In This Issue
President's Corner: Joan Ress Reeves, RILA/NELA Conference
RILA Statement on LGBTQ Civil Liberties
Library Libations ~ Updates and Highlights from the Community
RILA Section Notes ~ Upcoming OLIS Workshops
Letter from the President
Hello everyone,

Thank you to those who attended the RILA / NELA Joint Conference on October 21-23, 2018. We had a fantastic turnout and I hope you found it rewarding, enriching, and fun! Please take the RILA 2018 Conference and Program Survey , even if you didn’t attend, to share your ideas for new programming in the future. 

On the Sunday evening, October 21, RILA had a special reception honoring J oan Ress Reeves, longtime library advocate and COLA founding member. Joan received the ALA Distinguished Award from ALA's Washington Office for her tireless efforts advocating on behalf of libraries, both locally and nationally. Senator Jack Reed presented Joan with her award.
Joan Ress Reeves with her daughter Ellen and Senator Reed. Also present at the reception were ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo and ALA Washington Office Executive Director Kathi Kromer.
Please take a look at all of the photos from this memorable event. Thank you to Dhana Whiteing for taking these great photos.

RILA was also honored to have ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo present at the Sunday evening reception. On Monday, October 22, Ms. Garcia-Febo visited the Cranston High School East Library Media Center, run by Library Media Specialist Heidi Blais. The visit was part of Ms. Garcia-Febo’s Libraries = Strong Communities national library tour, a national advocacy effort that highlights dynamic library programs that transform lives through education and lifelong learning. She met with students and shared these thoughts: “I am going around the country advocating for libraries and school libraries are very special to me, so that’s why I when I heard the wonderful things this library is doing and how they are helping the community, I said I was very happy to join you here in Cranston because this can help amplify the message to other areas of the country.” Thank you to Cranston Public Library Director Ed Garcia for setting this visit up. An article detailing the visit is available from the Cranston Herald and American Libraries .

Kieran Ayton
RILA President
On Monday, October 22, Loida. Garcia-Febo visited the Cranston High School East Library Media Center
RILA Statement Supporting ALA on LGBTQ civil liberties
On November 5th, RILA issued a statement backing ALA and GLBTRT in their support of LGBTQ civil liberties. Read the full statement here.
December Library Libations
You’re Invited! The Rhode Island Library Association and the New England Library Association invite you to our Fall Library Libations after-work event. Come and enjoy a drink with fellow librarians at Providence’s newest beer hall!

When : Thurs, Dec 13 from 5:45 to 7:45PM

Where: Bayberry Beer Hall, 381 W Fountain St, Providence

Hosted by your NELA state representative, Jessica D’Avanza. For questions email or visit RILA’s Facebook page.
News From the Rhode Island Library Community
GSLIS Wins Infosys Foundation C3 Grant, Coding Events in December
GSLIS is happy to announce that it has won the Infosys Foundation C3 Grant. In partnership with OLIS, the Cranston Public Library, the Providence Community Library, the Central Falls Public Library, and John Pearce, Executive Director of Family Code Night, we will be training librarians, GSLIS faculty, and students, to facilitate family coding events at public libraries. The grant will especially target diverse, underserved family populations in Rhode Island.

Cranston Public Library will host our kickoff event on Tuesday, December 11th, where kids grades 3-5 and their parents/caregivers will join librarians and GSLIS faculty and students in fun and educational coding games.

Providence Community Library and Central Falls Public Library will each be holding a family coding event in the coming months.

This event is sponsored by a grant from the Infosys Foundation to URI's GSLIS, which is bringing together public libraries, university faculty and students, and OLIS, to learn and launch pilot coding programs for diverse families at public libraries.

See the OLIS website to register to be trained as a Library Family Code Night Facilitator on Dec. 11th:
News from the Cranston Public Library

Cranston Public Library adds Foundation Directory Online

The Cranston Public Library had added the popular grant research database Foundation Directory Online. Foundation Directory Online (FDO) provides the most comprehensive and accurate information on U.S. grantmakers and their funding activities. Access to the Foundation Directory Online is limited to the Central Library Reference Department. Please see a staff member at the Reference Desk for assistance.

The database is funded by a legislative grant from Speaker Nick Mattielo. "This new database is a partnership between the Cranston Public Library and the Cranston City Council. We were approached by the Council Grantwriter and Council President Michael Farina about acquiring this database which; we allow the city, area non-profits and our patrons interested in grant research to have access." said Library Director Edward Garcia.

For more information please visit

  • Joanne Lovejoy, Circulation Assistant, retired on 11/9 after 22 years at CPL
  • Barbara Angelone, Head of Circulation, will be retiring on 1/2/19 after 33 years at CPL
  • Linda Archetto, Teen Services Librarian, will be retiring on 1/2/19 after 42 years at CPL.

New Hires

Martha Boksenbaum

The Cranston Public Library is excited to announce that Martha Boksenbaum has been named Youth Services Librarian at the Auburn branch. Martha is originally from Barrington, RI but has worked as an Youth Service Librarian since 2014 at the Chelsea Public Library in Chelsea, MA. Martha graduated with her Masters in Library and Information Science from Simmons College in 2014.

In her new role with the Cranston Public Library, Martha will design and conduct programming for children and teens and be responsible for building the children and teen collections at the Auburn branch

Rachel Brask Hutchinson

The Cranston Public Library is excited to announce that it has hired Rachel Brask Hutchinson as the new Library Communications Manager. Rachel is a graduate of Houghton College. She was most recently the Program Outreach Coordinator at the Rhode Island Historical Society. Prior to RIHS she was a Communications & Design Associate for the Pawtucket Foundation.

At the Cranston Public Library, Rachel will be responsible for library branding, public relations, marketing and design.
Upcoming Event at Woonsocket Harris Public Library: Roger Williams Presentation

John McNiff, Park Ranger at the Roger Williams National Memorial in Providence, RI will be at the Woonsocket Harris Public Library, 303 Clinton Street, at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, November 28th to offer a lively presentation and answer your questions about Roger Williams. Come listen and learn more about the importance of Roger Williams and how his vision and views have brought us to the present day. Also on hand for public viewing will be an exact replica of the Rhode Island Royal Charter, the document providing royal recognition to the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, approved by England's King Charles II in July 1663.

The Roger Williams display is sponsored by the RI Department of State and will be available for viewing at the Woonsocket Library through Tuesday, December 4th. Stop by the display when the library is open to read about Roger Williams and take a selfie to post on social media using the hashtag #RovingRoger.

This event is free and open to all. For more information, please call the library at 401-769-9044.

Event Details:
Roger Williams and the R.I. Royal Charter
Wednesday, November 28th at 6pm
Held in the center aisle of the Woonsocket Harris Public Library
Tiverton Public Library Welcomes New Director Catherine Damiani

After an extensive search process, the Board of Trustees is proud to announce the appointment of Catherine Damiani as the new Director of Tiverton Public Library. Catherine comes to Tiverton from East Providence and Barrington Public Libraries, most recently serving as Head of Reference/Digital Services Librarian in East Providence. Earlier this year she was elected to serve a three-year term as an American Library Association Councilor, and is currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration at the University of Rhode Island. She received the Alumni of the Year award distinction from the URI's Graduate School of Library and Information Studies in 2017 and was named the 2016 American Library Association Emerging Leader.
Becca Bender Joins the Rhode Island Historical Society
After an extensive national search, the Rhode Island Historical Society has announced the appointment of Becca Bender as Film Archivist & Curator of Recorded Media, a new position at the library that will advance the R.I.H.S.’s mission to promote and preserve its collection of more than 9 million feet of moving image film and well over 2,000 sound recordings, from oral history projects to jazz performances.
New Hires and New Collections at the Pawtucket Public Library
The Pawtucket Public Library is pleased to announce that Natalie Coolen has joined the library staff as Community Engagement Librarian. Natalie is a graduate of University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Library and Information Studies.  She has worked for a number of Rhode Island libraries before coming to Pawtucket including the Westerly and Narragansett Public Libraries.

Pawtucket’s former Community Engagement Librarian Whitney Pape is the library’s new Digital Resources Librarian. Whitney received her MLIS degree from the University of Texas at Austin. She is also currently employed at Blanding Public Library in Rehoboth, Massachusetts, and formerly worked at Brown University Library and the Redwood Library and Athenaeum.

The Pawtucket Public Library has become the caretakers of The Pawtucket Times newspaper library. The collection includes clippings, photographs and microfilm mostly from the 40 year period starting in 1960’s.    
Notes from RILA Sections
Coalition of Library Advocates (COLA), November Chair's Report
First, I would like to thank the COLA Board for its continued commitment to our mission as we move forward as a full Section in RILA by January 2019. I also want to thank the tireless efforts of RILA’s officers in assisting COLA with this process, especially President Kieran Ayton and Vice President Julie Holden and Treasurer Beatrice Pullman and the COLA Board and officers: Sharon Lux, Chair elect; Gale Eaton, Secretary; Neeltje Henneman, Treasurer; and Lisa Ashe, Membership Chair.

The COLA Board remains committed to our mission and goals:

MISSION : The Rhode Island Coalition of Library Advocates (COLA) is a statewide nonprofit grassroots organization, and, as a Section of RILA, advocates for libraries of all kinds to enhance the quality of life of all Rhode Islanders.

Our three goals remain focused on advocacy, education, and governance:

GOAL 1: ADVOCACY : As part of RILA, COLA will advocate effectively for all libraries in Rhode island as well as other RI library organizations statewide.
GOAL 2:  EDUCATION AND PUBLIC AWARENESS: COLA’s education plan will inform citizen advocates about library issues and the transformation of library communities.
GOAL 3: CAPACITY BUILDING AND GOVERNANCE: As a Section of RILA, COLA will continue to strengthen its resources for effective advocacy of RI libraries statewide.

Since the COLA membership voted to become a Section of the Rhode Island Library Association at its annual meeting on April 10, 2018, COLA’s officers have been working diligently to move forward by updating our resources and revising our Strategic Plan 2018-2022 and COLA’s By-Laws to be consistent with RILA’s documents. COLA’s Board voted to move its Annual Meeting and Awards program to the RILA Conference rather than as a stand-alone program. The COLA Board met on September 11, 2018 and confirmed its commitment to fully integrate as a Section in RILA by January 2019. COLA members will also become RILA members in 2019 at the “supporter” category for an additional $15 per year. Membership Chair, Lisa Ashe will be sending more information about renewing or becoming a COLA member and also a RILA member in 2019.

COLA was especially proud of one of its founders, Joan Ress Reeves, who received National Recognition from ALA and was presented a plaque by Senator Jack Reed at the NELA/RILA Conference, RILA reception on October 21st. Sen. Reed praised Joan Ress Reeves for her tireless advocacy for libraries for over three decades. Joan graciously accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award for Advocacy. COLA was well represented at this event and joyfully thanked Joan individually for all of her hard work and commitment to libraries. In addition, COLA was well represented at the RILA/NELA conference with a program on the history of COLA’s advocacy (Past, Present, and Future) on October 22nd by Gale Eaton, Rose Ellen Reynolds, and Tom Viall with Karen Mellor as panel coordinator.

I would like to wish you all a fond farewell and thank you for your support of Rhode Island Libraries and its professional organizations. At the COLA Board meeting on November 13, 2018, Chair Cheryl McCarthy, presented the COLA Chair’s Gavel to incoming Chair-elect Sharon Lux. As of January 1st, 2019, Sharon Lux will be COLA’s Chair. It is with a heavy heart that I step down from COLA’s Board to focus on my life threatening health issues. I want to thank all of COLA and RILA members for their support of COLA’s mission as we move forward. It has been an honor to serve the Rhode Island Library Community since 1973. For 45 years I have served in various roles from school librarian, professor, and interim dean of libraries as well as leadership positions in library organizations. It is humbling to serve but it is also rewarding by growing and learning from other librarians and library supporters who are committed to service in our profession to serve library communities in all RI Libraries to enhance the quality of life of Rhode Islanders.

When I count my blessings this Thanksgiving, I want you to know that I count my service to the Rhode Island Library Community as a blessing especially by getting to know and learn from each of you.

Respectfully submitted with gratitude and humility,
Cheryl A. McCarthy, Chair of COLA (2017-2019)

Upcoming OLIS Workshops
The Rhode Island Library Association
is a professional organization that serves its members through career development, education, advocacy, networking partnerships and legislative action .
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.

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