June 1, 2020 -- PPL @Work
News & Updates...From Our Homes to Yours
Dear Patrons, Supporters and Friends,
On behalf of everyone at PPL, we hope you and your loved ones remain in good health and are staying safe. We are all working hard to ensure your library continues to be here for you! We are happy to report that we have officially moved into Phase 1 of the Reopening Rhode Island Libraries plan and are now providing contactless pick-up of items at our Empire Street entrance! ( more details below )

As you will discover below, there is so much happening (virtually!) at PPL. We are cautiously moving forward, putting the finishing touches on our new building and preparing for the day when we can open the doors and welcome you back! Enjoy these updates, and  thank you  for being a member of the PPL Family. None of this would be possible without you!

Wishing you and your loved ones good health,

Jack Martin
PPL Executive Director 
Contactless Pick-up at PPL Now Available!
PPL is now offering contactless pick-up on Tuesday mornings 9 am -1 pm and Thursday afternoons 1 - 5 pm . This is part of Phase 1 of libraries reopening throughout the state. Please check our website for important updates in the days ahead.

To request material , please fill out the  Request For Contactless Pickup form  or call 401-455-8000. We will call you when your items are ready for pick-up. Pick-ups are by appointment only at our new 150 Empire St. entrance . (Short-term street parking is available in front of building.)  Same day pick-ups are not possible.
New Additions...thanks to our friends at The Steel Yard!
We're excited to show off these shiny new additions gracing our new Empire St. entrance! Special thanks to The Steel Yard (@thesteelyearRI) Public Projects team for these beauties -- three tree guards and a bike rack -- installed in late May. The designs are steel interpretations of our logo, which was designed by Design Agency -- a local studio "specializing in visual identity design and branding for nonprofit clients working in arts, culture and education.” Design and fabrication by Jesi Nicoloro and Devyn Maher with help from the PP Team.
Keep those submissions coming to our expanding RI COVID-19 Archive!

Your contributions needed to this digital archive! Help us record stories, photographs, artwork, oral histories, social media and memories of the COVID-19 pandemic in Rhode Island and share this call for contributions with friends and family .

We are all living through an historic moment! Rhode Islanders -- let’s document this experience together. How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your life? As summer approaches and we all begin to (safely) venture forth, we invite you to visit the RI COVID-19 Archive to contribute observations and experiences from your own daily life and browse the reflections of your fellow Rhode Islanders. Share your experience with us at  RICovidArchive.org .

The site supports a wide variety of formats including text, image, audio and visual recordings. If you have questions, please reach out to Kate Wells , Curator of RI Collections at PPL.
Virtual Programs & Collections

We'll kick off Pride Month on Thursday, June 4 at 7 pm with Voices of Queer RI: An Oral History Listening Party.

Join us via Zoom for a story share and skill share! PPL is working on a new LGBTQ+ history collection and Virginia Thomas and her Queering Oral Histories class at Brown University have begun to collect oral histories for the archive. To kick off Pride Month and this new project, we’ll listen to audio clips, share resources and tips for doing your own oral history, and open up for discussion. This event will be recorded to add to PPL’s growing archive. Learn more & register for the Zoom event here (registration required).
Join us via Zoom on Thursday, June 18, 7 pm as Richard Bell, Associate Professor of History, University of Maryland, gives a talk on his new book, Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and their Astonishing Odyssey Home .

Registration via our website is required.This program is a part of PPL's 2020 Exhibition & Program Series, The King Is Dead* , which explores how we understand and use the news—how it guides our daily activities, gives us current information, and does (or doesn’t) relate to the facts.

June 13 & July 11
11:00 am

Join PPL and Trinity Rep for a Virtual Knitting Circle on Saturday mornings!
Virtual Programs Archives
We were so excited by the high level of participation in our virtual programs in April and May that we are re-presenting them on our YouTube channel . We welcome you to visit and enjoy in your leisure!
This was the inaugural program in our The King Is Dead * Exhibition & Program series. Scandalous Conduct/Newport 1919: The Enigmatic Providence Journal Editor Who Ignited the Newport Naval Sex Scanda l (which took place in the wake of another pandemic) -- was presented virtually on Thursday, May 21 by Matthew Lawrence and Jason Tranchida. Read more details about this program and check it out on YouTube .
These presentations were developed by our Creative Fellows in response to the increasing expressions of anxiety about how to navigate unrelenting uncertainty, fluctuating productivity, and debilitating isolation during the pandemic. We invite you to experience these in your leisure and again thank our six PPL Creative Fellows... Becci Davis , Micah Slakind , Laura Brown-Lavoie , Walker Mettling , Kelly Eriksen and Keri King .

On the Collections front ...we have been filling our online catalog with brand new records for Whaling Logbooks and Rhode Island Atlases, and our entire collections staff has been working tirelessly to continue expanding the number of new items being added to our physical and eZone offerings! Check out one of our latest book lists for Pride Month !
Education News & Updates...
Library Programs Continue Remotely

We are pleased to announce a new partnership with Coursera to provide free access to online learning, including more than 3,800 courses from top universities and companies. Certificates are offered for each course completed now until December 31, 2020 ! This program has been launched to assist displaced, unemployed, and underemployed workers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Enrollment is open through September 30, 2020 for up to 5,000 Learners. Please complete this form to request your FREE Coursera license , and contact Lina Bravo by cell phone (401) 660-3344 text/call or email lbravo@provlib.org .

2020 Summer Reading Program:  The annual Passport to Summer Learning  will be virtual! Keep an eye on the  Passport website  which will have updated information, resources and online content from Passport partners. This year's takeaways include 8,000 theme-based STEAM bags (1,000 per week for 8 weeks) providing books, materials, and activities around 8 themes tied to the Providence Public Schools curriculum -- Nature, Ocean, Space, Animals, Mysteries, Food and Nutrition, Music, and Family. Bags will be distributed via curb-side pick up at libraries as well as mailed to homes of registered families. Students will have access to Beanstack, an online summer reading program tracker to record reading time, working toward 20 minutes a day for 40 days. Please contact Anne Kilkenney with questions.

NEW...our ALA Google Libraries Build Business project is getting started. The project plan will include expanding our business classes and services including SCORE, ESL for Business Owners classes, offering “office hours” with a Business Navigator, and having URI and RIFLI students conduct an assessment of local small business needs. Stay tuned!!

P3 Project Update -- PPL is excited to be in the final stages of selecting six public
libraries from across the U.S. as pilot sites for the Propagating Promising Practices (P3) for Literacy and Workforce Development at Libraries project. The project is supported in part by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Libraries will implement the use of Learning Circles, Learning Lounges (first started at PPL in 2014) and Mobile Learning. The goal of the P3 project is to expand technology-enabled practices to support adults in building their literacy, English language, and workforce skills and knowledge. Learn more .

Our education services have transitioned to online sessions. These include our adult English as a Second Language (ESL), Citizenship, GED, Learning Lounge, Data Pathway (Data Analytics & Visualization), Essential Excel and Rhode Coders (Javascript) programs as well as our teen summer employment program.   For alerts on class offerings and openings, consider joining our Tech News email list !
Making More Available Online
From additional book lists to access to new and expanded online resources from PPL , AskRI.org and elsewhere, we’re continuing to enhance electronic and digital offerings .

Reference Services Available...email, phone and chat
We are providing reference support by email ( pplref@provlib.org ) as well as phone and chat reference on a limited schedule (Monday to Friday, 9 am to 1 pm.) Give us a call at 401-455-8000 (press 5)! A librarian will be available to help you the best we can. Our Info Services librarians are also participating in the statewide Parent Distance Learning Helpline , or (904) 414-4927. Parents can call this helpline and be connected to teachers, librarians, and other educations, for tech help as well as learning advice or subject guidance .
Enhanced access to Library and AskRI.org resources include:
  • Flipster is NOW AVAILABLE!... through AskRI.org...Flipster offers an easy, browsable magazine reading experience. Users can browse magazines by category as well as perform searches for specific periodicals. An online newsstand provides a carousel of the most recent issues, as well as a carousel of all issues allowing for quick access to magazines. https://www.provlib.org/databases/flipster/
  • Rosetta Stone AVAILABLE through June 30! Improve your English or learn another language with Rosetta Stone Library Solution. Choose from 30 languages! This is an effective, easy-to-use program that allows you to learn a new language on your own time. You will need to create a free account to get started.
  • Udemy is now available to all Rhode Islanders thanks to AskRI.org! This new resource provides upskilling opportunities in areas such as business, tech, design and more to enable professional and personal success. Learn how to code, prep for IT certifications, sharpen leadership skills, increase office productivity, tap into your creativity, and much more. This resource is also great for small business owners and their employees who want to elevate skill sets and remain competitive in the ever-changing business landscape. Use any RI public library card to access. Look for Gale Presents: Udemy on our databases page: https://www.provlib.org/databases/.
  • Newsbank has given access to its America’s Newspapers database to PPL cardholders.
  • Researching your family history? Ancestry.com is now accessible to you from home (through ProQuest)! Log in with your library card number and pin to use this comprehensive genealogy database, including approximately 4,000 databases. Look for Ancestry Library on our databases page: https://www.provlib.org/databases/.
  • For a limited time, Kanopy is offering free access to more than 30 films in its collection and unlimited access to its entire Kids Collection. Films can be streamed via ppl.kanopy.com or by downloading the Kanopy mobile app for iOS, Amazon Fire, Android, AppleTV, Roku or Chromecast.
  • Foundations Directory Online is accessible from home during this time.
Calling all PPL Fans, Friends and Supporters!

Announcing our second annual  #PPLGive Day   on  Wednesday, June 10  -- we will be coming to you virtually via  Facebook  and  Instagram  with loads of excitement, unique giveaways, and fun, socially distanced ways to connect with and support PPL (there may even be a challenge involving bouncy balls...)! Our goal this year is to raise $15,000 in a single day for the Library's Annual Fund so that we can continue to offer our critical, FREE cultural, educational, and workforce development programs to all Rhode Islanders who seek them--even and  especially  during current global pandemic. And with YOUR help, we know we will succeed! 

Looking for a non-monetary way to support PPL on Give Day? We've got just the thing for you!  Give of your time by becoming a #PPLGive Day online ambassador!  Sign up for more information on virtual volunteering and exclusive access to our  #PPLGive  Day social media toolkit  here !   

THANK YOU! And get ready for a day chock full of virtual FUN!
A Special PPL Alum Story...
Meet Sen Kalaimani
My name is Senthilkumar Muthiyapillai Kalaimani, Sen, by my friends and students. I was a Mechanical Engineer back in India. I came to the US as a dependent visa holder for a few years. After I finally got my work permit, I struggled to find a new job because there was a considerable work gap in my resume. However, thanks to PPL and other local libraries, I’m now finding my way.

The first impact the library had on me occurred while I was browsing at the Cranston library. I saw and picked up a book on meditation from the shelves. This book seemed to be speaking to me. My grandfather had been a yogi back home, and as I took the book and was reading through it, I decided to follow in his footsteps. From there, I worked on getting my certification and started to teach Yoga and Meditation classes.

Around the same time, I happened upon a RIFLI ESL conversation at the Cranston library. The students and tutor were so welcoming and they encouraged me to take other RIFLI classes, which I soon joined. My teacher, Margaret, helped raise my communication skills from intermediate to advanced level. She was very compassionate and helped a lot of students like me to improve. I credit this class with helping me pass my Meditation certification exam, as I had to speak to my clients in English, so my improved speaking meant I wasn’t nervous and passed with no problem.

One opportunity leads to another with PPL, and from my ESL teacher I found out about RIFLI’s Microsoft Office Specialist certification ESL course at Roger Williams University downtown. The class was free, including tuition and certification fees. I joined, and successfully completed the Microsoft Office Specialist Certifications. The RIFLI ESL teacher, Chris, worked together with the RWU computer teacher and each cared for every student’s success and went out of their way to help us.

Furthermore, Chris recommended more computer classes at PPL. I completed the Data Navigators Course, where I learned about Tableau software. The course is equivalent to corporate level standards, and the teacher Don’s unique way of teaching was extraordinary. In addition to this, I took the Rhode Coders course offered by PPL for HTML, CSS & JavaScript. The instructor, a different Chris, was very knowledgeable, caring, and patient in addressing the student’s questions.

Not done yet, I took all the Northstar Digital Literacy Certification modules proctored by RIFLI’s Computer and Technology Specialist from PPL. Not only did she help me in getting the certification, but she also helped me to become a proctor for administering the exam for students.

Having the MOS certificates and the Proctor certification for Northstar, I was able to have a job opportunity through PPL as a Digital Literacy Instructor. Later, I was hired by RWU as a Continuous Education Instructor. RIFLI staff helped pave the way for me to conduct various PPL teaching opportunities. I have gained experience teaching a wide range of students who are improving their computer skills, including Teens, English language learners like me, and a staff at Women’s & Infant Hospital. I’m currently still helping PPL by instructing Intermediate Technology Course for a Providence Housing Authority cohort of learners.

Most importantly, PPL provided me the ultimate opportunity to be the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification instructor with RWU, where I started my technology journey as a student. When the Covid-19 situation demanded us to conduct online classes for MOS, PPL staff encouraged and supported me to move to virtual remote classes using webinars and Google Classroom.

The urge for my learning never ends. And PPL is always there to quench the thirst for lifelong learners. My journey with learning through PPL continues as I am currently learning Business English ESL class, with the possibility of starting my own business someday. The staff at PPL strive in their effort to serve the community and help everyone improve literacy and digital skills. I am glad that I am part of this community. The memories of my journey with PPL and the staff will always stay fresh.

Let’s Stay Connected!
We’ve been reaching out to our community more than ever through social media to share resources, news, and information, as well as updates on new and enhanced library services, locally and beyond. Be sure to connect with us at provlib.org and on Facebook , Twitter , Instagram and YouTube .
You make all of this possible.
Thank you for your support during this challenging time. 
PPL <3's You!