RILA B Logo 2011-01
In This Issue
An Emerging Leader's First Midwinter Meeting
Downloading eBooks
Renew your RILA Membership
A Well-Deserved Pat on the Back
2010 NAHSL Conference
News From the Field

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


Happy New Year from RILA!

It seems like just yesterday everyone was fretting about Y2K. In the decade since then, we've witnessed technology continue to evolve and ensconce itself in our daily lives. Can you imagine where we'd be now if all the computers crashed? 

Perhaps you've gotten questions about downloading eBooks from the Rhode Island Ezone but don't have an eReader yourself. Never fear! This issue includes a librarian's guide to getting started guide to downloading Ebooks.

We've also got an ALA Emerging Leader's account of her experience at the Midwinter meeting, and an academic librarian's assessment of LibAnswers, a virtual reference service.

Your subscription to the RILA Bulletin is just one of the benefits you receive as a RILA member. It's renewal time again - and this year we've gone green and won't be sending out paper renewal forms in the mail. We hope you'll renew your membership for 2011 and join us in advocating for libraries and librarians in Rhode Island.

Yours in Reading,
Andria Tieman & Corrie MacDonald
An Emerging Leader's First Midwinter Meeting
By Jenna Hecker  URI GSLIS Class of 2009
Technology Librarian, Morrill Memorial Library, Norwood, MA ALA Emerging Leader 2010-2011
ALA Emerging LeaderI decided to apply for Emerging Leaders at the encouragement of my library director. She forwarded me an e-mail about the application on the day it was due and on a whim, I wrote up a nice little essay on how I love helping older library patrons improve their digital literacy. I was truly surprised to be chosen for the program.


I hadn't fully understood Emerging Leaders when I applied. I knew it was a program for newer librarians, you have to be under 35 or in the profession for less than five year, and I fit both those bills. What I didn't understand was its purpose - what was I leading or learning to lead? Emerging Leaders is not a program that teaches you how to be a leader at your library. Its goal is to create leaders within the American Library Association. You are meant, after completing the program, to have gained the experience and connections necessary to work on American Library Association committees and roundtables in a leadership capacity.


My first hurdle after learning I had been accepted was finding funding to attend both the Midwinter Meeting and the ALA Annual Conference. Only 50% of Emerging Leader Participants get sponsorship by various roundtables and organizations along with their acceptance into the program - the rest need to look for institutional, scholarship, or state association support. I spoke with the Massachussets Library Association (I work in Massachusetts), URI GSLIS, my library, and I applied for any scholarship could think of. URI promised some support, as did the trustees of my library, and MLA promised to start thinking about creating a mechanism for Emerging Leaders support - just finding money to go to the conference felt like committee work!


Emerging Leaders are asked to choose a program or committee work proposal from a several options, then they are placed in groups of four or five people and tasked with working on their selected project for six months. The project I chose was the Public Library Association Conference Committee - I would be working with five other public librarians to help the PLA conference committee choose what programs would be a part of PLA 2012 in Philadelphia, I would be helping to plan an "Unconference," and present a program at the conference. I was ecstatic.  


My group and I began brainstorming what program we would present when we realized - the conference is in 2012, that is not a six month project, it is a year and a half away! Together we came up with a small project idea that we could present after our six-month-long EL tenure was over, but we learned a valuable lesson - the Emerging Leaders program doesn't have a beginning and an end - it is a jumping off point for increased engagement in association work.


Conference planning means looking further ahead in my professional life than I ever have before.  How will I know what librarians will be interested in in a year and a half? Will Web 2.0 be passe`? Is it passe´ now?  Working with people across the country (which poses the extra challenge of coordinating time zones), and learning to be confident in myself as a professional with ideas to contribute at a national level is a challenge I welcome. 

Help! Patrons Keep Asking Me How to Download eBooks and I Don't Know How!
By Corrie MacDonald
Reference Librarian, Warwick Public Library  

Have you noticed a surge in questions about downloading eBooks since the holidays? No surprise, since eBook readers were the hot gift this year. OSL statistics show a sharp rise in eBook downloads since the holidays, and there are currently over 2,000 holds pending for eBooks. The demand will only continue to grow.

As librarians, our patrons look to us for help navigating technology and sifting through information. Are we prepared to help them? If you don't have an eReader, it can be difficult to assist patrons when they ask for help. Never fear, RILA is here to provide a quick and easy guide to helping people download eBooks.   

Sony Ereader
Ereaders: Nothing to be afraid of

The least you need to know:
Although the Kindle is probably the most well-known brand of eReader, you cannot download books from the library E-Zone onto a Kindle. Why? Kindle is owned by Amazon, and the device only works with titles purchased from Amazon. So if someone owns a Kindle, there's nothing the library can do for them - at least until Amazon decides to cooperate.

There are many, many other devices that WILL work on the OSL E-Zone. You can check which devices are supported here.


Okay, you've guided your patron to information on which eReader is right for them. Well done! What's next?

It's not quite so simple as "check out and enjoy." There's a learning curve, at least at first. There's free software to download and activate. A detailed explanation of each step of the process would make this guide neither quick nor easy. Ever-helpful libraries have begun posting videos and guides that will help you and your patrons through every step of the process. We've listed a couple below.



Warwick Public


By Kieran Ayton
Reference Librarian Rhode Island College & Cranston Public
At the Rhode Island College James P. Adams Library, we have been running a demo (with an intent to implement) of LibAnswers, a virtual reference system from Springshare, the makers of LibGuides.  LibAnswers is an interesting product, because it allows librarians to make their own version of Google by creating a database of frequently and not-so-frequently asked questions that can be searched by patrons.  Librarians can input question and answer pairs to the system and patrons can submit unaswered questions virtually and receive a response virtually through a single system. 

Demo Site
Check out the following features on the demo site
  • Auto-suggest feature matches the question you start to type with existing question and answer pairs.  Also matches keywords in a question, so if you just type "hours" into the search box, it will match a question that answers what the library's hours are.
  • Questions and Answers can be organized into topic categories.
  • If your question is not already answered in LibAnswers, it defaults to a yellow submission form that allows you to ask it and receive an answer via email.  This question/answer pair can then be added into the LibAnswers system for future users to access.
  • You can embed your own Instant Message Reference service, like MEEBO
  • LibAnswers offers its own SMS text reference service that allows you to send and receive text messages from patrons through the LibAnswers web-based platform (so you don't have to actually send the texts from a cell phone)
  • .
Analytics Module
LibAnswers also contains an analytics module that allows librarians to track reference transactions in person, by phone, by email, through the LibAnswers system, through SMS text, through Instant Message reference, etc.  The analytics module is both a statistics program and an analysis program in a single unit that is not available to the public, only to Admin Users who have accounts.  One of my jobs at the Rhode Island College Library was to set up this module with the help of Talia Resendes, formerly the Digital Services librarian at Johnson & Wales University and now a trainer at Springshare.  The analytics module helps keep track of things like:
  • "Where was a question asked?"
  • "Who asked it?"
  • "What was the transaction duration?"
  • "What was the question's subject?"
  • The month, day of the week, and time a question was asked.
click to enlarge
At Rhode Island College, we are still in the early stages of experimenting with LibAnswers.  However we have already noticed that it is a way to bring the "Help" pages that were buried on our website to the forefront.  We all know that our patrons' attention spans are much shorter than they were in the past and users will not sift through pages and pages of general information on how to perform research.  Users want quick answers to their specific research questions.  And while LibAnswers is a fairly new commercial product, it appears to satisfy basic needs that previous library "help" products have been unable to meet.

Renew Your RILA Membership Today! 

RILA logo


RILA membership renewals are due for 2011. We thank you for your past support and look forward to your continued membership as we serve the RI library community through ongoing initiatives.


In 2010, RILA embarked on providing members with a dynamic open-source driven website, robust newsletters and Facebook announcements. For 2011, the RILA board is investigating extensive legislative action to support all Rhode Island Libraries as well as provide more information sharing among members.  


For new members* we are offering a limited-time only "Recession Recess": $5 off all individual membership levels . If you have lapsed your membership, now is a great time to join for as little as $10! 


Also, libraries and organizations are encouraged to join RILA and become library champions. New this year, we are offering three different membership levels: bronze, silver and gold. At the bronze level an institution may send up to 2 non-members to conference under regular membership rate; at the silver level you may send up to 3 non-members to conference under regular membership rate and at the gold membership level, you may send up to 5 non-members to conference under regular membership rate. Please support your State-wide library organization in 2011! 


We also encourage you to volunteer on committees and help build RILA: the official RI chapter of ALA. You may find contact information for committee chairs on our website. This is your organization and we need your voice! 

And remember: members receive "early-bird" pricing to attend the 2011 RILA Conference; in order to receive this pricing, you must be a member in good standing.  


We are encouraging all our members to go green and renew or apply online. Paper applications are available for download here.




If you have any questions, feel free to contact


We thank you in advance for your support!



Robert Kelly & Adrienne Gallo

Membership Committee Co-Chairs 

* New members are considered those who have not renewed in the last 12 months.

A Well-Deserved Pat on the Back
We librarians do a lot of good, and we rarely demand praise.  This time around, out RILA Bulletin question was:
What is the nicest thing a patron/ student/ member/ researcher has ever said to you?
As expected, we got a ton of great responses that prove Rhode Island librarians do great work for the people of this state and go above and beyond the call of duty.
  • I've had many nice things said of/to me and one that stands out is something my assistant director said the other week.  She said, "Thank you for being you."  It made me happy.  It's not something you hear often, especially at work!
  • Once, I had a patron thank me by baking me a cake.  It was a delicious way of saying, "I appreciate your help."
  • At least once a week, I get a thank you from a patron and I really know that they mean it.  It's my favorite part of being a librarian. 
  • An elementary education student from RIC came in every week with a different assignment involving children's books.  Everytime she saw me she said "thank goodness you are here you always save my life."
  • High school students telling me that they wish I was a teacher at their school because I am one of the nicest people they have ever met.
  • Families who have immigrated to this country have on numerous times called me their "guardian angel."
  • Parents ask me to talk to their teenagers for them because I'm young and I'm cool and they will listen to me over their parents.
  • Every time I get in late to my building after a meeting somewhere in the state I have a group of middle/high school students waiting for me and as I walk in they bombard me with : "Where have you been?? We have been waiting for you! You know we only come here to see you."  
  • A high school student from the Dominican Republic who always tells me that I am his best friend because I always know what kind of movies he will be interested in.
  • In general, when any student, parent, or child comes into my room and says "yes! you're here!"  always makes my day
  • About seven or eight years ago, our branch had a young man in storytime who took a particular shine to Mrs. McMillen, storytime assistant extraordinaire. (He was one of many throughout the years.)  This boy of four years knew that usually adults who are not family are generally not pals with kids the way other kids are, but he really, really wanted Mrs. McMillen to be his friend. So he came up with a plan and told Mrs. M, 'If you can get really small, as small as me by this afternoon, I want you to come to my house to play video games."  As you can imagine, the whole staff knew that Mrs. McMillen had been paid the greatest compliment ever.
  • The reference staff at Warwick Public Library have been included in the Acknowledgments section of 2 books written by a local Warwick author--Les Rolston.  He was very thankful for our generous assistance when conducting research when he was writing Long Time Gone: Neighbors Divided by the Civil War and Lost Soul: A Confederate Soldier in New England. Each staff member was mentioned by name!
  • Local author Mike Stanton thanked the staffs of Cranston's William Hall Library and the Providence Athenaeum his book The Prince of Providence - the book was recently adapted into a movie and is coming soon to a theater near you!
  • This may not be the nicest thing--at least I hope not--but when the ProJo carried a picture and a tiny article about my appointment to the Advisory Committee to the 1991 White House Conference on Library and Information Services, the elementary-school-age daughter of a patient of my late husband read the article and told her mother that she wanted to be a librarian when she grew up!
  • My favorite patron story is a very energetic 80 year old woman who worked on a Bachelor's degree in history and finally received it from URI last spring. She was a Registered Nurse with a large family who promised herself that if she ever had the chance, she would study history, which she had always wanted to do. Her father wanted her to have a practical job she could support herself with, hence the RN. After many years of putting her family first, she finally retired and started working on a degree in the field she'd always loved. She was a frequent visitor to the library while she worked on her degree and I helped her multiple times. She was so grateful every time I found the right book, or showed her database searching, she made me feel wonderful. She was really excited to get her degree and came in to express her gratitude again. She thinks the library and librarians are fabulous! She is a very special person and I always enjoyed helping her.
  • About six or seven years ago while I was working in the Young Readers area at the North Kingstown Free Library. Two middle school-age boys were looking for information about daily life in ancient Egypt.  While I was showing them books on the subject, they looked through several, and one exclaimed something like, "Yes! We have information" while high-fiving each other.  A few months later, one of the boys came up to me and asked me if I remembered helping him and his friend with their research, and he said they received an A on their project.
  • "Your library, with your librarians, is the only place in our community where my son, age 4, inquires, speaks, plays and interacts independently, with great confidence and enthusiasm. Thank You!"
  • A patron wanted to show me a new piece of technology he'd gotten for Christmas, but before taking it out he said, "You probably know all about this already, because you're a librarian and librarians are smart." Although I wasn't familiar with the handheld device he proceeded to show me, I certainly appreciated his faith in my chosen profession!
  • In the late 1970's, we got together magazine articles and books on cancer treatments, including diet, for a male patron.   Some of these were specific topics and titles he requested, others were resources we felt would be helpful to him.   He wrote us a letter and also thanked us in person for "saving his life."   There is no feeling better than that!
  • Once while working at the reference desk, a young woman asked me for David Macaulay's "Motel of the Mysteries" which in our library is shelved in PN which is on the first floor. So when we went down and got it, she was so happy that she turned and gave me a big hug! Clearly she was happy to relive some fond childhood memories.
The 2010 NAHSL Conference in Newport

by Rachel H. Carpenter 2010-11 ARIHSL President

Reference/Government Documents, Rhode Island College

NAHSL Logo Conference 2010Libraries in Balance: Preserving our Roots, Growing Our Future.

"Storing, preserving and accessing knowledge and information by blending the best of library traditions with the technology tools of the future."

Newport, as RI Librarians know, is a lovely location for meetings and conferences. Members of the North Atlantic Health Sciences Libraries (NAHSL) Association were reminded of just how lovely when they were treated to the very successful 53rd Annual NAHSL Conference at the Newport Marriott , Oct 24 - 26, 2010.

NAHSL is the regional chapter of the Medical Library Association (MLA). Its members consist of health science, academic and corporate librarians from the New England states primarily, though some
members have hailed from the broader geographic region as well. Each New England state (NH and VT share the pleasure) hosts an annual meeting on a rotating basis, therefore every five years the conference
lands back in RI and when that happens the Association of Rhode Island Health Sciences Librarians (ARIHSL) take the reins as conference planners. Sue Warthman of Peters Library at RI Hospital was the
2010 Conference Chair and is now the 2011 NAHSL President.

One hundred thirty nine people attended the conference this year, including four library school students. This year's program included presentations on working with (or around) IT departments, the changing face of health information on the 'net, green efforts in libraries and other buildings, and the challenges that federal stimulus money from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA ) is bringing to health information
technology and the roles librarians can play. Other conference offerings included six CE courses, seven breakout sessions, poster sessions, updates from MLA and the National Library of Medicine (NLM ) and exhibitors.

Four sessions were presented by Rhode Islanders: Nancy Ross, Librarian, Women & Infants Hospital, Shane Sher, Technology Instructor, Providence Public Library, Mark Caprio, Digitial Services Librarian at
PC and Brendan Ryan, Library Commons Asst. at PC.

A highlight of the conference social activities was the Welcome Reception at the Easton's Beach Rotunda and Carousel. A fabulous feast of Rhode Island foods accompanied carousel rides which everyone
enjoyed (two or three times for some). The Scholarship raffle, which included numerous RI items, brought in over $1500.00 for the NAHSL professional development fund.

For more information about the conference, including PowerPoints of the various presentations, go to NAHSL 2010 and click on any of the following - NAHSL ARIHSL MLA - for more information about these
professional associations for librarians in, or interested in, the field Health Science librarianship.

News From the Field


Providence Community Library Logo

Providence Community Library

is excited to announce that, after a competitive process, we have received one of 11 Library of Rhode Island grants for 2011 - and for the maximum amount of $50,000 no less!  Library of Rhode Island grants are awarded by the RI Office of Library and Information Services (our state library agency), using funds provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, under the federal Library Services and Technology Act.


This grant will assist PCL in pursuing a major goal for this year - to begin creating a unified, system-wide after-school educational program that will be built on a foundation of highly successful programs that have been offered at the nine libraries throughout the years.   PCL wants to provide formal year-round programming and daily after-school homework help and tutoring for youths ages 7-18 in each of our nine libraries.

Providence Public Library is pleased to announce their new website!  The site was redesigned to make it easier to use and to highlight their unique collections, resources and services.  Stop by and check it out.

Newport Public Library has a new website as well.  New features include online magazines, a database slide show and much more!


President Obama Signs Museum and Library Services Act of 2010

 The President signed into law the Museum and Library Services Act of 2010 (S. 3984) on December 22, 2010.

The new law reauthorizes the existing programs of the Institute of Museum and Library Services with some important changes. The updated language calls on IMLS to take an active role in research and data collection and to advise the President and Congress on museum, library, and information services. This Act also clearly recognizes how libraries and museums contribute to a competitive workforce and engaged citizenry. New language focuses on the development of essential 21st century skills.
For more detail and full text of the law, visit IMLS's website.

AskRI-- On Nov 15 Mango Languages added 9 new languages.  On Dec 10 they added another seven:

  • Czech
  • Dutch
  • Tamil
  • Slovak
  • Ukrainian
  • Croatian
  • Indonesian

So now whether you or your patrons are going to Prague, Amsterdam or Jakarta, you can go armed with the ability to communicate with the natives!



The Rhode Island Library Association Conference Committee is seeking proposals for virtual poster sessions to be shared at this year's Annual Conference held June 2 & 3, 2011.  Poster Sessions use visual displays along with short (2-5 minute) repeated informal presentations to demonstrate innovative library tips, tools and tricks, new services or other creative projects of any size being done at the presenter's library.  Each accepted poster session will be repeated several times during a specified timeframe at the annual conference.  Sessions should include an eye-catching virtual representation of their project as well as e-handouts, available on the RILA Conference webpage, for interested attendees.

Since space is limited at a poster session, a maximum of two presenters per presentation at any one time is recommended.

To submit a proposal for the virtual poster session use the following form:  

Questions about poster session submissions should be directed to: Laura Kohl, Bryant University 


Rhode Island Historical Society presents:                      Filmed in RhFilm Series Stillode Island
Rhode Island Historical Society will present a Silent Film Series from the collection of the Rhode Island Historical Society. 
Rhode Isl and film companies ruled movie screens during the 1910s. Come see classic silent films made right here in RI from 1915-1929. Most are being shown for the first time in over 90 years.

Saturday, January 22, 2010, 7pm-8:30pm, 2011
Saturday, February 19, 2010, 7pm-8:30pm, 2011
Saturday, March 12, 2010, 7pm-8:30pm, 2011

Rhode Island Historical Society
110 Benevolent St, Providence, RI 02906
Tickets available at the door.
$8 for RIHS members,
$10 for non-members.
For more information see


Reading Across RI Preview Parties      

January 19 - Warwick Museum of Art, 4 - 6 pm

January 27-East Providence Public Library, 7 - 9 pm

Teachers, librarians and book group leaders are invited to attend one of the free RARI Preview Parties kicking off this year's program. Designed to give book group leaders an introduction to the book and the resources and materials to develop an interesting discussion, attendees will participate in a lively gathering including speakers, music by Dan Lilley and Scatman, and a preview performance of Living Literature's adaption of The Unforgiving Minute.


West Point graduate and Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, Paul Bucha, will be the keynote at the Warwick Museum of Art on January 19th,  joined by Diane LaFrenaye and co-teachers from Woonsocket High who will be talking about their successful inclusion of the Reading Across RI project into their curriculum each year.  R. I. General Treasurer and Rhodes Scholar, Gina Raimondo and Co-chair Mike Stanton will speak at the East Providence Preview on the 27th.  All participants will receive a free copy of the book.  Those wishing to attend one of the previews should register with Louise Moulton: or call 401-455-8134.

The URI Libraries' Faculty Development Committee invites GSLIS faculty, staff, and students to our next event, "Developing an E-Book Acquisition Strategy that Works," a presentation by and discussion with Bill Maltarich, Electronic Resources Librarian at New York University. This talk has been coordinated by Andrée Rathemacher, Associate Professor and Head of Acquisitions at the URI Libraries.

It will take place on Thursday, January 27 from 1-3pm in Galanti Lounge,
Carothers Library and Learning Commons.

Bill will be discussing the strategy that NYU has developed for e-books (see attached), NYU's experiences using the ebrary platform to host purchased e-book (and other) content, and the importance of the e-books criteria NYU has established. He will touch on challenges with e-books in general and where he sees e-books heading in the next year or so.

Coffee, tea, and cookies will be served.


COLA Annual Meeting February 16, 2011 -- Rhode Island State House

Shake off that slushy midwinter chill and join us for a warm, engaging evening with like-minded library boosters. We will gather on Wednesday, February 16, from 5:00pm - 7:00pm in the Governor's State Room of the
Rhode Island State House.

Here are the highlights:
A theatrical performance by Living Literature will whisk us away from snowy Rhode Island to a world that captures the essence of libraries. "In Celebration of Libraries" is a twenty minute program celebrating the roles libraries play in our lives, featuring the following works: Grace Paley's short story "Wants"; the opening chapter from Carlos Ruiz Zafon's novel Shadow of the Wind; and Annie Lamott's "Steinbeck Country" from her book Grace
(Eventually): Thoughts on Faith. There will be a few other short surprises in store, as well. Sharon Carpentier and Living Literature Artistic Director Barry Press will bring these special pieces to life for us.

Hear distinguished guests discuss their thoughts on libraries.

Help us congratulate our Sweetheart of the Year ~ Mark McKenney, former Chair of the Library Board of Rhode Island.

Join us in applauding our two scholarship winners from the URI Graduate School of Library and Information Studies. We appreciate their dedication to libraries and encourage them in their future roles as library advocates to
help ensure that libraries evolve and thrive.

Cheer the winners of the William E. Reeves Friends' Recognition Awards, given to the Friends Groups who achieve the best in programming, fundraising, and/or community service.

We'll conduct some other business, too, electing and welcoming new members of COLA's Board of Directors, all of whom will bring us fresh energy and ideas.

The meeting is free and open to all. See you on February 16!


Trendy Topics

LIS Career Fair:  A One Day Online Conference

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

TAP Information Services and the School of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University are pleased to announce another in the ongoing series of online conferences on hot topics that librarians can enjoy right at their desktops. 

Keynote Speaker:  Dr. Sandra Hirsh, Professor and Director of the School of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University.  She will draw from her experiences working in libraries and in industry to discuss the current and varied job opportunities for information professionals both inside libraries and in other job settings.

Full schedule, registration and a complete list of programs are available on the Trendy Topics website.



2011 National Leadership Grant Guidelines are now available.  The Institute of Museum and Library Services is accepting grant applications for the agency's 2011 National Leadership Grant.  Applications, guidelines and examples of successful proposals are available on the agency's website.  The deadline for application is February 1, 2011.

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:
Corrie MacDonald & Andria Tieman
RI Library Association