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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It certainly has been an...interesting fall season so far this year! As the days start to get a bit darker earlier, and the air starts to have a bit more of a chill, perhaps what we all might need is rousing library song! 

What? You don't sing? Then it's probably a good thing that you weren't a librarian in Rhode Island in 1928. The RILA Bulletin has been uploaded to URI's Digital Commons, and while we've shared some of our findings below, be sure to look online and see how far we've come as an organization!

If singing is not your cup of tea, perhaps what we need is some kindness? Check out below for some book suggestions that promote kindness and acceptance of diversity to some of our young patrons.

Plus, whether it is through song or kindness, there are lots of ways for librarians to get involved in making the library a thriving and diverse place. This month's President's Corner has some ideas on how you can get involved in RILA.

Just remember, sometimes it's taking the steps to get involved and the little acts kindness that can go a long way.

Until next time!

Andria Tieman Michney and Brandi Fong
RILA Communications Committee Co-Chairs
President's Corner
It is hard to believe it, but Thanksgiving is on our doorstep, and the holidays are just around the corner. That comes with a lot of fun and excitement. As we approach a new year, the Conference Committee is already hard at work planning the next Conference. We will likely be having a save the date announcement coming out soon. If you would like to help with the planning of the conference, we are recruiting more members to fill out the ranks to help in preparing for the next conference. Co-Chair Melissa Chiavaroli [] of the Cumberland Public Library is looking for both regular members as well as a new co-chair to help lead the planning process. Please feel to reach out to her or myself if you are interested in becoming part of the team.

Similarly, RILA is looking for a new liaison to represent us at the regular meeting of the Coalition of Library Advocates. This important partner organization meets monthly, and our liaison helps keep RILA informed of the happenings of COLA while also helping us with coordinating activities and programs that are presented jointly. Feel free to contact me for more information or if you would like to take on this very important role!

Finally, RILA is investigating the possibility of beginning a Digital Literacy Round Table that will help us present programs and explore the topic much in the same way that we have started to do so with Information Literacy and Financial Literacy. Three RILA members have stepped forward to help steer this Round Table as we explore the possibility and see if there is enough interest. They included Catherine Damiani of the East Providence Public Library and Corrie MacDonald and Katherine Boden, both of the Cranston Public Library. They are currently working on a possible charge for the roundtable as well as some goals. In order for the roundtable to come into existence, we will need 20 members to lend their support toward its creation and express some interest in bringing it into existence. Drop me an email [] if you would like to do so.
Moving Forward with Rhode Island Children's Book Award (RICBA)
By Renee Perron,
Children's Librarian, Pawtucket Public Library
The 2016-2017 RI Children's Book Award committee is excited to share new initiatives created to encourage more children, teachers, school libraries, and public libraries to participate in the annual children's choice awards for books.  Since its creation in 1990, students in grades 3 to 6 have had the opportunity to vote for their favorite book from a ballot of 20 selections nominated for the Rhode Island Children's Book Award by a panel of librarians, reading specialists and teachers. Beginning next year, the program will be for grades 3-5 with the creation of the newly formed RI Middle School Book Award (RIMSBA) program for grades 6-8. Children vote as part of their class or with their local public library. RICBA is co-sponsored by RILA, SLRI, and the Rhode Island Center for the Book at the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities and is advised by Danielle Margarida, Youth Services Coordinator for Rhode Island's OLIS. Each of the participating bodies selects three representatives who each serve three year terms.

A New Look: Our updated logo, created by A. Barnes Creative Solutions in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, has allowed the group to more easily promote the program through promotional materials.  Spine label stickers have also been updated with the new logo.

Website and Resources:
RICBA's new website is the go-to place to learn all about the nominees, the voting process and timeline, and other resources available. The documents on the website include the RICBA 2017 Nominee Bookmark, Nominee Poster, Curriculum Connections, Google Slides Presentation, and LibGuides. Rhode Island Children's Book Award is now on Facebook. Follow the page to keep up to date with the nominees, curriculum connections, RICBA news, and book giveaways.

Is Your Children's Library a Voting Station? As a Children's Librarian, you can help your community participate in the RIBCA program. If you own the 2017 nominees, create a display from now until voting starts in Feb. 2017. Use some of the resources (booklists, posters, logo) from our website to help. In February, set up a voting box and use the ballots provided by OLIS. Results from your library are submitted to OLIS through an online survey in March. Free RICBA nominee spine labels are available by contacting
Danielle Margarida at OLIS.
Consider introducing RICBA to homeschool families who frequent your public library.  Some public libraries have been using their book club programs to help kids read and discuss the nominees. Check in with the Children's Librarians at the following libraries to see what they are doing with their book clubs: the Jesse M. Smith Memorial Library, Cranston, Cumberland, and Pawtucket Public Libraries are doing.

If you'd like more information on how to support the RI Children's Book Award program at your public library, please contact Renee Perron, RICBA Chair 2016-2017 at rperron@pawtucketlibrary.
Cornucopia Celebrates 11th Anniversary  
By Ida D. McGhee
Co-Founder, Cornucopia of Rhode Island

Cornucopia of Rhode Island: A Library Community of Color (CORI) celebrated their 10th anniversary on Thursday, September 15th at the Community College of Rhode Island in Warwick. Although it is really 11 years that CORI has been in existence, they did not celebrate their 10th anniversary and therefore decided to do so this year.
United States Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, a prominent advocate for libraries and librarians could not attend CORI's 10th anniversary celebration but did send a video presentation where he addressed the accomplishments of CORI and its members.
The anniversary celebration in September was an opportunity for CORI members to recognize the retirements of two longtime members and supporters, Dr. Cheryl McCarthy, professor emerita, University of Rhode Island School Library Media Coordinator, Graduate School of Library and Information Studies and Andrew Jackson (Sekou Molefi Baako) former executive director of the Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center Queens, New York. Loida Garcia-Febo, a candidate for the 2018-19 presidency of the American Library Association and a former president of REFORMA: The National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos was also present and congratulated CORI on their anniversary celebration and commitment to attract librarians of color to Rhode Island.
Ida McGhee, Karen Mellor, Loida Garcia-Febo and Maria Cotto
Karen Mellor, Chief of Library Services, State of Rhode Island, Office of Library and Information Services was the guest speaker at the anniversary celebration. Mellor stated that a lot has changed since 2005, including the nation's first African American president and the first female governor of Rhode Island. Based on statistics from 2014, Rhode Island's population is 20% minorities and 17.5% minorities work for the State. Mellor emphasized that it is imperative that we attract a diverse workforce and recruit more minorities for state positions, including libraries. Mellor believes that all changes begins with a conversation and OLIS will begin to work with CORI, RILA and the URI GLSIS program to ensure that this happens.
Front: Dr. Donna Gilton
2nd Row: Brenda Andrade, Andrew Jackson (Sekou Molefi Baako), Loida Garcia-Febo, and Dr. Cheryl McCarthy
3rd Row: Jeffrey Cannell and Ida D. McGhee
For additional information on Cornucopia of Rhode Island: A Library Community of Color visit their blog at .
Kindness and Diversity Through Children's Books
by Brandi Fong
Youth & Teen Services Librarian, 
South Kingstown Public Library
As everyone knows, there have been a lot of feelings and happenings in this election season. And with those happenings, there has been a lot of discussion about libraries being safe places for all people, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, culture, or beliefs.

What does that space look like? How do we create it? How do we make it clear to our patrons that everyone is welcome in our buildings?

While there are no easy answers to these questions, there is one place we can start, and that is with our youngest patrons. While children may not yet understand the current political climate, and what that might mean for both the immediate and far reaching futures, there is one thing that they do all understand---kindness. Kindness that extends to acceptance of the diverse nature of people.

As librarians, whether we serve patrons in a rural or urban area, we are lucky enough to be in a position to be able to share books that celebrate kindness and diversity with our young patrons--ones that can help children develop a sense of compassion and of empathy towards others.

In his acceptance speech for last year's Newbery Award winning title Last Stop on Market Street, Matt de la Pena in a joking, but serious way, touched upon the role of librarians in developing a diverse collection:
A librarian approached me outside an event space and excitedly introduced herself. "I want you to know," she told me, "that I really like your books. I mean, we don't have those kinds of kids at our school, so we don't stock many of them, but I want you to know how much I appreciate your work."

"No, I totally get it, ma'am," I said. "Out of curiosity, though, how many wizards do you have at your school?"
We may not have wizards in our libraries (then again, maybe we do), but we do have children that need to see the ideas of kindness and diversity. Share these books in displays, include in them in your storytimes, booklists, and class visits. Through sharing these books, hopefully we can create a world filled with kindness towards all people.

Need some help getting started? While we are sharing a few titles
below, there have been many booklists created recently that focus on the ideas of kindness and diversity. The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) has created one on kindness and peace. The Mighty Girl website has created one called Standing Together: 50 Mig
hty Girl Books Celebrating Diversity and Kindness. School Library Journalrecently published a list called Kindness Counts. Finally, We Need Diverse Books, a group dedicated to "advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people." has booklists, as well as other useful resources.

While many of these, as well as the books suggested below are geared for preschool and early elementary school, there are also lists out there for teens.  YALSA's The Hub blog recently published a list of 20 Books to Inspire Social Change
Children's Books Featuring Kindness and Diversity
Red: A Crayon's Story by Michael Hall
Red 's factory-applied label clearly says that he is  red , but despite the best efforts of his teacher, fellow crayons and art supplies, and family members, he cannot seem to do anything right until a new friend offers a fresh perspective. 
Families, Families, Families! by Suzanne Lang
A host of animals portrays all kinds of non-traditional families. 
Albert the Fix-It Man by Janet Lord
A cheerful repairman fixes squeaky doors, leaky roofs, and crumbling fences for his neighbors, who return the kindness when he catches a terrible cold. 
Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev
A boy is excluded from joining his friends' pet club because of his unusual pet. 
Be A Friend by Salina Yoon
Dennis is an ordinary boy who expresses himself in extraordinary ways. Some children do show-and-tell. Dennis mimes his. Some children climb trees. Dennis is happy to BE a tree... But being a mime can be lonely. It isn't until Dennis meets a girl named Joy that he discovers the power of friendship--and how special he truly is!
Digging Through The RILA Archives
The RILA Bulletin has been the official publication of The Rhode Island Library Association since it first went to print on October 28, 1927.  A lot has changed since then, but we are lucky enough that most of the old Bulletins have been scanned and uploaded to URI's Digital Commons.  Here are a few gems from February 1928.  We will continue our digital sleuthing, and bring you news items, fun facts and more from RILA's past, in future installments.

From RILA Bulletin V.1 no.2_ February 1928

From RILA Bulletin V.1 no.2_ February 1928
From RILA Bulletin V.1 no.2_ February 1928

Hall Library today. Photo Credit_ David Brussat
Hall Library today. Photo Credit_ David Brussat

More recent photos here.
Providence Community Libraries Update
Providence Community Library (PCL) Receives 2016 Rhode Island Literacy Award
PCL's Spanish language GED program was selected for this year's Rhode Island Literacy Award, which recognizes literacy partnerships within the state library community. PCL's GED program grew out of expressed needs in the community and has served more than 500 students.
The RI Literacy Award is administered by The Rhode Island Center for the Book with the support of David Rubenstein and the Library of Congress.
Starting as a pilot program for 12 students in 2011, the GED program rapidly grew into popular and effective course, providing Spanish-speaking patrons with a route to a certificate that enhances career and education prospects. It is one of the few Spanish-language GED programs offered in Rhode Island, and, currently, is the only one that is free of charge - a huge factor, for many students, in determining accessibility to the program.
Hipólito Reyes, who has taught the PCL program since its inception, has been a strong and effective advocate. It hasn't all been easy; Reyes has had to navigate changes in the federal GED test, including tougher scoring rubrics and a new, unfamiliar computer based format, one that challenged students and resulted in a temporary dip in scores. His compassionate and encouraging teaching style, together with his understanding of his students' personal circumstances has saved several from falling by the wayside. Student Javier Grullón, who missed class for a few weeks, explained: "Hipólito personally called me to encourage me to come back to class. He does way more than any other teacher I have ever had. Because of his encouragement, I got my GED certificate - and I had been ready to drop out!"
There are 90 students enrolled in the current year's program. "Some participants have gone on to enjoy life-changing opportunities" said Michelle Novello, PCL Program Coordinator. "With this award, PCL will be able to buy more materials and expand our library collection for future classes" she added. PCL is currently piloting similar GED preparation classes in English and hopes to offer such classes in parallel to the Spanish language program.

Providence Talks & Providence Community Library Partner Launch Play Group Program
Play groups that utilize Providence Talks' groundbreaking teaching model adapted to a library setting are currently being piloted at PCL's Mount Pleasant, Rochambeau and South Providence locations. The play groups meet for one hour a week for six weeks and each participating family is issued with a Providence Talks' "word pedometer" (which records the number of words and conversational interactions experienced by the child) and coached on how to use it in their daily lives. The goal is to encourage families to talk and read more to babies and toddlers and increase their exposure to words. The playgroups are co-facilitated by trained staff from Providence Talks partner agencies Family Service of RI, Meeting Street, Children's Friend and PCL children's librarians.
"The play groups will follow a curriculum and provide us with an opportunity to show participants just how much PCL has to offer young families" said Youth Services Coordinator, Cheryl Space. "We'll encourage families to get involved with their local library, borrow books, and, as the baby gets older, transition to other PCL early childhood programs such as Cradle to Crayons and Ready for K," she added. PCL plans more Providence Talks playgroups at other locations and parents are encouraged to talk to their local librarians if interested.     
First PCL Alt-Comic Con a Success!  
Providence Community Library decided to bring a taste of RI Comic Con to the patrons at Mount Pleasant Library on November 12. PCL's "alternative" Comic Con was a free, interactive event featuring Big Nazo, Providence Comics Consortium (PCC), the Dirt Palace artist's collective, Providence Roller Derby, Providence City Arts for Youth and the Board Room of Olneyville, plus other local artists. Activities included a PCC comic book launch, gif-making, art exchanges, old school Nintendo video games, board games, screen printing and more. The event attracted about 90 enthusiastic and engaged young people.
"The idea was to introduce kids and teens to people and organizations in Providence who are working creatively in the fields of technology, art and pop culture" said event organizer Emily LeMay. "We hope that Alt-Comic Con will inspire young people to pursue artistic endeavors and possibly consider pursuing a career in creative arts."         

News From the Field
U.S. Naval War College  
The U.S. Naval War College Learning Commons, located in Hewitt Hall, Naval Station Newport, is celebrating its Grand Opening on Monday, November 21st, with Sen. Jack Reed as Guest Speaker.
The renovation has converted two floors of library space and a parking garage into a dynamic three-level, 86,000 square foot learning environment. Our transformation from a Library to a Learning Commons forms new partnerships with the Writing Center, Information Resources Department, the Dean of Students Office, a Bookstore, and Café.
Featuring two integrated IT and Library Help Desks, the Learning Commons has tablet/laptop charging stations, WiFi access throughout, 110 computer workstations, collaboration rooms, meeting/conference/instructional rooms, and mixed seating to accommodate 508.
Please visit our Facebook page for pictures and additional information.

Providence Public Library
Providence Public Library has made over 6,700 images of the Rhode Island Photograph Collection available online on their digital library, The RI Photograph Collection is an historical collection of photographs that document the landscape and life of Rhode Islanders across the state from the mid-19th century through the 20th century. The collection had been previously partially digitized at very low resolution and published on Flickr. This new site allows users to search by keyword, date, geographic area and more. Whenever possible, we have made it possible to download the images for people's personal use.

This project is  partially funded by the Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services through a grant to PPL, which is designated as the state's reference research center (, as part of ongoing efforts to share historical collections of statewide significance. We hope that these images inspire artists, pique the curious, and spark memories.

Any questions about this digitization project can be addressed to Stacie Parillo, Digital Projects Manager,

Lincoln Public Library
Homegrown Programs for Adults at Lincoln Library
After seeing a fabulous presentation at RILA in May by Jessica D'Avanza  (BAR), Megan Weeden (COV) and Nancy Nadeau (SK), I was motivated to start a Cookbook Club at the Lincoln Library so I did and it has been great! We've met twice and the members have really enjoyed getting together to talk about food and cooking. I've shared this to the Programming Librarian Facebook group and I just want to continue giving credit to these 3 librarians for their talk. I've also started an ongoing Adult Crafts session which runs each month on a Monday night or a Tuesday morning, so I only have to set up once to hold this program twice, at a time that is convenient. So far the most popular craft was the bookpage wreath which, appropriately, came from "Playing with Books" by Jason Thompson who is co-owner of Rag & Bone Bindery in Pawtucket.
Robin Nyzio, Assistant Director at Lincoln Public Library

South Kingstown Public Library
The South Kingstown Public Library is pleased to introduce our new Director, Laurel Clark!  Clark, a Warwick resident, started work in South Kingstown on October 11. She earned her M.L.I.S. at the University of Rhode Island in 2002. She served most recently as Library Administrator at the Fall River, MA, Public Library and before that in various capacities at the Redwood Athenaeum and the Warwick Public Library.

"50  Hoaxes, 50 Disasters, and 50 Vehicles"
Local Authors Gale Eaton and Paula Grey will speak on  Wednesday, December 7, 2 PM about their new books in Tilbury House Publishers' "History in 50" series. Each volume contains 50 fully researched short chapters, linked by a theme. 

A History of Ambition in 50 Hoaxes reveals the backstories of creative, carefully designed falsehoods propped up with seemingly plausible evidence such as the Trojan Horse, Ponzi schemes, literary forgeries, and many more. 

A History of Civilization in 50 Disasters explores how human societies have survived the catastrophic effects of earthquakes, volcanoes, glaciers, floods, wildfires, tidal waves, and more. 

In  A History of Travel in 50 Vehicles, Paula Grey illuminates the ingenious ways humans have devised to get around the earth on foot, with and without wheels, on water, through air, and beyond into space.

Gale Eaton, a former Children's Librarian at the Boston Public Library and the Berkshire Athenaeum, was Professor of Children's Literature at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Library and Information Studies. 
Paula Grey is a former grant writer, software technical writer, and technical editor, and a lifelong writer of short fiction and nonfiction.  

Free, open to the public. Copies will be available for sale after the talk. For more information contact Jessica Wilson at 401-789-1555 ext 110 or .

Cranston Public Library
Lots of staffing changes in Cranston!
--CPL would like to announce the appointment of Gail Stokes to the position of Youth Services Librarian at the Central Library. 

For the past two and a half years, Gail Stokes has been employed at Cranston Public Library's Auburn Branch, where her vibrant beginner reader and storytime programs have made her a fixture in the community.
--Cranston Public Library would like to congratulate Joan Smith on her November retirement. This month marks Joan's 28th year as a full time employee of Cranston Public Library. 

Joan-who began working at the William Hall Library before moving to the Oak Lawn Branch, and finally the Central Library Children's Department-has contributed greatly to the Cranston Public Library community. Her beloved and wildly successful Book Babies program has played a major role in the development of a vibrant Children's Department at the Central Library, and she will be missed by many.

--The Cranston Public Library congratulates staff member Kathy Schnebly on her retirement. Kathy has served Cranston's Edgewood community with kindness, knowledge, and skill for 14 years as a Library Assistant II in charge of circulation at the William Hall Library. She will be missed by staff and patrons alike.  Her official date of retirement was September 30.

--The Cranston Public Library would like to announce the appointment of Jessica Rosner to the position of Library Assistant II in charge of circulation at the William Hall Library. Jessica has worked at the William Hall Library part-time since 2005 and brings her experience and knowledge of the Edgewood neighborhood to this position. Jessica officially started her new position on October 1st.

Rhode Island College
RIC welcomes two new library staff. 
Carissa DeLizio was appointed Director of the James P. Adams Library at Rhode Island College.  She started on August 1st after serving as the Director of Library Services for 8 years at Franklin Pierce University. She is looking forward to the academic year and working with the dedicated librarians and staff at RIC and colleagues around Rhode Island.
Deryl Freeman was appointed Head of Metadata and E-Resources, Assistant Professor on July 1st.  She came to the Adams Library in July from Wheaton College where she worked for twenty nine years as a cataloger. 
She is happy to be at RIC, where she finds the library refreshingly busy with students utilizing the resources provided to them.

Library Legislation News
The ACLU of Rhode Island today commended the General Assembly for passing, and Governor Gina Raimondo for signing, legislation establishing transparent standards for the use of Internet filters in Rhode Island's schools.

In 2013, the ACLU issued a report,"Access Denied: How Internet Filtering in Schools Harms Public Education",detailing the difficulties students and teachers have experienced since Internet filters were introduced. Among the varied sites teachers found blocked were the Smithsonian website, a video clip of the Nutcracker ballet, a website on global warming, a YouTube video on Social Security, and the websites of PBS Kids and National Stop Bullying Day. Further, "safe search" features sometimes prevented students from even investigating topics relevant to their studies, such as a search for "polyvinyl alcohol" which was blocked because it contained the word "alcohol."

More information is available on the RI ACLU site

RILA Financial Literacy Roundtable

The Rhode Island Library Association's Financial Literacy Round Table (FLRT) is hoping you will save the date for an upcoming financial literacy resource fair -  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 Showcase will feature simultaneous tabletop presentations (poster or multimedia), allowing attendees to explore the showcase, ask questions of presenters and network with librarians and community partners at their own pace.  We look forward to seeing many of you at this event.  If you feel that you would like to present a digital/poster session highlighting your successes at Financial Literacy programs, we'd love to have you!  For more information, please contact Lori or Chris at

This event is scheduled for:
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
10 am - 12 pm
William Hall Library Auditorium
1825 Broad St, Cranston, RI 02905

In September the public libraries of Rhode Island completed the annual survey administered by OLIS for fiscal year 2016. The data collected includes visits, collection size, circulation, staffing, programming, revenues and expenditures. While the data is submitted to the IMLS, it also has tremendous value to Rhode Island's public libraries. It can provide important insights into the state of public libraries and trends effecting them. In order to improve public libraries' access and use of the data, OLIS has created a number of report templates. These templates were demonstrated and discussed at a workshop in October. Public library staff used the templates to quickly export the data they need to inform their work and present to their stakeholders. OLIS is committed to improving public libraries' access to their data and will continue its work to improve and expand on the existing templates and offer further training for public libraries in the future. If you have questions about creating reports with your public library data, contact Lauren Plews [], OLIS State Data Coordinator.

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 & Brandi Fong


Rhode Island Library Association