RILA Logo 2011 v.2
In This Issue
RILA Slate of Officers
Environmental Sustainability
3D Libraries
RILINK Expands
Technology in the News
News From the Field
Better Know a Librarian
Rhode Island
Library Association
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, Rhode Island 02940


It's almost a year ago that it started raining and seemed like it would never stop. Maybe Shakespeare was onto something when he warned us to beware the Ides of March. After the winter Rhode Island just had, we welcome spring with open arms.

Spring means the RILA annual conference is approaching. All RILA members are eligible to vote for the new slate of executive board officers during the annual business meeting, which takes place at the RILA conference on Friday, June 3. We're publishing the candidates platforms in this edition of the Bulletin to help you make an informed choice.

Don't forget to keep in touch with RILA - we've said it before and we'll say it again: The more people in the library community who contribute to the RILA Bulletin, the stronger it is. You can contact us at [email protected] We're looking forward to hearing from you.

Here's hoping for a dry spring season!

Andria Tieman and Corrie MacDonald
RILA Communications Committee Co-Chairs

Meet the Candidates

Elections for the 2011 RILA ExecutiveBoard will take place during the business meeting at the RILA Annual Conference on Friday, June 3. Below is the slate of officers nominated for the RILA Executive Board:


Vice President/President-Elect:Jenifer Bond

Jenifer Bond, Bryant University 

I am fortunate to have discovered a path to librarianship over 15 years ago, a choice which has led to a rewarding career. I have enjoyed a variety of rich experiences in library environments, from archives and public services to library related corporate sector work.  I am currently Assistant Director at the Douglas & Judith Krupp Library at Bryant University, a unique position that requires a collaborative spirit.  I received an undergraduate degree in Communications at Emerson College and a Master of Science in Library & Information Science at Simmons College.  


As an advocacy organization, RILA must provide visibility for its members, push crucial agendas forward, and build relationships among libraries and library supporters.  I am committed to giving voice to our membership and strengthening advocacy efforts through action.  As Vice President, I will carry out the Association's immediate and long range goals, ensure good communication and transparency in our business, and explore opportunities for mentoring and professional development for our members.  RILA can serve as a bridge between academic, public, special, and school libraries, and I will draw on my diverse background to unite the membership and represent libraries of all types.  I look forward to a vibrant exchange of ideas in the coming years. 



Trish Schultz, Bryant UniversityTrish Schultz

I would be honored to be treasurer of the Rhode Island Library Association.  As the past director of a public library and currently a Technical Services Librarian at Bryant University, I would bring my mixed background of both public and academic library experience to the table. 


My experience as a library director laid a foundation for my understanding of budgets.  My current position is building on this foundation, providing me with increased financial knowledge which will serve me well as RILA Treasurer. I look forward to working together to ensure the Association's success.


Secretary:Adrienne Gallo

Adrienne Gallo, Cranston Public Library 

Since 2002, I have been the branch manager of the Oak Lawn Branch of Cranston Public Library, but have been working for the system in a full time capacity since 1999.  I earned my MLIS from the University of RI in 1996, shortly after earning an MA in Professional Writing and Publishing from Emerson College in Boston.


I have been a member of the Rhode Island Executive Board since 2007, first serving as the RILA Councilor to the New England Library Association, and most recently as Member at Large and co-chair of the Membership Committee.  During the upcoming term, I hope to serve as RILA's Secretary.


As Secretary, I plan to serve the membership by supporting RILA's continuing efforts to work for library funding throughout the state.  In addition, I will work to grow membership through frequent contact with the library community, and informational visits to students at the University of RI Graduate School of Library Information Studies.

Member at Large:Chris Goldstein

Christine Wallace Goldstein, Woonsocket Public Library

My name is Chris Wallace Goldstein, I have worked for the Woonsocket Harris Public library for the past 13 years as the Head of Children's, Youth & Branch Services. I served on the board for Connecting for Children and Families. I have presented  both Fantasy and Science Fiction literature at past RILA conferences as well as the Connecticut Library Conference. I have recently served on a panel for URI GSLIS students.   Prior to my position at Woonsocket. I worked at the Cranston Public Library and for the RI Film Cooperative. I graduated with my MLIS in 1996 from URI.


Member at Large: 

Julie DeCesare, Providence College

Julie DeCesare is the Head of Research & Education at Providence College's Phillips Memorial Library.  She recently returned to her native Rhode Island and hopes to make meaningful connections with the library community in her position as Member at Large.  Her fresh perspectives will serve the RILA Executive Board well.  She is committed to championing library causes, addressing local issues, and supporting the membership in her term. 


Environmental Sustainability in the Library 

By Dawn Emsellem-Wichowski 

Learning Commons Specialist, Salve Regina University 
Salve Library

Starting an environmental sustainability program at your library may feel like a huge task, but if you start incrementally and stay on top of your plans to ensure follow-through, momentum tends to build. The initial ingredients to a successful greening program need only include a few committed colleagues, some ideas for improvement (especially starting in your own workspace and work processes), and the ability to bend the ear of a couple of higher ups as you gather successes. Even just stating that the library has a sustainability initiative can empower interested staff to get moving on their own projects.


Salve Regina University's McKillop Library began a sustainability program in 2009. Backed by a supportive director, our McKillop Sustainability Committee has so far focused on improving recycling, making work processes across the library more sustainable, improving awareness about our library's resource use (mostly through signage), and providing an education component through a series of sustainability pages linked from the library's website.


Often, a good first step is to look at your institution's mission, strategic goals, and values statement. Can you see where sustainability might fit into these essential statements? You'll find that you can more easily justify changes and expenditures when you can fit these into an existing mission and values framework. At Salve Regina University, environmental sustainability is explicitly mentioned in our institution's mission and values statement.  Since yearly staff evaluations include a section on upholding the institution's mission, time-pressed and overworked staff may find that there is an incentive to giving up time and effort to participate in meetings and legwork to contribute to a sustainability project. However, if your institution's mission doesn't plainly discuss sustainability, the principles that go along with alleviating our environmental impact are implied in the wording of most organizations' missions. With some mental calisthenics, you should easily be able to justify starting a sustainability program in support of your mission.


Ideally, your library director and direct supervisor will be on board. If not, you need to sell your idea, emphasizing its compliance with the library or institutional mission, plus the attendant cost savings, image enhancement in the community, and other benefits which may be unique to your library.  At Salve, we were lucky in that our director was committed to environmental issues already. This opened the door to barreling into a sustainability project at full throttle, but a program that starts at a slower pace to appease a more skeptical director can also be successful. You will probably find growing support for your program as successes bring your library good press and other positive exposure.


Next, identify colleagues in your library who are interested in environmental issues, or in other departments if your library is part of a larger institution. These people will form the core of your library's sustainability group. Their interests will drive the action. It is key to let people follow their own interests and follow up with them to see what progress they've made. This way they will make more progress on projects that are already interesting to them, and the follow up (often in the form of sending them the agenda of the next meeting, in which reporting on their progress on a topic is a prominent item) reminds them to get to work they were already intending to do.


At Salve, one sustainability group member was interested in creating a "Green Offices" program in which staff who pledged to a 10-point action plan would have a designated "Green Office." Other staff members were inspired to make their own work processes more sustainable. With the launching of the sustainability initiative, nearly every item the library discards is recycled or donated. Staff members have also greened their work processes.  


For example, our technical services specialist has made the entire ordering process paperless, where for years we wasted reams of paper with hundreds of orders each semester. With the director's support of our sustainability initiative, we were able to ask colleagues to make changes in their own behaviors to conform to these new processes. Since each of these projects was conceived of by individuals who were empowered by the initiative to make changes, each staff member was motivated to follow through, and received all the recognition for their good work.


In our experience, momentum developed as we strengthened ties within our library and with other departments and groups across campus. We found that there were already individuals doing environmentally-minded projects all over campus, and some of their projects could directly benefit our efforts and vice versa. Collaboration with a faculty member yielded our first environmental benchmarks when an environmental studies class's semester-long project was to evaluate our library's carbon footprint.  

 Working with other offices in the library building revealed that we weren't recycling certain supply boxes properly, and just needed a new work process to ensure that the boxes could be recycled. Working with the environmental science class got us interested in finding more effective recycling bins, and gave us the data that improved chances for funding their purchase.


Creating a sustainability program at your library may be easier than you'd think. With a tenacious and organized lead point person and a small group of like-minded colleagues empowered to follow their own projects, a sustainability program is likely to take off on its own. Small, incremental successes tend to breed larger successes. It may feel that you're not doing as much as you'd hoped, but when you sit down to assess your work, you realize you've accomplished something significant, not only in the realm of sustainability, but in building work relationships, improving leadership skills, and developing collaborative relationships outside of the library.

3D Libraries: Online, Inside, On the move

By Paula Anderson

Children's Librarian, Warwick Public Library

Virtual Library

Barrington Public Library hosted the OLIS program "3D Libraries: Online, Inside and On the Move" on March 2. Diane Nester Kresh, Director of the Arlington (VA) Public Library and Nicole Piro, YA Librarian at Arlington, presented in the morning to a packed auditorium.


Kresh shared the good news about libraries: studies show that people believe libraries have value, even in this difficult economy. Unfortunately, we haven't done a very effective job of demonstrating that to our funders. Our competition is Google and the news is not getting out that we can provide more trustworthy information and better service. Moreover, our satisfied customers just aren't vocal about us because, even when our budgets are cut, we're creative and do anything to prevent degradation of service.


One way Arlington has tried to bridge that message gap is to set up library-like facilities where the people are. They also partner with municipal agencies in terms of space-sharing and working toward common goals. The day's discussion focused, however, on how they've adapted the new social technologies to enhance both service and message.  First and foremost, Kresh emphasized, don't jump in without a purpose and a plan. Evaluate the mission and vision of your library and then adopt the appropriate technology. Technology is not a replacement for what we do. We always need to "balance high tech with high touch"-Google can't do that! We have the content, we need to create the context in which patrons and funders both believe in our value, and from that we get to connection with them.


Arlington's tech strategy includes management support for the "virtual branch" in terms of resources, staff time and staff training. New technologies are tracked and reevaluated on a regular basis. If something isn't working, something new is tried.  Staff members are encouraged to experiment with new technologies. That, however, is tempered with an understanding that not everyone adapts immediately. Arlington retooled its training and created a self-directed Technology Boot Camp for those not on the cutting edge.


Kresh then turned to floor over to Nicole Piro, who went into some depth about how she uses social media to support the YA program.  With a Facebook page, a Flickr account, and a YA blog, Piro is busy keeping content fresh to attract and keep readers. She posts to the blog at least four times a week and recruits content helpers whenever possible. Blog posts include book trailers (with appropriate permissions) and author interviews she's conducted. She also maintains a list of news items and links that will be of interest to teens.


To spread the word, Piro has a social media card instead of a personal business card. Kids don't call librarians even if they know them well, but they will connect through technologies they're familiar with.

She also stressed that while it was the first department in the library to get heavily into social media, the YA program is now part of an integrated social media plan for the entire library. Their mantra is "Experiment, test, revisit".  If they're not reaching their desired audience, they scrap it and try something new.


Those messages were strongly reinforced by the local panelists. Jennifer Salcido, Assistant Director of Marketing and PR for Trinity Rep, described how they are using technology to get deeper into the conversation with patrons. When people connect with Trinity Rep online, they get more than a ticket transaction. They get interviews with the actors, previews, the opportunity to talk about their Trinity experiences, and a sense of community.  Social media also helps to connect with younger people, who don't necessarily consider the theater first when they are looking for entertainment.


YA Librarian Aaron Coutu of the Greenville Public Library shared tips for managing and promoting a library's media sites.  He markets the teen webpage by making it the homepage on the teen computers. Facebook status updates are integrated into the site. He responds to what's getting attention and also emphasizes that it takes steady effort, warning "If you don't water this, it's going to turn brown and die." To manage a multiplicity of tools he recommends using Meebo or Bebo, aggregation sites that coordinate all electronic contacts.


Megan Fischer, Director of Marketing and Communications, Providence Children's Museum, oversees an E-newsletter, blog, Twitter account and listserv.  Their blog was developed during the museum's two month closing for renovations.  There was a lot of interest in what was happening and they capitalized on that. The blog features events and quirkier things like visitor feedback notes and the lost and found collection. The museum also has a listserv devoted to the discussion of play. Ways to get the word out about their online presence include the print and e-newsletter, flyers, email blasts, printing on receipts, Facebook, and special promotions.


The museum recently evaluated their social media presence via a community survey (offering a prize resulted in an excellent response). They received valuable feedback.  For example, the public wanted to see more take-home activities on the blog and they discovered that Twitter posts appealed more to colleagues, not the family audience.  The lesson:  Engage a different audience with each tool and shift focus when needed.   


Jenifer Bond, Assistant Director/Reference Librarian, reported that the staff at the Krupp Library, Bryant University, is encouraged to take risks and strive be innovative. They want to enhance what they're doing, not replace it and be ready for future services. For example, mobile populations are increasing, so the library instituted text reference. Their Meebo window is always open and they can chat at all points of contact.


To help guide users remotely (and save time), they use screen casting (with Jing) to walk people through typical help requests. They spread the word about their services through Twitter, Facebook, blogging, the newsletter, and QR codes-the places Bryant students are hanging out. Their message is always clear and consistent: "quick solutions for busy people".   


Relevant Websites

Pew Internet and American Life Project  

Arlington Public Library Website  

Arlington Public Library Teen Blog  

Trinity Rep Website 

Providence Children's Museum Blog 

Greenville Public Library Teen Page  

Bryant Krupp Library Website 

RILINK Expands
By Dorothy Frechette

What has a million and a half books and other resources, over 130 locations, but no full-time staff?  We call it RILINK (Rhode island Library Network for Kids), and it's about to get even bigger (and better) thanks to a $35,000 federal grant award through OLIS.  RILINK is a cooperative effort by Rhode Island school libraries to share their resources through an interactive, web-based catalog of library materials. Students and teachers at RILINK member schools can use their library catalogs to look for, and request, books or other items at member libraries.  Items requested are delivered to each school through the statewide library network.RILINK logo


This Library Services and Technology Act grant award comes from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and will support up to ten more libraries joining RILINK, with their collections in our online catalog system, RICAT.

When we applied for the grant, we told OLIS that we wanted to offer RILINK advantages to more students and teachers at elementary schools.  We would focus on less-advantaged communities, elementary school libraries that had not been automated, and schools in communities where we were already serving some schools.  So, over the next six months, we will help elementary schools in Cumberland and East Providence put their collections online.  In the fall, students and teachers at these schools will have a new online catalog system, available wherever they have access to the web.  Three additional libraries will also join RILINK with the help of these grant funds.


In spite of our current economic hard times, schools are continuing to see the advantages of RILINK membership.  In addition to the new elementary school libraries benefiting from this grant, at least four other libraries will be online with RICAT by the fall, bringing the total number of members to 151 school library media centers, serving 60,000 students and their teachers (55% of the K-12 enrollment).


RICAT gives schools more than a great-looking visual OPAC, where students can go on their own Destiny Quest.  Users can peek at the covers of the books in the collection, find subject and curriculum-based web links that are K-12 appropriate, develop their own bibliographies, and place local holds and interlibrary loan requests.  Through the statewide library network, students and teachers also have access to the more than 12 million books and other materials in Rhode Island public and academic libraries.   


If what they need can't be found in Rhode Island, the statewide library network (through the OCLC Clearinghouse at OLIS) will forward their requests throughout the entire library world, through FirstSearch.  This means that literally the entire world of books and information is open to students and teachers at member schools.


RILINK members also get vendor discounts for online database subscriptions.  The Follett Destiny software that RILINK uses also provides easy ways to link to other online resources, such as, and guides users to these resources through catalog searches.


Linking everything together in one place is about to get even better.  RILINK is exploring new software from Follett that provides a web-based educational collaborative environment where teachers, students and their parents can participate in the educational process.  Using Cognite, teachers can develop lesson plans, develop resource-based learning modules, and communicate with students and their parents.  Cognite creates user-friendly digital learning environments where students, teachers, administrators, librarians and parents can discover, share, organize and collaborate.

Technology in the News
KeyloggerIt's a Nasty Little Gadget
Authorities in Manchester, England recently found three small keyloggers connected to public computers in the public library.  Keyloggers are small devices about the size of a flashdrive that connect to the keyboard on one end, and then into the computer itself.  As the person uses the computer, every keystroke gets recorded onto the keylogger, meaning that every patron action for as long as the device was plugged in, is recorded and viewable.  This can be something as simple as a web search, or something as serious as an email or bank password.

All library staff should be familiar with these devices, and be on the lookout.

Librarians Protest HarperCollins' Limit of eBook Downloads
Effective March 7, publisher HarperCollins will not allow its eBooks to be checked out from a library more than 26 times. After that, the license on the eBook will expire and libraries will have to decide whether to buy a new one. The decision was announced on February 24 by OverDrive, the leading supplier of electronic content to libraries in North America.

Librarians across the country are outraged and fear other publishers could adopt a similar model. Some have organized a boycott of books published by HarperCollins. They argue the restrictions place an additional burden on financially strapped public libraries, some of which have reduced their inventories because of budget constraints.

Although Ocean State Libraries (OSL) has not taken an official position on the matter, Assistant Director Lisa Davis sent a letter to OverDrive CEO Steve Potash stating that she recommends that Rhode Island libraries  boycott HarperCollins " selecting both physical and electronic materials and that they let both Overdrive and HarperCollins know about our discontent." Davis reported that Potash responded to her letter by both voice mail and email, stating that OverDrive "protested vehemently" against the changes and that "worse options" had been presented.

Members of the OSL EZone group are in the process of arranging a conference call with OverDrive representatives at their next meeting to further discuss the issue.

Read the full story from the Chicago Tribune
Read HarperCollins response to the criticism
Get up-to-date information on libraries' boycott of HarperCollins here

Electronic Library Cards: There's an App for That
As smartphone use grows, libraries can expect to encounter patrons who wish to use an image of their library card scanned onto their mobile device in lieu of their actual library card. Mobile applications ('apps") such as CardStar and KeyRing allow consumers to load the barcodes from store loyalty cards onto their mobile devices, and a growing number of users are using the same apps to load their library cards onto their phones.
Scanning an Electronic Library Card
A library card is loaded onto a smartphone and scanned.

While libraries are often eager to embrace new technology, librarians are divided on the issue. Some feel that it compromises the privacy and security of patrons' personal information, while others feel it isn't much different from handing out barcodes that also serve as keychains. The Boulder, Colorado Public Library is actively encouraging patrons to use smartphone library cards.

Another problem: The barcode scanners currently being used in most libraries are unable to scan barcodes from phones, which emit light and require a special scanner. The new scanners appear to be relatively inexpensive, but in an age of lean budgets, many libraries are likely to take a wait and see approach to the issue.

In any case: when a patron shows up at your library and asks about using a scanned version of their library barcode, don't say we didn't warn you!

Read Library Journal's article about library cards on smartphones
The Swiss Army Librarian samples the new technology

Therapy Dogs in the Library

By Debra Cohen
Children's Services Coordinator, Cumberland Public Library
Pet Therapy
Children read to Fame at the Cumberland Public Library
Dogs and literacy - what's not to love? The Cumberland Public Library, the Windwalker Humane Coalition, and RI Pet Assisted Therapy Association have partnered  to create the Pet Tales Program in the library's children's department.


"Miss Debra's Pet Tales Program" took place in the fall of 2010. It was a wonderfully popular community-based library program, encouraging "paws-on" education, pet care, respect and responsibility with animals. Many families attended with an interest in introducing their young children to animals, overcoming fears of dogs or just connecting and discussing the wonderful emotional world of pets and companions. The family of a girl with Asperger's Syndrome requested private playdates with pet therapy dog Fame due to the warm connection made during the series.


There was a demand for additional sessions, so we created the "Paws and Tales" reading program, over the winter session. Library patrons entering grades K-3 registered to read to Fame for 20 minute intervals. Fame sits at attention, often resting her head on the child's lap, as the children read their selected favorite picture or chapterbook, without any judgement or corrections to their reading. Other service dog, animal and pet books are displayed within the program room to draw the children further into learning about and reading books on this topic. Gaining confidence with their reading  and connecting with calm, non-judgmental furry friends is rewarding and heart-warming for the participating children and families!  

Pet reading programs like this one have proven wildly successful in helping children to overcome hesitation, improve communication skills, improve school performance and develop confidence in their abilities.  The notion of pairing dogs with children for reading was initially based on a study done by Johns Hopkins University, which proved that proximity to pet animals lowers blood pressure and has a calming effect. Children who were placed in a room and asked to read aloud initially had an increase in blood pressure, but when a dog entered the room, the children calmed down almost instantly. 

For more information in the subject, check out and
News From the Field



West Warwick

Peggie Facker, the Young Adult Librarian at West Warwick Public Library  and current GSLIS student, received  the William Bergeron Public Library Scholarship at this year's Coalition of Library Advocates (COLA) reception. Each year COLA  holds a reception at the State House around Valentine's Day. COLA announces its "Sweetheart of the Year," and gives out other awards at the annual reception.   


"Working full-time while pursuing my MLIS degree is definitely a challenge," Facker said. "Thankfully, my job responsibilities and the curriculum complement each other, which makes things less complicated and helps me keep my balance. I am thrilled to receive the recognition, and very grateful for the financial help provided by the William Bergeron Scholarship."


William Bergeron was the Technology Services Coordinator at the Cranston Public Library and was married to West Warwick Public Library Director Fran Farrell-Bergeron. "It was especially meaningful to me that my own YA librarian received the memorial scholarship honoring my sweet Bill. We at the library are very proud of Peggie," said Farrell-Bergeron.  


Comings and Goings



Providence Public Library is  pleased to welcome Jordan Goffin to the position of Special Collections Librarian as of March 21, 2011. Jordan has been the Assistant Reference Librarian for Special Collections at the Rhode Island Historical Association since 2009.  Prior to that he was the Special Collections Librarian/Assistant Professor at the Mansfield Library at the University of Montana at Missoula. Jordan earned his Masters in Library Science from Indiana University, and a Masters in English literature from Ohio State University with a focus in Medieval Literature.   



Wil Gregersen will join the staff of Warwick Public Library as the Community Services Librarian beginning March 14. Most recently, he was the programming/reference librarian for the Barrington Library and has also worked at the Cumberland Public Library.

Prior to becoming a librarian, Wil worked in a variety of fields including academic administration and the office of special events at University of Chicago.   



Janet Levesque of Cumberland Public Library is retiring as of June 3, 2011.  Janet is a URI graduate, and has been Director of Cumberland Public for 29 years.  Prior to working at Cumberland, she was the Director of Greenville Public Library.


Rhode Island Historical Society

Bernard Fishman has resigned as executive director of the Rhode Island Historical Society. Fishman had held the post since 2002.


President emeritus Vartan Gregorian will be delivering a lecture at Brown University, in honor of the centennial of the John Hay Library, on Thursday, March 17th at 4:00 pm in Sayles Hall. The lecture is open to the public.

Dr. Gregorian will address "Information and Knowledge in an Age of Technology." President Simmons will provide an introduction. A reception will follow at the John Hay Library.

During the month of May the North Kingstown Free Library, with generous funding from Butler Hospital, is hosting the photo-text exhibit Nothing to Hide: Mental Illness in the Family created by Family Diversity Projects, a nonprofit organization based in Amherst, MA. By bringing visibility to these individuals and their families, Nothing to Hide helps dispel harmful stereotypes, myths, and misconceptions about mental illness.

Butler Hospital is also offering two presentations at the library:
The Latest in Diagnosing and Treating Alzheimer's and Other Memory Disorders, Wednesday, May 4th, evening
ˇChild and Adolescent Mental Health Issues: A Panel Discussion
Wednesday, May 11th, evening

On Monday, May 2, at 6:00pm the North Kingstown Free Library will be showing the movie Temple Grandin. This film chronicles the life of Dr. Temple Grandin, a world-famous animal scientist with autism. Dr. Grandin has been named one of twenty-five heroes of 2010 in Time Magazine's list of 100 most influential in people in the world. 
Butler Hospital will be sponsoring the exhibit and presentations at the Cumberland Public Library during the month of June.

Better Know a Librarian--Babs Wells  

By Babs Wells
Children's Librarian, East Smithfield Public Library

Babs WellsIt became apparent to me that becoming a librarian was a natural progression for me after having been a special education teacher for many years. This path led me to pursue a degree in library and information studies where I was fortunate enough to be guided by some dedicated professors in the library school graduate program.   


It started out as a "leap of faith "when I applied for a job that was listed in the Providence Journal for a children's specialist at the Providence Public Library. I decided to go for it, even though I had no experience working in a library. All I knew was that as a child growing up, the public library and reading was always a huge part of my life. With the encouragement of my family and friends I applied and lucky for me I was offered the job at the Olneyville branch. I am eternally grateful for the librarians I met along the way who became my "teachers "and today continue to be my mentors.  


In addition, I worked with fantastic children and families. I learned so much in those few short years, some in the trial by fire method of training. After working in the city, I decided I needed to find a library job closer to home. I was fortunate to find a job working in the town of Smithfield at the East Smithfield Public Library. The library sits in the historic mill village of Esmond and serves the Smithfield community and its neighboring towns.  


In terms of what I do as the children librarian my foremost objectives are those that were so well formulated by Harriet Long in her book Rich the Treasure - (Chicago: American Library Association, 1953):

  • To make a wide and varied collection of books easily and temptingly  available
  • To give guidance to children in their choice of books and materials
  • To share , extend and cultivate the enjoyment of  reading as a voluntary, individual pursuit
  • To encourage lifelong learning through the use of public library resources
  • To help children develop more fully their personal ability and social understanding
  • To serve as a social force in the community together with the child's welfare

I continue to be inspired by the children I have the opportunity to work with each and every day through story hours, programs, book discussion groups, reader's advisory, collaborations with local schools and community outreach.


When I am not libarianing I enjoy doing many things. I love swimming, especially in the ocean - sometimes I wonder if I was a mermaid in another life, kayaking, baking, exploring the natural world and of course ...reading. Currently, I am working on figuring out how to thread the bobbin on my newish sewing machine -I know -it shouldn't be so hard.


Public libraries are a guiding force in our communities and being a part of that is both thrilling and amazing!     

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: [email protected]

Corrie MacDonald & Andria Tieman
RI Library Association