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Libraries as Community Catalysts: A New IMLS Report

By Donna DiMichele | January 26, 2017

A recently issued report from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Reinvestment Fund provides frameworks for libraries and museums to connect with their communities. Produced as part of the Community Catalyst Initiative, the report is a handbook for libraries and museums to position themselves as critical sites within broader social and institutional networks that support community well-being.

Strengthening Networks, Sparking Change: Museums and Libraries as Community Catalysts” combines findings from a literature scan and input from the library, museum and community revitalization fields with case studies about the experiences and vision of museums and libraries working to spur change in their communities. It describes the complementary conceptual frameworks of social well-being and collective impact and explains how libraries and museums can use these concepts to partner with community-based organizations, government agencies and other cultural or educational organizations. It catalogs how partnerships are initiated; what tools and methods are available to assess community need and evaluate impact; and the skills and competencies needed to sustain partnerships.

Read the complete IMLS press release

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RI Library Day

By Donna DiMichele | January 26, 2017

2017 RI Lib Day

The Rhode Island Library Association (RI) has announced that the 3rd Annual Rhode Island Library Day will be on Saturday, April 8, 2017, a date which kicks off National Library Week (April 9th-15th, 2017).

The purpose of RI Library 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.

RILA hopes that libraries will choose to join this celebration of Rhode Island libraries and begin planing events to mark the occasion.

For more information and resources, contact contact Andrew Creamer or Beth Ullucci, Co-Chairs, RI Library Day Planning Committee.

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RI Foundation Awards to RI School Libraries

By Donna DiMichele | January 25, 2017

Dozens of teachers in communities across Rhode Island will receive nearly $190,000 through the Spark Grants program at the Rhode Island Foundation.

Launched by philanthropists Letitia and John Carter in 2013, the program offered school-wide reading grants of up to $10,000 for the first time this year. Elementary schools in seven communities will receive grants for proposals that will inspire a life-long love of reading in students.

The program also continued to offer full-time third-grade teachers in any public or charter school statewide grants of up to $1,000 for classroom innovation. Sixty teachers statewide received grants this year.

Read the full story on the RI Foundation blog

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RILA-ILART Lesson Swap

By Donna DiMichele | January 23, 2017

The Rhode Island Library Association’s Information Literacy Action Round Table (RILA-ILART) is hosting a lesson swap. RILA-ILART is looking for librarians who would like to share successful lessons, or lessons that could be perfect with some feedback. Lessons from all levels and library types, from school to university to public, that relate to an information literacy topic are welcome. The Lesson Swap is an opportunity to connect librarians across library types to share pedagogy and exchange effective lessons, materials, and ideas.

Lesson swap presenters should come prepared to teach a 20 minute sample lesson to colleagues as if presenting to the lesson’s target audience. A 10 minute Q&A session will follow each lesson to provide an opportunity for questions and feedback. A laptop with screen will be provided. Please bring hard copies of any handouts (You will be told how many you’ll need before the event.)

To submit a proposal to present a lesson, please fill out the online form by February 3. The organizers will contact presenters by February 10.

For more information contact:
Maura Keating, Co-chair, RILA-ILART

Mary MacDonald, Co-chair, RILA-ILART

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Bi-literacy legislation signed into RI law

By Donna DiMichele | January 5, 2017

Bi-literacy legislation signed into RI law

Gov. Gina Raimondo signed a bill creating a “biliteracy seal” that school districts can affix to the diplomas and transcripts of high school graduates who demonstrate proficiency in another language in addition to English. The law was signed during a ceremonial bill signing on July 20, 2016.

The new law, sponsored by Sen. Juan M. Pichardo and Rep. Teresa Tanzi, is meant to recognize students who have achieved high levels of proficiency in multiple languages, encourage more to do so and help employers identify job applicants who have the sought-after skill of communicating in multiple languages. MORE

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A La Rhody – Rhode Island’s rich culinary history

By Donna DiMichele | January 4, 2017

A La Rhody – Rhode Island’s rich culinary history


Leaders from local educational, cultural and tourism organizations have joined together to encourage like-minded groups to participate in a year-long program aimed at exploring Rhode Island’s rich heritage through its culinary history. The initiative, called A La Rhody, will include programs and special events with a food focus.

Organizing partners include Providence Public Library, Rhode Island Historical Society, Providence Department of Art, Culture & Tourism, Discover Newport, Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation. The group worked for nearly one year to develop a slate of lectures, exhibits and events with a culinary theme, as a well as a branded marketing presence. A formal launch will take place in early January, in conjunction with Providence Restaurant Week.

The group held a community event at the Aldrich House to introduce the program to other community partners and is asking those interested in participating to visit the website alarhody.org to get more information and/or submit an event for inclusion. The project’s goal is to spark a statewide conversation and shared experiences around the role of food in Rhode Island lives and communities.

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Archive, Document, Display, and Disseminate Grants

By Donna DiMichele | January 4, 2017

Archive, Document, Display, and Disseminate Grant Programs

Applications Due: January 13, 2017

Philanthropist Herman Rose created the Archive, Document, Display, and Disseminate (ADDD) Fund at the Rhode Island Foundation in 1986 to provide new incentives to strengthen libraries and other civic, cultural, and literacy-focused organizations and expand their role as community centers that stimulate dialogue around critical issues.

The ADDD Fund offers two grant opportunities. Grants are awarded annually. Library Challenge Grants provide added funding for library campaigns to meet local needs. Media Project Grants assure greater access to information through archiving, documenting, displaying, and/or disseminating information.

More information and application instructions

Deadline: January 13, 2017

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2017 Reading Across Rhode Island

By Donna DiMichele | December 22, 2016

The Center for the Book at the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities
has announced the 2017 Reading Across Rhode Island book.

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

by Bryan Stevenson



Public events include:

January 29, 2017 from 2:00 – 4:00 pm at the Providence Public Library, 150 Empire Street, Providence, RI

Reading Across Rhode Island Honorary Chairs Judge Judith Colenback Savage and Judge Edward C. Clifton, both retired trial justices of the Rhode Island Superior Court and Distinguished Jurists in Residence at Roger Williams University School of Law, will lead a distinguished panel for an engaging introduction to the book’s themes of proximity, understanding, and justice.

Register on the Rhode Island Center for the Book website. Tickets are $15 and include one copy of the book. Light refreshments will be provided.

April 8, 2017 at McVinney Auditorium, 43 Dave Gavitt Way, Providence, RI (Time TBA)

Author Bryan Stevenson will speak about his experiences in the criminal justice system.

Registration for Bryan Stevenson’s address will be available on the Rhode Island Center for the Book website in February.

Look for other upcoming book-related events throughout the year at ribook.org including a celebration of RARI’s 15th anniversary in May.


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ALA Statement on Diversity and Inclusion

By admin | November 18, 2016

In response to the divisive nature of this election season, American Library Association President Julie Todaro issued the following statement highlighting the important role that libraries and librarians play as we all seek common ground following the election:

After a contentious campaign season filled with divisive rhetoric, we are now hearing from our members and in the news media about incidents of bigotry and harassment within our communities.  From children acting out in schools to adults participating in violent acts, it is clear that our nation is struggling in the wake of this election.

During times like these, our nation’s 120,000 public, academic, school and special libraries are invaluable allies inspiring understanding and community healing. Libraries provide a safe place for individuals of all ages and backgrounds and for difficult discussions on social issues.  Our nation’s libraries serve all community members, including people of color, immigrants, people with disabilities, and the most vulnerable in our communities, offering services and educational resources that transform communities, open minds and promote inclusion and diversity.

As an association representing these libraries, librarians and library workers, ALA believes that the struggle against racism, prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination is central to our mission. We will continue to support efforts to abolish intolerance and cultural invisibility, stand up for all the members of the communities we serve, and promote understanding and inclusion through our work.

Hear, hear.

(Press release issued by the American Library Association, November 15, 2016)

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PLA says: Nominate yourself, a colleague, or your library today!

By Donna DiMichele | November 17, 2016

The Public Library Association (PLA) service awards and grants highlight the best in public library service and honor those bringing innovation, creativity, and dedication to public libraries.

Nominate yourself, a colleague, or your library today!

The deadline to apply for PLA 2017 Service Awards and Grants is December 5, 2016 at 11:59 PM Central.

For more information, or to submit an application or nomination, please visit http://www.ala.org/pla/awards


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