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
Contact us at:
Daylight savings has started, the earliest of flowers are starting to bloom--spring is almost here!
The committees of the Rhode Island Library Association have been working hard to make this a great spring for all librarians! Our Information Literacy Round Table has an upcoming program on how students approach research--see the full details below in News From the Field. April's Money Smart Week is also fast approaching. See some of the great program offerings below---plus it's not too late to get your program added to the list! And of course, the 2016 RILA Conference will be here before you know it! Early Bird registration starts soon, so be sure to mark your calendars!
Finally, be sure to check out our President's Corner this month. A key issue that every library, big and small, grapples with is funding. Read about how the State Budget's
Grant-In-Aid line item can affect your library, and what you can do to help raise funding across the state.
Happy spring, and happy reading!
Andria Tieman & Brandi Fong
RILA Communications Committee Co-Chairs
By Aaron Coutu
RILA President 2015-2017
Calling all Directors!
Calling all Trustees!
This is a call to action. RILA's Executive Board and Legislative Action Committee are working diligently with our lobbyist in the hopes of getting full funding for the Grant-in-Aid Program for public libraries. As many of you may know, the State provides financial support to libraries in accordance with
. In order to receive funding, each community's public libraries must fulfill the
Minimum Standards & Regulations for RI Public Libraries
, which were last updated in 2013.
If the public libraries in a community meet the standards as required, they are eligible to receive State funding up to 25% of the municipal appropriation as well as 25% of their endowment appropriation based on figures from two fiscal years prior. For example, we are all diligently working on (and hoping for) our FY2017 municipal appropriation requests. If the Grant-in-Aid line item in the State Budget was fully funded, each community would receive funding from the State at the level of 25% of the municipal appropriation in FY2015. Similarly, libraries with endowments would also receive 25% of the endowment appropriation in FY2015.
Unfortunately, after less than a decade of fulfilling this goal, the State level funded this line item in 2008. This has generally meant public libraries have only received Grant-in-Aid at a level of about 22% each fiscal year. This is permitted by the law relating to such funding, since there is an exception allowed for when the funding the full 25% cannot be achieved. The Great Recession definitely made such funding a challenge for the State.
RILA thinks now is a good time to approach the State about returning funding levels back up to the full 25% requirement that is part of RIGL 29-6. Members of the Executive Board, the Legislative Action Committee, and our lobbyist have been meeting with members of the General Assembly and the Governor's Office about the issue. Those conversations have been promising, but I would like to ask directors and boards of trustees to consider contributing to the effort.
In 2014, Theresa Coish of the Middletown Library wrote a resolution, which was passed by her town council, which supported the idea of the State once again fully funding the Grant-in-Aid program. A number of other libraries have opted to try and duplicate that effort on a broader level this year. The resolutions have generally highlighted how much additional State moneys the library/libraries in the town would have received if the Grant-in-Aid program was fully funded. Additionally, the resolutions have included a council request to the General Assembly contingent representing that town/city to support and promote the additional funding. One would think this would be an easy argument for most councils to accept since it would allow for one of their departments to receive additional funds without the town having to find a way to pay for them.
RILA is asking every public library's director and board of trustee to reach out to their town/city council with the hopes of passing a resolution to provide a united request from all the communities of Rhode Island to the State indicating they believe the State should fully fund this program to the full requirements of the law. We are happy to provide a sample resolution in the form of the resolution that was passed by the Cumberland Town Council. You can find it on
If you have any questions about the process that was used in Cumberland, please feel free to contact me at
or 333-2552 x128.
RILA Conference 2016: "Color Outside The Lines
by Melissa Chiavaroli
Cumberland Public Library
RILA Conference 2016
"Color Outside the Lines"
May 25 and 26, 2016
The Crowne Plaza, Warwick RI
Join us for an exciting conference in Warwick this May! There will be
interactive booths (coloring will be an option, of course!), 32 breakout
sessions, digital poster sessions, more vendors, and innovative speakers
that will help you reignite your fire and put you on the fast track to new
Our Keynote Speakers will be Dr. Michael Stephens of Library
Journal's Office Hours and Tame the Web website fame and ALA President
Sari Feldman will introduce Libraries Transform to the Rhode Island
community. There will truly be something everyone will enjoy!
We cannot stress enough how excited we are about this year's schedule!
Tech plays an important role in our daily lives, so it makes sense that
many of our sessions will too. There will be sessions to empower and
motivate yourself and your staff! Take programming and outreach in new
directions, build stronger relationships with your patrons and improve
their library experience. And, don't forget to preserve their stories as
well as your library's. We will be doing all of this and much more during
these two days!
Of course, there will be time for networking and play too! Be sure to
join us for the After Hours event to be held in the Crowne Plaza Lounge on
Wednesday evening from
. There will be food, drinks, and
entertainment to help you unwind after a full day of sessions.
And there is still so much more! Early bird registration opens Monday,
April 4th and runs through
. You can register online at
. We are taking online payments
and checks. The full conference descriptions will also be available on
the website in a few weeks. If you have any questions, email
and we will respond promptly. We look forward to
seeing you in Warwick this May!
The RILA Conference is proud to be sponsored by Driving-Tests.org.
Cornucopia of Rhode Island: A Library Community of Color
By Elliott Stevens
Research and Education Librarian, Providence College
In 2006, the American Library Association began a study called "Diversity Counts," which aimed at collecting data related to the age, race, and gender of librarians. Though
were far from comprehensive (the only options for gender identity were "Male" or "Female"), they revealed, in 2007, that of the roughly 110,000 credentialed librarians in the US, merely 11% identified as people of color. Later, in 2012,
was updated using survey statistics from 2009-2010, and the results were nearly the same: Of the 118,666 credentialed librarians, only 12% identified as people of color. Of that 12%, African American people made up 5.2%, Latino people were 3.1%, Asian-Pacific Islander people were 2.7%, people of two or more races were 0.8%, and Native American people were 0.2%.
Those numbers have not been updated since 2012, and some librarian scholars believe they've dipped because many LIS programs struggle to recruit and retain diverse groups of graduate students. (An excellent article about how some LIS programs have improved the diversity of their graduate students is Paul Jaeger's and Mega Subramaniam's Diversity and LIS Education: Inclusion and the Age of Information.)
Further, it's difficult to find any benchmark for the state of diversity in Rhode Island librarianship because it looks like no data have been formally collected and shared. Instead, there are only Census numbers, which of course reveal that Rhode Island communities feature people of color.
However, in the face of such disheartening and missing numbers, one group in Rhode Island that seeks to serve the librarian community of color is
, which has the objective "to promote library services to people of color within Rhode Island and the development of librarians and library staff of color."
To get a better idea about Cornucopia, I spoke with a couple of its founding members, Ida McGhee and Dr. Donna Gilton.
Speaking about the founding of Cornucopia, Ida told me it all started in 2005, after she had retired from her work as a librarian in Connecticut and had relocated to Rhode Island. In Connecticut, Ida had been active in organizations like the
, the Connecticut Library Association, and
but once she got to Rhode Island, and once she started to going to conferences like RILA's, she couldn't help but to notice something.
"There were hardly any people of color at those events," Ida said. "And, as far as I could see, there weren't any organizations for librarians of color, either."
Ida knew Dr. Michael Havener, who was the director of the URI GSLIS program at the time, and after speaking with him about her experiences, he put her in contact with a professor in the graduate program, Dr. Donna Gilton. Very soon after Ida met Dr. Gilton, the two of them - along with Denise Dowdell - started Cornucopia.
"We wanted to let people know that librarians of color are here," Ida said. "There are not many of them in Rhode Island, but we wanted to have a program where librarians of color can reach out and be a part of other organizations."
They began to reach out by representing Cornucopia at conferences and by organizing conferences of their own. Dr. Gilton told me how Cornucopia was responsible for bringing Dr. Carla Hayden to speak at a RILA conference. Dr. Hayden is a former President of ALA and will hopefully pass through the obstructions of Congress to become the first African-American Librarian of Congress.
"We also had a conference of our own in which we focused on Native American people," Dr. Gilton said, "and another year, we met at the Confucius Institute at URI and spoke about Chinese librarianship. We've done programming about Cape Verdean culture and African-American Culture."
When it comes to the uniqueness of this programming, Maria Cotto, a member of Cornucopia since 2006 and a librarian of color, pointed out to me that, "When we have our conferences, it's not just about presenting a culture. It's also about having librarians who are a part of that culture share their experiences, too."
She emphasized how, when there had been a presentation about Cape Verdean culture, two people who identify as Cape Verdeans - Marlene Lopes, an associate professor and Head of Special Collections at Rhode Island College, and Yvonne Smart, the Education Coordinator at the Cape Verdean Museum in East Providence - were there to lead the programming. When there had been a conference about African American culture, Andrew Jackson (Sekou Molefi Baako), who is African American and the director of the Langston Hughes Library in Queens, NY, was present to speak about what it means to be a committed activist librarian.
|2012 Cornucopia Annual Mini-Conference
Maria also wanted me to know that Cornucopia is much more than programs and conferences. It's also a place for new librarians of color to find mentorship and for library staff of color to get the encouragement and confidence that's sometimes needed to become a credentialed librarian.
"Dr. Gilton, Ida McGhee, Dr. Havener - they are three of the most amazing people I've met," Maria said. "They are passionate librarians who enjoy working with diverse groups and want to make a difference. They are knowledgeable. I wanted to learn, as a professional, how to be like them."
Next Maria spoke about how her involvement in Cornucopia has inspired her to visit college campuses like Rhode Island College to speak with Latino students about becoming librarians.
"Here in Rhode Island," Maria said, "Currently, I have not heard of any other Latina/o librarians." She also said that if it hadn't been for the encouragement of Dhana Whiteing, another member of Cornucopia and the manager of the Mount Pleasant Library of the Providence Community Libraries, she doesn't think she would have applied to the URI GSLIS program. Now, thinking back about Dhana's support, Maria feels it is part of her job to promote librarianship and to inspire others to become librarians, too.
The members of Cornucopia are currently discussing what directions they'd like to take in 2016 - that is, whether or not they should organize another conference or perhaps do something different, like start a book drive or a membership drive. If you, too, would be interested in joining the discussion, don't hesitate to reach out to them. Anyone can be a part of Cornucopia. The only prerequisite is an insatiable interest in serving diverse communities. If you would like to contact Cornucopia, you can find information on their
By Megan Black
Research and Education Librarian, Providence College
Most of us have experienced a frustrated patron struggling to find information on our library's website - searching for books in the full website search bar, cannot find the library's hours, etc. They ask us, and we point out what seems painfully obvious. Our websites are often times not intuitive; we only think our websites are straightforward because we use them every day.
We can identify these problems in order to fix them with usability testing. This testing allows us to identify user interface problems and develop solutions in order to create a better online experience for our patrons. Some institutions are well-funded enough to have a User Experience Librarian or team, whose sole responsibility is conduct usability tests, but it can be effectively done with fewer resources, too.
One of the easiest ways to discover common problems for patrons is by conducting intercepts. Ask patrons for 1-5 minutes of their time to answer a few questions (candy is a nice incentive). Some ideas for intercepts include:
- Have a print-out of your web page or a mock-up of a proposed web page, and ask, "Where on here would you click to find X?"
- One - two question survey.
- Have your website's menu categories written on index cards (one item per card), and ask, "What would you expect to find under each of these categories?" (This is a Simplified Card Sort).
There are also inexpensive software to conduct usability testing for you.
- OptimalSort (www.optimalworkshop.com) offers click testing, card sorts, and tools to understand where users are getting lost.
- UsabilityHub (www.usabilityhub.com) allows you to test aspects of your site or mock-up on real people around the world. These tests are typically one task or question long, focusing on very specific part of the site layout. You are able to select demographics appropriate to mimic your real users.
- UserTesting (www.usertesting.com) offers the most thorough usability testing.. Participants perform a specific task on your website, and talk aloud to provide their thought processes as they do it. The screen(s) they see, clicks, and talking aloud through the task is recorded. UserTesting offers options such as screen captures, assistance in writing usability tasks, analyzing results, and more.
The Office of Library and Information Services is pleased to announce that Lauren Plews joined our team and is filling the role of State Data Coordinator. Prior to joining OLIS, Lauren served as a research librarian for a private research firm where she conducted in-depth research for senior legal and engineering staff including translating raw government data into client tailored reports. Lauren has also worked as a reference librarian in public libraries in Rhode Island (North Smithfield Public Library) and in Ontario, Canada. Lauren has taught classes in Special Libraries and the Organization of Information at the URI Graduate School of Library and Information Studies, where she is an adjunct faculty member. Full bio online @
OLIS Continuing Education
The spring line-up of programs includes Exemplary Programs in Adult Services; What is Your Library's Story?: Using Infographics for Visual Communication; Your Community by the Numbers: Introduction to the American FactFinder; and LORI Library Delivery Open House with Optima. And stay tuned for more information about a new program: Strategic Planning for Public Libraries! Read full program descriptions and register online.
Kids Reading Across Rhode Island 2016
Kids Reading Across Rhode Island (KRARI), the One Book, One State community read program for kids, is pleased to announce that the 2016 selection is the Newbery Medal Honor Book Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson. The author, a RISD grad, will help kick off 7th year of KRARI on
May 7th at the State House. KRARI is a joint program of OLIS and the Center for the Book at the RI Council for the Humanities with support from the RI library and educational community.
Congratulations to Karen Mellor
On February 11, during the 2-1-1 Day celebration at the State House, Karen Mellor, Chief of Library Services, was given the 2-1-1 Steadfast Support Award in recognition of her long-time commitment to the service. In a press release, 2-1-1 stated "Karen's dedication to 2-1-1 has been instrumental in expanding the service's reach using the state's network of libraries, helping to change the way people in need access information and services."
OLIS has been involved with 2-1-1 since its inception and, before, when it was service of Crossroads in starting in the early 2000s. From the beginning, 2-1-1 recognized the connection between libraries and 2-1-1 and has worked closely with OLIS ever since.
Upon receipt of the award, Karen stated: "One of the roles of the Office of Library and Information Services is to connect Rhode Island's libraries with valuable resources so that they can better serve the people in their communities. Libraries serve everyone, from young children to senior citizens, just as United Way 2-1-1 helps everyone. It has been my distinct pleasure to be able to bring 2-1-1 and the state's libraries together, so that more Rhode Islanders know where they can turn for help. Thank you for that opportunity, and rest assured that we plan to continue this great partnership!"
Established locally in 2007, 2-1-1 is an information and referral call center available 24/7, 365 days a year, during times of disaster, and in a variety of different languages.
Money Smart Week 2016
The Financial Literacy Round Table (FLRT) of the
Rhode Island Library Association
is pleased to announce that Money Smart Week - RI will be held April 23-30, 2016. During Money Smart Week, libraries of all types partner with community groups, financial institutions, government agencies, educational organizations, and other experts, to help consumers learn to better manage and understand their personal finances. Money Smart Week's goal is to provide communities informational, objective, and authoritative programs about issues surrounding financial literacy. Speakers should volunteer their time without cost and without expectation of sales or solicitation. Some organizations offer bilingual resources or speakers.
● Did you know that RI Home Loan & Investment bank has a variety of free programs on financial & banking topics for kids, teens, adults and seniors?
● Government agencies, like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, provide resource materials for libraries, veterans/service member families, older americans, students, and community and credit unions.
● The Department of Labor and Training holds great workshops on job searching.
● The Rhode Island Housing Authority has programs on affordable mortgages and consumer counseling.
● The Rhode Island Student Loan Authority has information about saving, budgeting, and spending for students and parents.
● Junior Achievement of RI has financial literacy and entrepreneurship curriculums for K-12 audiences. Their volunteers will come into your library ready to teach an after school program!
● The Office of the General Treasurer is a partner that offers several financial literacy workshops and programs.
● Going Green? RI Resource Recovery has great programs on recycling items and composting.
● Non-profit agencies are a great resource and partner, many of these agencies will travel beyond the city or town they are located in to do programming at your library! Open Doors RI, Tri-Town Community Action Agency, Amos House, Sojourner House, RI Society of CPAs, Community Care Alliance, Connecting for Children and Families, all have speakers and programs geared towards financial literacy and education.
Why should you contact RILA?
● We would like to know if you are planning, or have scheduled, any "money smart" events for April 23-30, 2016. If you have planned a financial literacy program in the past, or know of a possible speaker in your community consider reaching out to them for April as part of National Financial Literacy Awareness Month.
● If you are willing to host a MSW session at your library, but would like suggestions on speakers and programs, reach out to us!
For marketing and promotional purposes, we would like to get a complete list of all financial programs on our
by March 31, 2016. Please create an account on the
Money Smart Week Partner site
and post your events or share the details of the program with Chris or Lori. Money Smart Week
are available for use in your marketing. We are asking libraries to promote Money Smart Week by posting the official Money Smart Week logo and a link to the Money Smart Week events calendar on the library's web page and on social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc). The Chicago Federal Reserve has created state specific
for use in promoting Money Smart Week and maintains the events
on their website. In the coming weeks, FLRT will be releasing more information about events, keep an eye on our newsletter, the listserv, our
and Facebook page.
News From the Field
Providence Community Library
The Elmwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center held a Spaghetti Dinner last November to raise funds for the Knight Memorial Library, 275 Elmwood Avenue.
The event raised $450 which will be used to purchase Children's books. Library materials budgets are thinly stretched so these additional dollars are very meaningful to the community served by Knight Memorial Library.
|Rod Burkett, Regional Librarian, Knight Memorial library; Doug Victor, Friends of Knight Memorial Library, Karen Morin, Administrator, Elmwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center; Kishma Pringle, Elmwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
This year, April 11-16 will be Amnesty Week for Providence Community Library! Patrons are invited to donate non-perishable food in lieu of fines and the cans collected will be donated to the Rhode Island
Community Food Bank. Every patron who returns an item, checks out a new item or receives a new or replacement library card during Amnesty Week will receive a raffle ticket and a chance to win a Kindle and gift baskets donated by Naragansett Beer and beauty salon Suite Tart. Additionally, several Providence retailers will be offering special 20 percent discounts all week long to patrons when they show their PCL library card. Participating merchants include Blooming Blossoms, Kreatelier, J Marcel and Rhody Craft. Festival Ballet Providence will give PCL cardholders a 20 percent discount on tickets to performances of Swan Lake at The VETS (April 29-May 1). PCL will conclude its amnesty week on R.I. Library Awareness Day, Saturday, April 16, with a big community celebration at its Washington Park location (12:00P.M. - 3:00P.M) featuring the musical talents of the What Cheer? Brigade, illustrator and improv artist Eric Fulford, raffle drawings, food and more. For full details of Amnesty Week activities plus a complete list of participating merchants, visit www.provcomlib.org/amnestyweek.
Save the Date for PCL's Fundraiser!
Mark your diaries for Strengthening Our Roots, a fundraiser in support of Providence Community Library, which will take place in the elegant surroundings of Hotel Providence on the evening of May 4.
PCL will be honor Congressman David Cicilline and Linda J. Kushner for the vital role they played in the creation of PCL as friends, staff, supporters and funders come together to enjoy hors d'oevres, drinks,music and conversation. More information will be available soon on the PCL website.
"The Intersections of Scholarly Communication and Information Literacy in the Undergraduate Classroom"
Wednesday, April 6, 2016, 1:00 pm, Galanti Lounge
University of Rhode Island, Carothers Library
The 2013 ACRL white paper, Intersections of Scholarly Communication and Information Literacy: Creating Strategic Collaborations for a Changing Academic Environment, identifies three areas of intersection (economics, digital literacy, and changing roles) and recommends four objectives for consideration (integrate pedagogy and scholarly communication into educational programs for librarians; develop new model information literacy curricula; explore options for organizational change; and promote advocacy). For the past three years, libraries information literacy efforts exploring scholarly communication in and outside the classroom has grown considerably. Merinda will explore strategies and collaborations to shine a light on growing library efforts around the intersections.
The Rhode Island Library Association's Information Literacy Action Round Table (ILART) is pleased to present their next event: How Do Students Conduct Research? Key Findings from EBSCO User Research.
Wednesday, March 30, 2016 from 4 - 6 pm
Douglas & Judith Krupp Library, Room 102
Bryant University, 1150 Douglas Pike, Smithfield, RI 02917
Khalilah Gambrell will discuss key findings from a 2015 EBSCO User Research survey on how students conduct research. They will discuss students' workflow and most notably the impact of library-ese on students' approach to research. At the conclusion of the presentation, the presenter will provide recommendations for enhancing students' research experience.
To register, please fill out the following form. Enrollment is limited.
Money Smart Week 2016
is only 6 weeks away! If your library is hosting a financial literacy program during the week of
, we want to hear about it. Please post your event on the Money Smart Week Partner site, or
the details to us and we will do it for you.
There is still time to schedule a program and the
Money Smart Week RI
website has a wonderful list of program ideas and contacts for you to explore, including banking programs for all ages from Home Loan Investment Bank and cyber security/online safety from the RI State Police Cyber Terrorism Unit. In accordance with Money Smart Week national guidelines, all programs are void of sales pitches and free to your library.
For more Money Smart Week RI resources, including the resource list, logos, the MSW 2016 Media Kit and links to the national calendar, please visit the new MSW RI website. If you have any questions, please email us at
Move over Golden Globes, it's RILA awards season! Each year, members of the local library community are nominated and chosen for special recognition based on strong records of service, stellar achievements, and exceptional library support. RILA's awards celebrate the accomplishments and commitment of the very folks who make our libraries great. Now is the time to nominate a deserving friend or colleague for a 2016 award.
RILA awards are bestowed upon up-and-comers, seasoned leaders, devoted volunteers, and other valuable contributors. All of the awards can highlight recent successes or lifetime achievements, and acknowledge specific projects and contributions or career-long leadership. Awards include Outstanding Librarian, Trustee of the Year, and Citation of Merit/Meritorious Friends of the Library. RILA is pleased to expand award opportunities this year with a new category celebrating the important roles of support staff in our libraries - the Outstanding Library Paraprofessional. Visit the RILA Awards webpage (
) for a full description of each award, including nomination criteria.
Please consider formally recognizing one of your library's unsung heroes! Awardsare presented annually at the RILA Conference, taking place this spring on May 25 & 26, 2016. (
). The RILA Executive Board and Nominating Committee will determine recipients based on letters of recommendation, due by Friday, April 1. Send nomination letters to:
Jenifer Bond, Associate Director
1150 Douglas Pike
Smithfield, RI 02917
Calling all past award winners! Please reach out and tell us the date and category of your award. Email us:
. Help us document RILA history!
The RILA Intellectual Freedom Committee is planning a public forum on intellectual freedom issues in school libraries. The committee is looking for panelists who can speak to student confidentiality, challenges to the content of books, films, games, websites accessible in the library, and labeling of books and other media according to grade level.
For the full list of questions, check out RILA's website: http://rilibraries.org/blog/3870928
SLRI Conference registration is now open!
We've got an exciting conference this year and can't wait to reconnect with all of you!
Be sure to avoid the late registration fee by registering before
Mark your calendars for the NETSL 2016 Annual Spring Conference
Friday, April 8, 2016 (8:30am-3:30pm)
Where: College of Holy Cross, Worcester, MA
Keynote address s
"Kyle K. Courtney is the Copyright Advisor for Harvard University, working out of the Office for Scholarly Communication. He works closely with Harvard Library to establish a culture of shared understanding of copyright issues among Harvard staff, faculty, and students. He runs a copyright law consulting practice for libraries, higher education institutions, non-profit groups, and specialized archives."
NETSL is a section of the New England Library Association (NELA) and is affiliated with the ALCTS Affiliates Relations Committee Membership in NETSL is open to any member of NELA at no additional cost. For more information on NETSL, visit our website at:
|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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Andria Tieman & Brandi Fong
Rhode Island Library Association