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  • Thursday, March 15, 2018 10:29 AM | Anonymous
    Kieran Ayton speaks at a East Greenwich Poetry Slam, speaking about the importance of libraries

    Due to volatile town politics and other agendas, East Greenwich school librarians are getting the short stick. The East Greenwich School Libraries’ budget has been zero dollars for the past three years. No new books or resources have been purchased since 2014. The most current Town Budget level funded the East Greenwich School System and this has led the School Committee to remove the high school library media specialist position. The East Greenwich community has noticed this and is taking action. Will this be enough to gain the attention of town officials? 

    “The good thing is that (the school librarian issue) is creating a lot of awareness about what librarians do,” says Maura Keating, East Greenwich resident and co-chair of the RILA ILART Roundtable. “Parents did not know about what the librarians do at school and are a now little more concerned.”

    “I’m familiar with the situation, but I was surprised how many residents didn’t know what was going on,” said Kimberly Kinzie, resident and member of Engaged East Greenwich, a local Facebook group dedicated to events in town. “I’d be at the bus stop and telling people that we didn’t have a high school librarian. People were just not aware of the situation, they didn’t know what was going on, but they are horrified when they know.”

    Once they knew, the community started to speak up. There are now three grassroots groups -- “The EG Library Lions”, “Engaged East Greenwich” and “Creating Good EGGs” -- comprised of concerned citizens that have hosted numerous events; from poetry slams, creating “Little Free Libraries” around the town that collect books specifically from the high school reading list to creating a petition website.

    “East Greenwich prides itself on the quality of its public schools,” said Kate Goldman, a parent and member of Creating Good EGGs (East Greenwich + Global). “The fact that we are not meeting our students' needs or even complying with basic standards is an outrage and stands in direct opposition to what we believe our community to be.”

    This community effort has captured the attention of local school and town officials.

    "In a very short period of time we had to make some significant decisions,” said Carolyn Mark, Chair of the East Greenwich School Committee. “We were hoping that this was a temporary situation. It was a reasonable decision in an awful situation.”

    Before they made the cut, the East Greenwich School Committee didn’t know that they couldn’t share school librarians between schools. The previous middle school library media specialist retired and the Committee decided to fill the position with the current high school library media specialist, leaving the high school position empty. This decision will cost the school district accreditation issues in the future.

    “Properly staffing library media resources is considered essential in our accreditation,” said Mark. “It's a concern in the long run - we are responsible and the school board can to respond to and remedy the situation."

    Some residents fear that elementary school media specialists in East Greenwich will be transferred to the high school, leaving the lower-level schools with less support. In the last seven years, three of the East Greenwich Teachers of the Year have been Library Media Specialists (Phyllis Humphrey, 2016; Beth Gorter, 2015; and Connie Zack, 2011)

    "We can't move them, it's not an option,” said Mark. “We have rock star library media specialists in elementary schools and they are essential media school teachers."

    Even with this information, the exact details of what will happen next is still unclear.

    “We had to agree to disagree to make this choice,” says Mark. “Things did not work out the way we hoped this year, but I'm hoping that it will be remedied.”

    Currently, the School Committee is creating the upcoming school year budget. They do know that they will be receiving $400,000 of Rhode Island State Aid.

    That's going to help,” said Mark. “But we have others costs that are increasing within the school too. The hope is that we are able to come in with a more reasonable request to the town. If they do level fund us, then we'll have to make some very hard decisions about eliminating programs for the next school year."

    This decision won’t be made until the School Committee submits the budget to the town and then the budget goes up for public hearings. The earliest any decision will be made would be in June 2018.

    What can the RILA and Rhode Island library community do to support this situation?

    “As an EG resident, I would appreciate any efforts by the RI library community to publicize this issue,” says Goldman. “If anyone in the RI library community is interested, in helping with collecting books for the Little Free Libraries, I can help them get started.”

    RILA has also been vocal about the issue. Last fall RILA wrote a letter to the East Greenwich school superintendent and school committee protesting the closure of the high school library and advocating for the hiring of a full time credentialed school library media specialist.  In January the president of RILA Kieran Ayton, attended a poetry slam for the East Greenwich High School Library where he was able to share RILA's support with the East Greenwich community.

    As members of the RI Library Community, we need to speak up and continue to promote the importance of libraries.

    “You should be talking about what the value of libraries do and continue to talk,” says Keating. “If you stay silent and worry then they’ll come for you next. Be positive—talk about the impact that you have to your students and community—it is not just about books. It is the last thing that these librarians do—it is the last part of their jobs. School library media specialists do so much more.”

  • Monday, March 12, 2018 10:41 AM | Anonymous

    By Babs Wells, Children’s Librarian at Greenville Public Library

    I recently attended a one-day seminar on the topic of management and leadership. It was facilitated by Fred Pryor Seminars, according to their website they offer 10,000 award winning training options live and online to satisfy learning needs across the United States and Canada.

    We dove right in at 9:00 am by introducing ourselves. I was the only public librarian in attendance. I met people who worked in all kinds of professions.  It was a diverse bunch of folks. 

    The facilitator told us right out of the gate that she didn’t plan on doing most of the talking or lecturing. She briefly shared what the day would look like and that we would have two short breaks with an hour for lunch.  

    I have participated in a myriad of workshops, conferences and roundtables that are related to being a librarian, and usually know most of the people who are at these events and programs.  It feels comfortable and familiar.

    The Fred Pryor seminar placed me in a room where I didn’t know anyone in a format that was completely outside my comfort zone. Early into the morning we broke into small groups to work on one of the many assignments we were given throughout day. At first there was that feeling of uncomfortable silence when one begins to think to themselves, "Who is going to break the ice?."   

    As the day went on it became very interesting to get to know people whose professions are entirely unlike mine but I discovered we also had much in common. There were various strategies and concepts that were explored and shared that can be applied to being a leader whether you work   as a department head in a public library, as a banquet captain in a restaurant, as a supervisor at a private catering event or as a manager of groundskeepers at several large cemeteries.

    The facilitator had many catch phrases that she tossed out to sum up key points. She called these cheers, AHA’s. Chunk it Out!  What gets measured gets done! Be Present!  One team One Dream! I found this to be entertaining especially when she asked us to shout out as a group, “You are awesome!"

    As I look over my notes along with the workbook we were given I have been inspired to implement some of the techniques and ways of communicating that I learned on that day. I am also excited to explore different concepts and theories that will assist me into growing as a person and a leader.

    I highly recommend you to step out beyond the world of libraries to see what may be around the next corner. You just might be inspired to look at your profession with a new perspective.

  • Thursday, June 09, 2016 3:57 PM | Anonymous

    Senator Reed has helped secure an increase of $314,000 for the IMLS Grants to States program (to $156,103,000) and the same increase for the National Library Leadership grants (to $13,406,000) over FY16 levels in the bill passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee today.  Hurdles remain to get to a final spending bill, but this is great news. 

    OLIS receives approximately half its funding from IMLS and uses these funds to support OLIS activities and programs such as Summer Reading, Continuing Education, Talking Books Plus, and more.  Please note that this increase is for the national program, not just for OLIS, but all states, including RI will benefit.

    Please see the Senator's press release here:

    Also see the news in ALA's District Dispatch:

  • Friday, April 15, 2016 12:03 PM | Anonymous

    You're Invited!

    The Rhode Island Library Association and the New England Library Association invite you to the first Library Libations after-work event. Come and enjoy a drink with fellow librarians at the new location of the Malted Barley in Providence from 5 to 7 pm on Thursday, April 28.

    Warm pretzels, craft beer, library love, and you!

    The Malted Barley
    334 Westminster St.
    Providence, RI

    Hosted by your NELA state representative, Jessica D'Avanza.
    For questions contact jessicad@barringtonlibrary.org.

  • Friday, April 15, 2016 11:57 AM | Anonymous

    Thank you to Senators Hanna Gallo, Cindy Coyne, Paul Fogarty, Roger Picard, and Adam Satchell for introducing this resolution. Particular thanks to Senator Gallo for coordinating this public statement in support of Rhode Island's libraries. Check out the full text of the resolution!

  • Wednesday, March 09, 2016 10:21 AM | Anonymous

    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.

    Panelists can include school librarians, teachers, public librarians, children’s librarians, parents, school committee members, and administrators. Please let us know if you are interested in serving on this panel and forward suggestions to us for names of other people who might be interested. We will be advertising the event so that we can reach out to the community, including teachers, parents, administrators, school committee members and other interested parties.

    The questions below may be asked of the panelists and we hope to include the audience in discussing these questions.


    1. Who determines what materials (books, other media) are acquired or accessed in the library and do these suggestions need to be reviewed?
    2. How is the library organized?
    3. Are items cataloged and/or arranged by subject, age-appropriate levels, or other?
    4. How are these levels determined: librarians (through use of books reviews and school library magazines), administrators, school committees?
    5. Is there a policy where permission is granted to parents or guardians to see what books have been charged out?
    6. How is the choice of websites, games, programs, etc. determined? Librarians, administrators, school committees, etc.?
    7. Have there been any challenges by parents, school committees, etc. against materials available in the libraries? And how was it resolved.

    Please respond by April 1 to the Intellectual Freedom Committee co-chairs, Jim Kinnie (jkinnie@uri.edu) and Carla Weiss (cmweiss8@gmail.com).

  • Wednesday, March 09, 2016 10:20 AM | Anonymous

    Money Smart Week 2016 is only 6 weeks away! If your library is hosting a financial literacy program during the week of April 23-30, we want to hear about it. Please post your event on the Money Smart Week Partner site, or email 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 at http://rilibraries.org/Money-Smart-Week. If you have any questions, please email the Financial Literacy Round Table co-Chairs at FLRT@rilibraries.org.

  • Tuesday, March 01, 2016 4:58 PM | Anonymous

    RILA is pleased to announce a new award category this year and we’re currently seeking nominations for the very first Outstanding Library Paraprofessional.  Paraprofessionals are integral to library operations and deserve credit for their important roles in our libraries.  The annual RILA awards process provides the opportunity for special recognition of the accomplishments, service, and commitment of our colleagues and associates.  The RILA Executive Board encourages nominations of committed and deserving support staff for this new award.


    Nominations are due by April 1, 2016.


    Criteria for Outstanding Library Paraprofessional Award


    This purpose of this award is to recognize a library staff member in a non-degreed support position who has made a significant contribution to the library work environment and/or libraries in Rhode Island. The nominee must demonstrate excellence in one or more of the following areas:


    • Excels in his/her area of expertise and delivers exemplary service across operations at all levels;
    • Promotes the development and recognition of the paraprofessional as an important and vital member of the library workforce;
    • Plans and implements innovative and effective library programming or services;
    • Increases public knowledge and understanding of library resources, needs, and uses;
    • Develops relationships and fosters collaboration between all staff/departments;
    • Serves the profession through local or regional committees and organizations.


    Awards will be presented at the Annual Conference in May 2016. The RILA Executive Board will determine award recipients based on letters of recommendation. 


    Please send nomination letters to:


    Jenifer Bond, Associate Director

    Krupp Library

    Bryant University

    1150 Douglas Pike

    Smithfield, RI 02917



    Please share this call for nominations at your libraries.  Thank you!

  • Thursday, February 11, 2016 9:25 AM | Anonymous

    Research and Education Librarian

    The Biomedical Libraries at Dartmouth College are recruiting a Research and Education Librarian. The Biomedical Libraries support clinicians, faculty, researchers, and students in medical sciences, biological sciences and public health. We seek an early-career librarian to join a team of service-focused research and education librarians. This position provides research and education services to the Geisel School of Medicine, the Department of Biological Sciences, The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, and the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.


    The successful candidate will work with a highly collaborative, supportive, experienced team to develop or enhance the skills necessary to conduct literature searches, teach in the curriculum, conduct systematic reviews, and participate in educational programs. Daily activities may include teaching workshops, working with small groups, creating instructional materials such as LibGuides/Research Guides, and consulting individually with patrons. The ideal candidate will be creative, methodical, progressive, and versatile, and will contribute to existing and emerging services.


    ALA-accredited degree in library and/or information science, or a combination of an advanced subject or professional degree and relevant academic library work experience.  Preference will be given to candidates with a background in or an enthusiasm for the health or life sciences.


    This is an entry-level Librarian Professional I position in the Dartmouth College Library Classification System of Professional Ranks. Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications. Full benefits package including 22 vacation days; comprehensive health care; retirement plans, including TIAA-CREF; and relocation assistance.


    The mission of the Biomedical Libraries is to provide health and life sciences information resources and services that advance research and scholarship, education, and patient-care activities.  The Biomedical Libraries consist of the Dana Biomedical Library on the Dartmouth campus and the Matthews-Fuller Health Sciences Library at the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center.

    Dartmouth College, located in scenic Hanover, New Hampshire, is one of the top institutions of higher learning, and consistently ranked among the best teaching colleges in the United States. Dartmouth consists of four schools—Arts & Sciences, the Geisel School of Medicine, the Thayer School of Engineering, and the Tuck School of Business. As part of the Dartmouth College Library system of nine libraries, the Biomedical Libraries seek to foster intellectual growth and advance the teaching and research missions of the university by supporting excellence and innovation in education and research, managing and delivering scholarly content, and partnering in the development and dissemination of new scholarship.

    Boston and Montreal are within a two- to three-hour drive from Hanover, NH.

    For more information and to apply for this position, visit: https://searchjobs.dartmouth.edu/postings/35515.

    Review of applications will begin immediately.
  • Wednesday, January 20, 2016 1:26 PM | Anonymous

    The League for the Advancement of Northeast Storytelling (LANES) is holding its 35th annual Sharing the Fire Storytelling Conference at the UMass Hotel & Conference Center in Amherst April 1-3.  Some of the best storytellers in the Northeast will be presenting.  The conference, which has the theme Storytelling in a Changing World, is for both advanced and aspiring storytellers.  Members of RILA might be interested in attending the conference, and LANES is offering members of RILA, who would be new members of LANES, free membership for those signing up for the full registration at the member price of $235.  The membership fee is normally $55.  Visit http://lanes.org/ for more details about the conference.

    If you are interested in attending the conference, please put the code (RILIB) after your last name and do not check off the membership box on your registration form so your free membership will be more easily flagged and set up.

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