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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Despite the opinion of Mother Nature, spring is almost here, and along with it a whole host of library programs and initiatives. 

RI Library Day is fast approaching! Libraries are facing great challenges ahead, and now is the time to raise awareness of their value, not only to the people who live in your community, but your elected officials as well. There are some great ideas below on how to get involved and publicize this exciting day.

Quickly following is Money Smart Week. As we all know, literacy isn't just limited to reading books, and with Money Smart Week programs, your library can demonstrate ways that financial literacy can help your patrons in their day to day lives.

This month's bulletin also has practical ways to connect books, news literacy, and inclusive storytimes to the youth and teens in our school and public libraries.

If you need even more ideas, don't forget our Annual Conference, being held May 31 and June 1 at Bryant University. Join others for two days of idea sharing designed to connect you with others and build your library community.

Finally, many of these initiatives, as well as many others, could not be done without hard work. Do you know of someone working in the library field who is doing great work and deserves to be recognized? There is still time to nominate them for one of our RILA Awards. See below for full details.

With such event filled weeks, we hope you enjoy this exciting Spring season (and don't forget to stop and smell the flowers!)

Andria Tieman Michney and Brandi Fong
RILA Communications Committee Co-Chairs
President's Corner
I am very excited to announce that the joint membership with NELA has proven to be quite successful. As a result, the RILA Membership Committee has been working on other opportunities for RILA members to join other library-related organizations while renewing or getting a new membership. Starting in January 2018, those renewing or starting a membership in RILA will be able to also get joint memberships in Cornucopia of Rhode Island and/or the Rhode Island Coalition of Library Advocates (COLA).   This is part of an initiative to not only make it easier for people to manage their membership renewals, but also allow RILA to work more closely with other library-related organizations in the state.

Along those lines, RILA, in conjunction with COLA, is currently working a new marketing campaign that will result in a short public service announcement highlighting the value of the libraries and that we welcome everyone. The initiative will support all the libraries and library-types in Rhode Island. We will definitely have more information about this in the coming weeks and months. There will be a dedicated page the RILA website with more details as well as supportive documents and links to the final product when it is completed.
I would also like to take a moment to ask members to make nominations for the RILA awards. We all work with so many great people in the profession. This is true of librarians, paraprofessionals, trustees, and Friends of our libraries. It is so important for us to recognize the heroes as an inspiration to everyone. Please take a few moments to make that nomination! Check out the details on how to do so in the News From the Field section below.
RILA Conference 2017: Building Connections, Growing Community
The RILA Conference Committee is thrilled to invite you to the 2017 Annual Conference, scheduled for   May 31 & June 1  at Bryant University in Smithfield, RI. The annual conference is a wonderful opportunity to build connections with library colleagues and share ideas for growing our communities. Join us for two days of invigorating programming and collaborative learning - and fun!
Highlights of the 2017 conference will include speakers  James LaRue, director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom and the Freedom to Read Foundation, and  Homa Naficy, Hartford Public Library's Chief Adult Learning Officer who was chosen as a 2013 White House "Champion of Change" as part of an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) initiative.
The full conference program and registration information will be available in April - so stay tuned and get excited! We look forward to learning, sharing, and networking with you at RILA 2017.

Rhode Island Library Day 2017
RILA invites you to participate in the 3rd Annual Rhode Island Library
Day on Saturday, April 8, 2017, a date which kicks off National Library Week (April 9th-15th, 2017).  The purpose of this day is to host events and plan activities that will raise awareness about the wonderful things Rhode Island libraries are doing and how Rhode Islanders benefit from their libraries. We hope that you will choose to join this celebration of Rhode Island libraries and begin working within your organization to plan events to mark the occasion.
As part of the celebration, we are encouraging Rhode Island's public libraries to participate in an Amnesty Day for those returning overdue materials on April 8th.  There are numerous ways that libraries can participate, both big and small.  Some ideas for activities and events from public libraries celebrating last year's Rhode Island Library Day include:
  • Hosting author visits or guest lectures
  • Having raffles and door prizes throughout the day
  • Storytimes by special guests (local/state government officials, local celebrities, etc.)
  • Crafts and makerspace activities
  • LEGO® programs
  • Book sales
  • Special youth programming - magic shows and entertainment
  • Movie marathons
  • Technology open houses
  • Tours for the public
  • Food giveaways
If you and your organization are planning to celebrate Rhode Island Library Day, then we would love to hear from you and hear about the events and activities you have in the works, so that we can help disseminate and share these with our library colleagues in RI.  Please contact  Andrew Creamer or  Beth Ullucci with your planned events and activities or questions by April 1, 2017.

If you are looking for graphics or templates to use to help promote the event in your library visit our website. Options include:

NOTE: All public libraries are participating in Amnesty Day as part of RI Library Day.
Beth Ulluci and Andrew Creamer
Co-Chairs, RI Library Day Planning Committee
Rhode Island Library Association
Members-at-Large, RILA Board
Money Smart Week 2017
The Financial Literacy Round Table (FLRT) of the Rhode Island Library Association (RILA) is pleased to announce Money Smart Week will be held April 22-29, 2017.  Rhode Island, with the support of RILA and the American Library Association , has been an active participant in the Chicago Federal Reserve's Money Smart Week since 2011.  In 2014, this initiative was expanded when Rhode Island's Office of Library & Information Services became the first state to form a statewide partnership with the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB), with the goal to broaden access to financial education tools and assistance to consumers on a variety of topics.  

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.  Most speakers volunteer their time without cost and without expectation of sales or solicitation.  Some organizations offer bilingual resources or speakers.  

FLRT has compiled a resource list of community partners offering a variety of programs available to libraries.  Topics include budgeting, financing college, identity theft and cybersecurity, saving by organizing your household and money smart programs for kids!  Schedule a program today!

The CFPB and the U.S. Government Printing Office provide free promotional and educational materials on many financial topics.  Formats include posters, bookmarks, booklets, flyers, DVDs and more!  Orders are shipped free to libraries.

We would like to get a complete list of all financial programs on the RI Money Smart Week calendar by April 8, 2017.  Please create an account on the Money Smart Week Partner site and post your events or share the details of the program with   Money Smart Week logos are available for use in your marketing.  

Follow us and share your events on Facebook at
For more information, send us an email at
Fake News Invasion - Presentation Creation
By Emily Grace LeMay
Children's Librarian, Mount Pleasant Library
Like most everyone else in education circles, I read the report from Stanford University a few months ago - you know, the one about middle and high-school students inability to distinguish real news, fake news, and native advertisements, and I was horrified by the results. Like everyone else, I fretted and I rang my hands for a couple of weeks, then I racked my brain for a month more, and then at the end of February I gave a presentation to seventeen teenagers on the topic of fake news and media literacy, and I am relieved to say that it actually went quite well.

I can't necessarily teach you how to do same exact presentation that I did, nor do I want to - I still have a lot to learn, you probably have a different style than me, and you know your patrons better than I do and know what they need and what they'll respond to. What I can do is highly suggest (maybe even implore) that you try to present on the topic of fake news, for any and all age ranges that you can. I can also assure you that while this topic is extremely multi-faceted and at times overwhelming, talking and teaching about it is doable and rewarding.

To get you started, I found these sites tremendously helpful:

The very basic elements of my presentation consisted of
Key terms (like propaganda, click bait, satire, and echo chambers)
The source of most fake news stories and why they're being created en masse now
Why it's become such a problem in recent months
A little about what's happening in the White House in relation to fake news outlets and misinformation
The differences between points of view and agendas
The importance of determining who is either funding or financially benefiting from the information you're consuming
General tips for determining the validity of headlines and red flags to look out for.

Even as I write this, I can think of a million things I wish I had addressed but didn't, like defining "confirmation bias" and "post-truth." There's also the issue of the mainstream media's shortcomings and how they are revising the style of their own headlines to compete with the sensationalized fake ones, making it harder to distinguish between the two. In retrospect, I wish I had had them create their own memes and headlines to help highlight the absurd ease with which this can be done and how quickly misinformation can go viral. As the old saying goes, a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting its shoes on. This is more true than ever.

Hindsight is 20/20 (or in some cases, 50/50). What I created is a work in progress and hopefully I'll be able to do a Part II to go over the things I missed and spruce up the things I didn't get just right. However, my even greater hope is that by reading this, I've encouraged you to get out there and start talking about fake news with your patrons - knowledge and information is the cornerstone of our field, and we have a duty to help share it with others. It seems daunting but it's not difficult, and every step you take towards the truth makes subsequent ones easier for yourself and others.

Sensory Friendly Storytime
By Babs Wells and Maria Cotto
Children's Librarian, Greenville Public Library
Children's Librarian, Pawtucket Public Library

Sensory Friendly Story Time is a great way to expand on the programs offered at your library. I was very inspired by an article written by a reporter from Michigan about sensory story times led by children's librarians. I reached out and contacted one of them who is from Illinois. She was extremely helpful and supportive! We have communicated through emails, she has shared what has worked for her, the flyer she uses, general tips and suggestions. I had been working on dreaming up innovative programming for the children's department and this idea "fell into my lap" as they say. I am always looking to reach more patrons who may not make the library a regular destination. Well, I guess it was meant to be because this idea found me!  

While looking around to see if this type of program was already offered in Rhode Island, I found out that at the Pawtucket Public Library there is a sensory story class in place facilitated by the Bilingual Children's Librarian, Maria Cotto. Maria has been offering this program for the past three years in the summer time and has had good number of families participate from different cities throughout Rhode Island. This year she will be offering the Sensory Autistic Spectrum Story Class in the summer starting in July 2017.

The class is offered once on a weekly bases for six weeks. The program includes a picture schedule, soft music, movement,  fun interactive stories with the felt board followed by sensory activities for interaction and making learning fun. In addition, she has taking it a step further by introducing other programs of interest coming this April. They are a Sensory Friendly Movie, Sensory Playtime and a Music Performance for children with special needs. You can learn more information about these programs on the Pawtucket Public Library calendar at  We are sharing ideas on how we have developed our story times, what new programs we could introduce, what is working and what doesn't necessarily work out the way we have planned.

The program I (Babs) run is for children up to the age of 12 and their families. I have been offering it once a month beginning this past October as my Saturday Special at the Greenville Public Library and will also offer it as part of  the 2017 summer reading program, Build A Better World. It attracts children of differing abilities, children with autism, children on the spectrum. There is a mom who brings her toddler each month because she works when the Friday Toddler story hour is offered so the weekend program is just right for her family. One parent from the group shared with me that she was so happy to see that this program was offered because she had not been to the public library for a long while, because the last time she visited   with her son he had a loud outburst for one reason or another and she felt unwelcome after that. I know that as a librarian I have the power to help change that outcome by welcoming everyone and helping them feel comfortable.

I have learned to meet parents and children where they are, letting go of what I am supposed to do in a traditional story hour setting and continually being adaptable and open to suggestions. I would describe it as following their lead and going from there. Although this program is well planned and developed, it is different each time. Each week I use a picture schedule, interactive flannel boards, music, stretching and movement activities.  We round out the program with time for playing with sensory materials such as kinetic sand, playdough and bubbles.

I set up tables with games such as the popular magnetic tiles, bingo marker paints and paper, and Legos. There are natural opportunities to socialize   for the children as well as the parents who enjoy having time to relax with their child and chat with other parents who have similar interests and experiences.  In doing more research online -reading about this subject and connecting with teachers, occupational therapists and social workers from the Smithfield school department I have gathered even more tools that I can add to the mix of what I am offering.  I am not an expert by any stretch but I look forward to learning   and growing right along with the families I have met and will hopefully meet in the future.

Both Maria and I are hoping that this article will catch the interest of other librarians. There is a fast growing number of children on the Autistic Spectrum and other special needs whose needs are not being met. Many of theses families don't have too many choices of places where they can take their children into the community. Therefore, we want to give families the opportunity to feel welcome by providing services that will help bring them together in a fun and safe learning environment. All it takes is a simple program and they will come. We are here to help and share more about our experiences. Will you join us in making a difference?

For information about the Sensory Story Time or other programs mentioned, please feel free to contact me,
Babs Wells at t and 
Maria Cotto at
Media Smart Libraries
Media Smart Libraries  welcomes a new cohort of school and public youth librarians! By attending workshops to increase their digital and media literacy competencies and providing evidence of their learning, these library leaders will earn digital badges that recognize their accomplishments. Upon completing the badge program, they will receive a $1,000 digital kit of items of their choice and be able to attend the URI 2017 Summer Institute in Digital Literacy tuition free!  Please congratulate:
Cynthia Alexandre, Goff Middle School, Pawtucket, RI
Kathi Barker, Colt Andrews Elementary School, Bristol
Sunny Dennis, Wickford Middle School, No. Kingstown
Jennifer-Lee Gasrow, Jesse M. Smith Memorial Library, Burrillville
Jamie Greene, Sowams Elementary, Barrington
Sarah Hunicke, Portsmouth High School
Kat Lynch, Meadowbrook Farms Elementary, East Greenwich
Kristin Mitchell, Deering Middle School, West Warwick
Karen Mueller, Libraries of Foster
Donna Ouellette, Lincoln School District
Kristin Polseno, Captain Isaac Paine Elementary, Foster
Jennifer Simoneau, Ponaganset Middle School
Tasha White, D'Abate and Fortes Elementary Schools, Providence
Bevin Winner, Exeter-West Greenwich Regional School    

All librarians are welcome to participate in any of the Media Smart Libraries workshops. Check out the offerings and register on the  OLIS CE website.
It's on us: The Stories of Public School Librarians
Many people don't know what school librarians do and now is the time to tell them.

The RILA community is invited to make a pledge to the SLRI Kickstarter campaign opening March 10, 2017. The project will fund the production of a documentary that lets people know what school librarians do. The film can be used as an advocacy tool to spread the word about how librarians are impacting students and communities to support 21st century learning.
For more information, go our It's on us Kickstarter Project page .
Please help SLRI spread the word. Post on FB, tweet and tell your friends.
#libitsonus               #SchoolLibrarian
#SchoolLibraries     #LibrariesMatter

Making Strides with the Rhode Island Children's Book Award (RICBA)
By Renee Perron, RICBA Chair 2016-2017
Children's Librarian, Pawtucket Public Library
Updated logo
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.  Given a list of 20 nominated titles, kids in grades 3-5 are encouraged to read or listen to 3 or more books and then vote on their favorite.

A Year of Growth
The 2017 RI Children's Book Award winner is Sisters by Raina Telgemeier. Last year 58 schools/libraries and 5,087 kids participated in the RICBA program. This year we saw a huge increase with participation from 86 schools/libraries and 6,764 kids. Thank you to the following public libraries that created RICBA displays and/or were voting stations:
  • Cumberland Public Library   
  • Cranston Public Library - Central 
  • Oak Lawn Branch - Cranston Public Library 
  • East Providence Public Library - Weaver
  • East Providence Public Library - Riverside
  • Exeter Public Library
  • Louttit Library - West Greenwich
  • Mount Pleasant Library - Providence Community Libraries
  • Newport Public Library
  • Pawtucket Public Library
  • Providence Public Library
  • Warwick Public Library - Main
  • Woonsocket Harris Public Library
Website and Resources
RICBA's website is the go-to place to learn all about the nominees, the voting process, timeline, and other resources available. The documents on the website include the nominee bookmarks and posters, curriculum connections, a Google slide presentation, and LibGuides. The committee is currently working on creating these materials for the newly announced 2018 RICBA list and will update the website as the items become available.

Rhode Island Children's Book Award is now on Facebook. Follow the page to keep up to date with the nominated books, curriculum connections, RICBA news, and book giveaways.

Public Children's Librarians and RICBA 
As a Children's Librarian, you can help your community participate in the RIBCA program. Many school librarians find that their very limited budget, if they even have one, hinders their successful involvement in the RIBCA program. That is where public libraries can help. Create a shelf or special area to promote the RICBA nominated books and audiobooks in your library. Free RICBA nominee spine labels and medals 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. When February 2018 comes along, your public library can set up a box and ballots and serve as a voting station.

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.
News From the Field
Providence Public Library  
Four-month ON THE TABLE Exhibition & Programs to Focus on Food & Dining Culture
PROVIDENCE, RI -  Providence Public Library's (PPL) third annual Exhibition & Program series called On the Table is focused on food and dining culture and we have everything from soup to nuts in store!  We invite Rhode Islanders to head to PPL (150 Empire Street, Providence) to nourish mind and body: take in our eye-opening exhibition  examining changes in American foodways and dining culture through the lens of table settings, and participate in a multitude of free educational opportunities on our four-month program schedule!  There is something for everyone on the menu, including provocative author talks, gardening classes and art projects -- where learning has never been so fun -- to more serious 'food for thought' pursuits with culinary training opportunities for all ages.
It's an exciting time in Little Rhody as we highlight our vibrant and entrepreneurial food environment and celebrate the release of the state's first Food Plan in 2017.  PPL is pleased to present our On the Table programs in collaboration with a variety of partners and sponsors, including  Academy of Career Exploration, Bank of America, Genesis Center, Hope and Main, Lippitt House Museum, National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Regency Plaza, Rhode Island Community Food Bank, Rhode Island Family Literacy Initiative,  Rhode Island Historical Society,  Roger Williams University, and URI Master Gardening Program.
In conjunction this year, PPL is also excited to be a lead partner presenting the statewide A La Rhody campaign - a year-long celebration of food culture - with the Rhode Island Historical Society,  Providence Department of Art, Culture & Tourism, Discover Newport, Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation.  The A La Rhody promotional effort features a website serving as a clearing house for food-related programs and events happening in Rhode Island throughout 2017. The campaign aims to use the universal language of food to educate and provoke dialogue on a diverse array of topics.
On The Table  Exhibition
A meal at a table anchors us to our daily lives. Rustic or grand, with family or with strangers -- the routine, the traditions, the etiquette roots us to the food and people who share a meal with us. This exhibition examines changes in American foodways and dining culture over nearly 200 years through the lens of table settings. Visitors to PPL will be immersed in this year's exhibition upon entering the Library on Empire Street, including an art installation by PPL's 2017 Creative Fellow Keri King, who will also present an artist's talk and collage workshop on April 30.  The main exhibition is located in the Providence Journal Rhode Island Room on level 1, and related displays can be found in the Reference area on level 1.
Related displays include:
World War I and II propaganda posters addressing food shortages and rationing
Recipes from Home: Rhode Island immigrant-created food stories related through art
Children's art projects from participating Rhode Island Food Bank   Kids Cafe sites
Money Smart Week: Bank of America Financial Literacy Information

PPL to Host New Lawyers in the Library Series Beginning January 23
Beginning in January 2017, Providence Public Library (PPL) will host Lawyers in the Library.  Each month, there will be a topic-specific presentation followed by an opportunity to speak with a lawyer about your particular topic-related issue.
The aim of "Lawyers in the Library" is to help people who cannot afford private legal services by facilitating access to information from local attorneys serving pro bono.  First come, first served.  Spanish language attorneys and/or interpreters may be available.
The series is offered free and no appointment is necessary.  Clinics will be held on the fourth Monday of every month, from 6 to 7:30 pm at PPL 150 Empire Street, Providence. 
January 23     "Understanding SSI and SSDI Disability Benefits"
February 27   "Immigrant Family's and Children's Immigration Rights"
March 27        "Tenant's Rights"
April 24          "Workers'/Employees' Rights"
May 22           "Special Education Law"
To prepare for your conversation with the lawyer:
· Write a list of your specific questions for the lawyer, and
Bring any related paperwork, organized from most recent on the top to oldest at the bottom.

Providence Community Library 
  PCL Debuts SouthPVD
PCL staff members have created and launched a new online resource: SouthPVD. The website provides information about community organizations and events in Elmwood, South Elmwood, Upper and Lower South Providence, the Reservoir Triangle, Washington Park and the West End. People can submit content and upload events directly to the SouthPVD website, which is moderated by PCL staff.
SouthPVD has been developed to provide a forum and a voice for local community stakeholders and to provide content that is specific to the neighborhoods located on the South Side of Providence. "The site will change organically over time to serve the needs of the community" explained PCL Regional Librarian Rod Burkett. "We want South Side residents to drive the development of the site and make it robust, so we invite community contributors to send us news, local content, links to organizations and other useful information." SouthPVD has been developed by Rod Burkett together with PCL colleagues Stephanie Shea (site developer), Donna Woodworth and Seth Bonenfant (content developers). The team plans to introduce other elements to the site, such as Spanish language content, a teen blog and a local business feature. The site features information about PCL's three South Side library locations, Knight Memorial, South Providence and Washington Park and a link to SouthPVD be found on PCL's homepage.
To explore SouthPVD, visit

PCL's Spring Fundraiser: Save the Date!
PCL returns to Hotel Providence for its Spring fundraiser, The Future is Now, on Thursday, June 1 6:00PM-9:00PM. This year, PCL will be honoring a true champion of libraries, Senator Jack Reed. More details to come. Don't miss it!

Rhode Island Association of Authors Meet & Greet: Saturday, March 25
Local writers of fiction, self-help, history, local interest, children's books, graphic novels and other genres will gather in the community room of Rochambeau Library, 708 Hope Street, 1:00P.M. - 5:00P.M. Books will be available for purchase and signing by the following authors: Julien Ayotte, Al Colella, Elda Dawber, Stephanie Deschene, Jessica Gervais, Karen Gustafson, BJ. Knapp, Eric Mancini, Rachael McIntosh, Christopher Paniccia, Robert Perlow, Stephen R. Porter, Brian Power, Bob Sherman, Mike Squatrito, Jr. and Herb Weiss.
For more, contact Mike Squatrito or Lee Teverow 

Mary MacDonald, professor and head of instructional services at the University of Rhode Island, is the winner of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Instruction Section's (IS) Miriam Dudley Instruction Librarian Award. The award honors Miriam Dudley, whose efforts in the field of information literacy led to the formation of IS. The honor recognizes a librarian who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of instruction in a college or research library environment.
MacDonald will receive her $1,000 award, along with a plaque, during the 2017 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.
"Through her passionate commitment to student learning, Mary MacDonald has made significant contributions to the advancement of information literacy in academic libraries and beyond," said award chair Ellysa Stern Cahoy of Penn State University Libraries. "At the University of Rhode Island, she pioneered for-credit information literacy courses, developed a comprehensive information literacy program, and succeeded in including information literacy as an assessable general education campus outcome. In recognition of this work, the ACRL Instruction Section identified the University of Rhode Island as an 'Exemplary information literacy program' in 2014."
MacDonald was also the recipient of RILA's Outstanding Librarian award for 2016.

There is still plenty of time to submit nominations for all RILA annual award categories - the deadline is extended until March 31!
Please consider nominating a deserving colleague or library ally for dedicated service or a special  achievement this year . Awards will be presented at RILA's annual conference on May 31 & June 1, 2017. The RILA Executive Board will determine award recipients based on letters of recommendation, which should be emailed to: 
Jenifer Bond
Chair of RILA Nominating Committee
East Smithfield Public Library 
The East Smithfield Public Library is celebrating Director Elodie Blackmore's retirement after sixty three years of service. Mrs. Blackmore became librarian at the Esmond Library in 1954 when it had just 2,500 books. Since then the library has flourished. The Esmond library later consolidated with the Bernon Library to form the East Smithfield Public Library in 1967. Mrs. Blackmore was instrumental in securing grant funds and other contributions for the library's move in 1985 to the much larger Dorothy T.P Dame building in Esmond. The actual move was made possible with the community's help carrying books down Esmond Street to its present location. Under her direction the library was able to expand to a second floor that consists of a conference room, media room, a computer area and administrative and technical services work area. Due to her work and dedication the people of Smithfield have an institution that has strengthened the community, provided resources for all ages, helped children grow, allowed families to spend quality time, provided a place for friends to share, enabled patrons to use technology to explore resources beyond the library walls, and provided a safe place for those who need it.
COLA Annual Meeting
Thursday, April 13, 5 - 7 PM
Keynote Speaker Will be
Emily Sheketoff, Executive Director of ALA Washington Office
This year COLA's annual meeting matters more. As usual, we will convene in the State Reception Room of the RI State House to celebrate library advocacy. Libraries have been called "arsenals of democracy" and our trustees, Friends groups, and parent-teacher organizations are the committed citizens who keep them dynamic. They have been called "the poor man's university." We count on libraries for education, innovation, and community building.
So we will greet each other and exchange news over treats catered by Venda Ravioli. We will honor up-and-coming scholarship winners, amazing Friends groups, and our Sweetheart of the Year, Tom Viall. We will vote on a slate of officers and new board members. But above all, we will take a hard look at the issues that confront our libraries and the creative ways we can address them.
Emily Sheketoff's keynote speech, "Advocacy is More Important Than Ever," will inspire and inform us for the months ahead. As Executive Director of the American Library Association Washington Office, Sheketoff has long worked to ensure our right to a free and open information society, overseeing lobbying efforts before Congress and the Executive Branch and helping to shape ALA policy on key issues. She has government experience in both the Executive and the Legislative Branch, as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA and going back through the Clinton and Carter administrations clear to the Senate Watergate Committee.
2017 Sweetheart of the Year: Tom Viall
His close association with the Internet has made him a strong advocate of libraries. He firmly believes that the new information age we live in has made libraries even more relevant and necessary . Appointed by Governor Carcieri to the Library Board of Rhode Island in 2008, he has chaired it since 2010-and served as an astute member of the COLA board since 2012. His 2016 RILA award was for advocacy, and so is this year's COLA award. For patient, intelligent, and always constructive advocacy of Rhode Island libraries, we are proud to name Tom Viall as COLA's Sweetheart of the Year.

Librarians Active Learning Institute-Archives and Special Collections, July 12-15, 2017
Librarians Active Learning Institute, August 9-11, 2017
When is the last time you were able to spend several days focused solely on your teaching? The Librarians Active Learning Institute (LALI) and the Archives and Special Collections track (LALI-ASC) provide the opportunity to devote time and attention to one of the most rewarding aspects of your work. By exploring evidence-based practices that maximize student learning, you will come away with new approaches and ideas to incorporate into your teaching. Your students will have more fun, learn more, and maybe even change their minds-and yours-about what library instruction can accomplish.
Reinvigorate your practice in a community of peers.
Learn more, and apply online by April 16:
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