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  • Tuesday, May 21, 2024 4:10 PM | Anonymous

    To better serve all levels of library workers, NELLS is currently working with a three tiered approach. For 2024, the NELLS program will be for Tier 1 - NELLS: Emerging Leaders. This program is designed to be an introduction to library leadership. It is most appropriate for early to mid-career library workers who have demonstrated potential to become leaders in the field, or who aspire to hold leadership positions. A Master’s degree in Library Science is not required in order to participate.

    This program will be facilitated by Jami Yazdani, MLIS, of Yazdani Consulting and Facilitation. Jami has more than fifteen years of experience in libraries in progressively responsible positions, including more than twelve years in leadership roles. She has delivered training to a wide range of professionals, from bankers to dermatologists to librarians.

    Applications due June 1st. Cohort will meet in person from August 5th - 7th at Southern New Hampshire State University, and will hold weekly virtual sessions on Thursday mornings from 10am - 11:30am from August 15th through October 3rd.

    Apply here: https://www.nelib.org/nells-leadership

  • Monday, May 06, 2024 2:32 PM | Anonymous

    Registration is now open for the inaugural Generative AI in Libraries (GAIL) Conference.

    This year's theme is Prompt or Perish: Navigating Generative AI in Libraries. GAIL is a free virtual conference aimed specifically at librarians that 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.

    Scheduled to take place June 11, 12, and 13, 2024, from 1:00-4:00 pm EDT each day, GAIL aims to promote a deeper understanding of how generative AI can revolutionize library services like instruction, research support, collection management, access services, outreach and collaboration, while also addressing the challenges and ethical considerations this new technology brings to libraries. View more details and register on the conference website here: shsulibraryguides.org/genailibraries/registration.

    Gail Virtual Conference: Generative AI in Libraries on June 11 to 13, 2024.

  • Monday, May 06, 2024 2:19 PM | Anonymous

    Rhode Island Genealogical Society

    A full-day, free genealogy conference on May 18th will be hosted by the Rhode Island Genealogical Society. Three recognized genealogy speakers, Drew Bartley, Michael Leclerc, CG, and Jenifer Kahn Bakkala, will present on this year's theme, "Writing and Publishing Family History." Attendees of all levels of experience will delight in the opportunity to spend the day with other genealogists, amateur and professionals.

    Registration is highly recommended.


  • Friday, April 12, 2024 8:32 PM | Anonymous

    RILA's Library Advocacy Day press event was featured in the Rhode Island Current.

  • Monday, April 08, 2024 3:15 PM | Anonymous

    Win raffle prizes! RILA members, get someone new to sign up for RILA, and both of you will be entered into our Spring Membership Drive raffle for prizes! Simply have your new member fill out the "I was referred by" section of the online membership form, and you will be entered. One entry for each new member who signs up. Referring person must be a current RILA member. The Membership Drive will take place up until the first day of the RILA Annual Conference on May 22, 2024.2024 Spring Membership Drive

  • Monday, April 08, 2024 2:08 PM | Anonymous

    (Providence, RI) The Rhode Island Library Association (RILA) has worked with local lawmakers this legislative session to introduce bills in the House and Senate regarding the fair licensing of library ebooks in the state of Rhode Island. 

    For many years, the publishing industry has been decimating public library budgets in Rhode Island and across the nation with high ebook prices and licenses that disappear over time. 

    “Most major publishers are currently charging libraries up to nine times or more the cost of ebooks and audiobooks than they are charging consumers," said Lisa Sallee, Assistant 

    Director of Ocean State Libraries. “The licensing terms of these ebooks mean they often expire after 12 or 24 months, or a certain arbitrary number of checkouts, which then requires our libraries to repurchase ebooks and audiobooks over and over again, often at the same high prices each time. It’s unsustainable.”  

    “House bill 7508 and Senate bill 2514 attempt to use state contract law and consumer protection law to put us on a fair playing field in the marketplace,” said Julie Holden, Membership Chair of RILA. “We stand with our neighbors in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Vermont, who have introduced similar ebook bills this year, as have the states of Illinois, Tennessee, and Iowa.”

    “Most libraries have little, if any, bargaining power and are rarely able to change the terms of the contracts offered to them by publishers. As a result, many libraries face financial and practical challenges in making ebooks available to their patrons,” said Kyle K. Courtney, an attorney and librarian working as Director of Copyright and Information Policy for Harvard University. 

    Over the past year, representatives from RILA have met with representatives from the Association of American Publishers, offering ideas and suggestions that would benefit both libraries and authors, but to date, nothing substantive has come from those conversations.  

    “We know how much Rhode Islanders use and love their public libraries, so this creates a big problem for us; we have limited budgets and we cannot purchase enough licenses to meet the demand of our library users. People rely on the library to provide reading material that they do not have the disposable income to obtain themselves,” said RILA President Beatrice Pulliam. 

    “Repurchasing library ebooks requires constant monitoring and analysis of the best way to meet patron demand with increasingly expensive short-term licenses. This leads to an additional cost - the cost of staff labor to review expired licenses weekly - diverting time and energy from other important services to library patrons,” said Stephen Spohn, Executive Director of Ocean State Libraries.

    Limiting access to library ebooks disproportionately affects those with disabilities. Ebooks and digital audiobooks help Rhode Island citizens who have visual, motor, or learning impairments to enjoy books they could not otherwise. According to the CDC, up to 1 in 4 Americans have a physical or cognitive disability.      

    RILA thanks Representative Lauren Carson (Newport) and Senator Victoria Gu (Westerly, Charlestown, South Kingstown) for being strong advocates and for their efforts bringing attention to this long-standing issue. 

    The Rhode Island Library Association urges the General Assembly to pass the ebook bills this session.

    The Rhode Island Library Association is a professional organization that serves its members through career development, education, networking partnerships and legislative action and seeks to inspire and promote excellence in library services, through training, innovation, and advocacy. RILA also supports libraries and library workers to meet the diverse needs of the populations they serve. More information is available at rilibraries.org 

  • 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

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