In This Issue

The Rhode Island Library Association

is a professional association of Librarians, Library Staff, Trustees, and library supporters whose purpose is to promote the profession of librarianship and to improve the visibility, accessibility, responsiveness and effectiveness of library and information
services throughout  
Rhode Island.
Contact us at:
PO Box 6765
Providence, RI 02940
401-203-READ (7323)

Find us on Facebook
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Oh January, why do you have to look so dreary? Granted, your dreariness does serve a purpose-it makes it the perfect time to start planning what bright things will be next for your library! How are you going to make the library a bright spot for the patrons in your community?
Will you be like PCL and hold programs that focus on diversity of your patrons? Or perhaps you will help the members of your community empower themselves and strengthen their financial literacy skills with a Money Smart Week program.
Maybe you have a great idea and want to share it with other librarians! There is still time to send in proposals for our Annual Conference and for our Information Literacy Round Table's Lesson Swap program.
Remember, whatever your upcoming library plans are, the best way to push out the dreariness of January is with ideas and programs that show your community that the library is a place of kindness and acceptance, where everyone is welcome and has a place to belong. 

Until next time!

Andria Tieman Michney and Brandi Fong
RILA Communications Committee Co-Chairs
President's Corner
By Aaron Coutu
RILA President
I am sure you have probably received emails about the great news we have recently been able to announce with regard to membership. RILA members are now able to sign up and renew memberships for both RILA and NELA (New England Library Association) at the same time AND at a discounted rate. You can now take advantage of a paying the discounted fee of $20 a year ($15 a year for students and retirees) to become NELA members, in addition to your regular RILA membership. The reduced rate is available with your Individual Membership only, not through your Institutional Membership. The joint membership option gives individuals full membership rights in both organizations. When you sign in to  renew or join   there will be a field where you can select the Joint NELA Membership.  If you have already renewed for this year, or are an ALA/RILA Student Member, you can still take advantage of this offer! Please contact . I would like to thank RILA Vice-President Kieran Ayton of the Rhode Island College Adams Library and RILA's NELA Liaison, Jessica D'Avanza of Barrington Public Library, for implementing this opportunity so quickly.

Digital Literacy Round Table
The RILA Board would still very much like to start up a Digital Literacy Round Table (DLRT) that would follow a similar model to that of the Information Literacy Action and Financial Literacy Round Tables in order to support continuing education and professional development. In order for the new round table to be established, we would need a total of 20 existing RILA members sign on to support its creation. We have about half of that amount already do so. Those providing their support would not be required to be a member of the new round table, though we would obviously hope that some would be interested in serving to support its charge.
The Digital Literacy Round Table (DLRT) would be established under the governance of the Rhode Island Library Association in order to support these goals:   
  1. To build a collaborative network across library types (school, public, academic, health, and special)  to promote digital literacy as part of a critical set of skills and understandings for full participation in society and therefore an essential component of library service.
  2. To provide a forum for discussion and communication of digital literacy-related strategies, activities, and programs for all types of libraries and librarians throughout the state to support the needs of Rhode Islanders.
  3. To consider and find solutions regarding the digital inclusion of all Rhode Islanders with a specific focus on marginalized, disadvantaged, and underserved populations.

According to the American Library Association, digital literacy is defined as "the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills" (ALA, 2012). Digital literacy is fast becoming one of the critical skills every citizen needs in order to constructively interact with technology and participate online.
The Digital Literacy Roundtable will bring about sharing opportunities and continuing education sessions for members of the RI library community to help further develop programs and services in the area of digital literacy.  These topics would include technology access, Makerspaces, coding, and privacy. Any RILA member would be eligible to be a member of DLRT. Those interested in lending their support can contact Katherine Boden [] or Corrie MacDonald [] of the Cranston Public Library or Catherine Damiani []of the East Providence Public Library.
RILA Conference 2017
J oin RILA for the 2017 Annual Conference: Building Connections, Growing Community.

RILA 2017 Annual Conference
Wednesday May 31 & Thursday June 1, 2017 
Bryant University, Smithfield, RI

Connect with your colleagues from around the region and share what is working, what you want to grow, and how your library is making awesome things happen. Whether you're looking to be inspired, energized, or informed, RILA 2017 will have something for you!  

The Call for Proposals is now open!
The deadline for proposals is February 10, 2017.
Members of the conference committee will let you know by February 28, 2017 if your proposal has been accepted and if any changes are required. The committee may request that you adjust your content or format for acceptance.
What is a Library?: A Question for the Trump Era
by Aaron Coutu
Assistant Director, Cumberland Public Library
This is definitely a question that has probably been floating around at the back of all of our minds. In January of 2009, President Obama famously said that "Elections have consequences," but this most recent election cycle definitely has a lot of people looking at how the 2016 Presidential campaign season has had consequences to our culture and to our communities. Some of the darkest aspects of American culture seem to have risen to the surface and target the most disadvantaged populations in our country and in the communities we serve.
We now seem to live in a time when people with power use their positions to demean or disparage people who are different without fear of reprisal. As Meryl Streep said in her acceptance speech at the 2017 Golden Globes on Sunday, January 8, "[d]isrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose."

In times like these, it is important for libraries to step forward and do what we do best. Our 2017 Conference, which will take place on Wednesday, May 31 & Thursday, June 1, (see above/below) has the timely theme of "Building Connections, Growing Community." It ties into what libraries really strive to be: warm and welcoming places for all people to come together to socialize, learn, and build communities. We need to make sure that our libraries continue to be the safe place for people of all types to come and feel at home.

To do so, it is important for libraries to not just create and maintain these safe places, but also to make sure that everyone knows that is something we have to offer. That doesn't mean that we are required to step into the political foray; instead, we can just declare that everyone in our communities are important and are welcome to make use of everything we have to offer.   As part of this approach, the RILA Board is reaching out the AS220 in Providence with the hopes of becoming a partner in its "Community is Stronger than Hate" initiative. We are hoping to have some news soon about how libraries might be able to receive signage and vinyl peels that can be used to showcase that libraries are safe places for everyone. More information about this to come soon!

Remember that this is really just one approach that you can achieve the same goal. There is nothing wrong with creating your own similar signage and slogans to help get the message out.   My own in library in Cumberland has opted to try and approach the challenge of our current political climate through passive programming with a Kindness Tree. Our staff created a faux tree that has been placed in our adult and teen service area. It has started off bare, but we are inviting patrons (and staff, too!) to write down an act of kindness they have done on a leave and add it to a branch. As spring approaches, we will all get a chance to see our tree blossom with ideas about how people can brighten the day for others.

If you are looking for some other ideas like this, Buzzfeed has a list of 101 Easy Ideas for Random Acts of Kindness you can use to set something up! Remember: Libraries make a difference so act to do so!
News From Providence Community Library
PCL Holds Community Meeting for Latino Patrons
The ongoing changes in our country are unsettling for many cultural groups and none more so than for those of Latino origin. Carolina Briones, PCL's Latino Program Coordinator, has invited Latino residents to a community meeting at South Providence Library on Wednesday, January 18 at 6:00PM. Carolina and PCL colleagues will listen to the current needs and concerns of Latino patrons and act on suggestions for future programming and services. For more information, contact Carolina at .

Grab Your Dictionaries: It's PCL Spelling Bee!
Cultivate your inner sesquipedalian and help Providence Community Library raise funds by participating in the PCL Spelling Bee on Saturday, January 28! For a mere $5, you can mingle with the finest spellers in Providence and for just $10 more, you can compete for the title of "Best Speller of the Year." Bring your friends, enjoy drinks and great company. Your host will be writer, publisher, man-about-town and PCL Vice President, Matthew Lawrence. Spelling Bee will take place at AS220, 115 Empire Street, Providence and starts at 7:00PM. Thanks to Friends of PCL for sponsoring this event!

For Girls Looking at Careers in Computer Science, Rochambeau's Computer Lab is a Great Place to Go
Girls Who Code, an after-school club affiliated to a national nonprofit initiative that enables teenage girls to learn coding in a fun and friendly environment, returns for a new session at Rochambeau Library on January 23. Introduced in 2015, the Club was greeted with acclaim as the only free, public club of its kind in Rhode Island. Girls Who Code will meet Mondays from 6:00PM to 8:00PM. IT professional Kendra Saunders will guide the class and be assisted by Katya Schwiegerhausen, a computer science student at Brown University. Affiliated to a national non-profit organization, Girls Who Code's mission is to inspire, educate and equip girls with skills to pursue 21st century opportunities. In Fall 2016, Rochambeau also hosted the Chrysalis Coding Club, an initiative of the Danielle Bessler Foundation that teaches girls about the basics of website design. For more about Girls Who Code, contact Laken Hottle 401-272-3780 x1906.

Kids Find Their Inner Super-Hero at Wanskuck Library!
Wanskuck Library is planning a follow-up program with Providence College after the two institutions collaborated on a successful children's book club in Fall 2016. The El Deafo/Kid Awesome Book Club was created and implemented by Providence College professor, Dr. Kendra Brewster, and supported by 10-15 college students who acted as mentors for elementary school-aged children. Participants read the "Kid President's Guide to Being Awesome" and worked on finding the "super-hero within," before producing original writing and art for a special display. The new program may be ready in early Spring.

Digging Through the RILA Archives
RILA Bulletin Vol. 6 no. 9, September 1988

RILA Bulletin Vol. 52 no. 4, November 1979 

News From the Field
Providence College
The cost of college textbooks has grown to a point that virtually every campus is now seeking solutions. While many institutions have successfully reduced costs for students through stop-gap measures such as rental programs, lending libraries and licensing deals, the greatest potential for permanently solving the problem lies in Open Educational Resources (OER). Institutions of all kinds have begun to leverage OER to reduce costs for students, expand access to information, and enable faculty to better tailor materials to their courses.

Providence College, along with most RI higher education institutions, is a participant in the Rhode Island Statewide Open Textbook Initiative.  The goal of the initiative is to reduce college costs by saving students $5 million over five years using openly licensed textbooks and open educational resources.  

As part of our participation in the statewide initiative we have scheduled a visit from SPARC's Director of Open Education, Nicole Allen.  Allen's talk, "OER and Solving the Textbook Cost Crisis," will provide an overview of the OER movement to date, including important definitions, description of major projects, and examples of how some institutions have successfully engaged with OER.  The talk will help frame the opportunity for regional collaboration and provide specific advice on working with faculty around OER.

All are welcome to attend! Please save the date for this talk at 2:00 pm on Monday, January 23rd in Harkins 300.

Cranston Public Library
  Cranston Public Library is pleased to welcome  Allison   Gregory  as the new Auburn Branch Youth Services Librarian. 
Allison graduated with a Master's Degree in Library and Information Science from McGill University in 2015. Recently, she has  worked at the Denver Public Library in Colorado, interned at Juneau Public Library in Alaska, and worked as an elementary literacy tutor for Colorado Reading Corps.
Allison began her new position on January 9. She replaces Gail Stokes, who was hired as a Youth Services Librarian at the Central Library.

Reading Across Rhode Island 
Reading Across Rhode Island, Rhode Island's only One Book, One State community read program is kicking off its 15th year with the 2017 title: Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. 

Join us Sunday, January 29 from  2:00 - 4:00 pm at the Providence Public Library for an engaging panel discussion on the book's themes of proximity, understanding, and justice. The panel will be led by Reading Across Rhode Island Honorary Chairs Judges Judith Colenback Savage and Edward C. Clifton, both retired trial justices of the Rhode Island Superior Court and Distinguished Jurists in Residence at Roger Williams University School of Law. 

Tickets are $15 and include one copy of the book. Light refreshments will be provided. For more information visit and to reserve your seat,  please click here or contact Kate Lentz at or  401-273-2250.

The Rhode Island Library Association's Financial Literacy Round Table (FLRT) is kicking off the new year by hosting a financial literacy resource fair called "Financial Literacy @ Your Library Showcase."  The goal of this event is to provide an opportunity for community financial partners (librarians, organizations, government agencies, etc.) to showcase financial literacy programs and/or information available to libraries across RI during Money Smart Week 2017 (April 22-29) and year-round.
The Financial Literacy @ Your Library Showcase will feature simultaneous tabletop presentations (poster or multimedia), allowing attendees to explore the showcase, ask questions of presenters and network with library colleagues and community partners at their own pace.  (Think speed dating meets library programming).
Topics include saving by organizing your household, financing college, identity theft, best bets for children's programs and more!
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
William Hall Library Auditorium
1825 Broad Street
Cranston, RI
Stop by anytime between 10 am - 12 pm to network with financial professionals and library colleagues to plan your financial literacy programs. Refreshments will be served.
For more information, please contact Lori DeCesare or Chris Wallace Goldstein at

Share your great ideas! The Rhode Island Library Association's Information Literacy Action Round Table is hosting a lesson swap on Wednesday, March 1 from 3:30 - 5:30 at Bryant University in Smithfield, RI. We are looking for librarians who would like to share successful lessons -or- lessons that could be perfect with some feedback. We are looking for lessons from all levels and library types, from school to university to public, that relate to an information literacy topic. The Lesson Swap is an opportunity to connect librarians across library types to share pedagogy and exchange effective lessons, materials, and ideas.
Lesson swap presenters should come prepared to teach a 20 minute sample lesson to colleagues as if presenting to the lesson's target audience. A 10 minute Q&A session will follow each lesson to provide an opportunity for questions and feedback. A laptop with screen will be provided. Please bring hard copies of any handouts (we'll let you know how many you'll need before the event).
To submit a proposal to present a lesson, please fill out the form at by February 3. We'll be in touch with presenters by February 10. To accommodate Rhode Island weather, we will plan for a snow date of Wednesday, March 29.
Maura Keating, Co-chair, RILA-ILART
Mary MacDonald, Co-chair, RILA-ILART

Media Smart Libraries
Raspberry Pi Basics
Thursday, January 26, 2017
Cranston Public Library
10 am - 12 noon
Series: Media Smart Libraries
Facilitator: Rhode Island Computer Museum
This workshop is for librarians who want to learn about the Raspberry Pi for possible new programming opportunities and makerspace activities for patrons.  The Raspberry PiĀ® is a single-board computer developed in the UK by the Raspberry Pi Foundation with the intention of stimulating the teaching of basic computer science in schools. We will put together basic components; learn about input and output, basic python programming concepts and practices.
Come learn and play with our Raspberry Pi's and help educate a new generation of programmers and electronics engineers!  No experience necessary.

This workshop is being offered through a collaboration of Media Smart Libraries and the Digital Literacy Makerspace Working Group at Ocean State Libraries and is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Grant # LG-07-14-0045-14.
Intended audience: Children and Teen Librarians, School Librarians.

You're Invited!
The Rhode Island Library Association and the New England Library Association invite you to the second Library Libations after work event. Come and enjoy a drink with fellow librarians, some Irish food and learn about the new joint membership between RILA and NELA at Aidan's Pub in Bristol from 6 to 8 pm on Monday, January 30.
Aidan's Pub
5 John Street
Bristol, RI
Hosted by your NELA state representative, Jessica D'Avanza. RSVP through the Rhode Island Library Association Facebook event or email

Save the Date for the Annual Gathering!  April 21, 2017 6-10pm.  Alumni center, URI Kingston Campus.

The RILA Bulletin is produced by the RILA Communications Committee.  The RILA Communications Committee is responsible for publicizing and supporting Rhode Island Library Association activities using a variety of communication tools. Responsibilities including publishing the RILA Bulletin, managing social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, and exploring other mediums as needed. The Communications Committee may cooperate with the publicity efforts of the Public Relations Committee to promote library services statewide.

Rhode Island Library Association members can contribute content to the RILA Bulletin by emailing the editors:



Andria Tieman Michney & Brandi Fong



Rhode Island Library Association