston Public Library teen services team in 2019. At Portsmouth Middle School, Taft collaborated with other teachers to put on an event in 2019 where students could chat live with authors through Skype. Teen Librarian, Taft runs a variety of programs and outreach events including Service Saturday when local teens can complete their community service requirements, the Cranston East High School Bring Your Own Book Club in partnership with OneCranston Health Equity Zone, and even Cupcake Wars. Taft has partnered with the Cranston Senior Center to have Service Saturday teens decorate Thanksgiving and Christmas cards that accompany holiday meals for seniors. Currently the Secretary of the RI Teen Book Award Committee, this year, Taft also stepped in as Co-Chair of the RILA Conference Committee, and has contributed to School Library Journal, Computers in Libraries, and Publisher’s Weekly. URI GSLIS is proud of Alyssa Taft and her commitment to serving the youth of Rhode Island, both as a school librarian and now as a public librarian.

    GSLIS is proud of all our 2024 award winners and looks forward to celebrating with them on May 3 at our Annual Gathering. Registration is required.

  • Tuesday, March 05, 2024 3:46 PM | Anonymous

    You are invited to submit a proposal for the inaugural Generative AI in Libraries (GAIL) virtual conference. This year's theme is Prompt or Perish: Navigating Generative AI in Libraries. GAIL is a virtual conference aimed specifically at librarians. This conference seeks to explore the use of generative artificial intelligence (AI) in libraries. It is also an opportunity for librarians to share their experiences with generative AI technologies and their applications in the library setting.

    June 11-13, 2024. Registration required. 

    Use this form to register: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfMFXlrYqLM9ts_hJW8Nmz3O685dVpYU6EMOR02CgdD3Mre7A/viewform

  • Monday, March 04, 2024 2:40 PM | Anonymous
    The National Baseball Poetry Festival celebrates the intersection of America's pastime and the power of words on May 3 and 4, 2024 in Worcester, MA.

    May 3 and May 4, 2024, all day both days. Tickets for baseball games are optional. 

    Visit https://baseballpoetryfest.org for more info.

    National Baseball Poetry Festival

  • 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


    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.

"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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