RILA 84.6
In This Issue
Reference Refresher
Making Movies
Getting to Know RILA
Honoring Jack Reed
News From the Field

The Rhode Island Library Association

RILA 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, RI 02940 

Constant Contact Newsletter

The year is winding down.  We have already had our first snow fall, and the holiday season is looming large for many.  Despite the many preoccupations this time of year, we would like to mention a couple 'Save the Dates' for the Rhode Island library community. 

Last year Rhode Island libraries participated in RI's first-ever Money Smart Week, which was a tremendous success.  Libraries have always been on the forefront of information literacy, and financial literacy is just another piece of the puzzle.  2013's Money Smart Week will take place April 20-27th, and if your library would like to be involved, please see the organizer's contact information in the News From the Field section below.

Planning the RILA conference takes a lot of time and work, but even though it's only November, some major decisions have already been made.  The site for the 2013 conference will be the beautiful campus of Salve Regina University in Newport, RI, and we're trying something new this year.  The dates of the conference will be June 3-4, and for those of you without calendars right in front of you, you'll see that that is a Monday & Tuesday instead of Thursday & Friday.  Mark your calendars!

Thanks for Reading,

Andria Tieman & Corrie MacDonald
RILA Communications Committee Co-Chairs
Reference Refresher: Learning Express
By Lenora Robinson
AskRI Reference Librarian

Learning Express, an online resource accessed through, is a one-stop shop for practice tests, exercises, skill-building courses, eBooks, and other information to enhance school, work or life proficiencies. While Learning Express offers practice tests for myriad educational exams for students from elementary school through graduate school, such as the PSAT, SAT, ACT, TOEFL, GMAT, LCAT, MCAT, PCAT, GRE, GED and other standardized tests, it also offers services for adults looking to increase their job, career and educational skills. The Learning Express Library provides online access to eBooks, eCourses and eTests for workforce training, professional licensing exams, and adult education.  


In the Jobs & Careers section, there are practice tests for a number of occupations, including electrical, plumbing, cosmetology and more. For example, someone interested in a career at T. F. Green or another airport can find Air Traffic Controller information, which includes preparation books and tests. There are Culinary Arts practice test and books on guidance in the culinary career path for those applying to Johnson & Wales University's Culinary Arts program. Other jobs and career tests include those for Commercial Drivers License, Emergency Medical Services, Nursing, Firefighters, Law Enforcement, as well as the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery for those interested in joining the military.  


Many of the Jobs & Careers selections available also offer Career Guidance eBooks designed to provide detailed information about the job category as well as strategies for standing out during the application process. Some career guidance eBooks include information about specific areas of the career such as becoming a border patrol officer; learning about terrorists, weapons, narcotics, smuggled goods and other areas that is beneficial to understanding the job before committing to a career as a member of a police department.


Educational tests and courses are not only for students. Skill building eCourses, eBooks and online practices tests are also available for the adult patron population. This includes tests on subjects such as Math, Reasoning and Science as well as eTest, eCourses, and eBooks designed to help adults improve their Writing and Grammar, Personal Finance and Public Speaking skills. There are even eBooks available to help prepare patrons for taking different standardized tests.


In addition to practice tests and other tools to help patrons improve job skills, Learning Express also offers instruction for Job Search & Workplace Skills that allow adult patrons to access courses and guides for writing, grammar and spelling in a business environment, resume and cover letter writing and tips and tricks for a successful interview.


For additional information and assistance with workforce development alternatives available from, go to the Career Center @ Homework Help from for resume and cover letter templates, job searching, and interviewing guidelines or visit AtoZdatabases which now offers patrons a search option to find jobs online, powered by

Making Movies with My Digital Life
By Megan Weedan
Youth Services Librarian, Cranston Public Library
Movie Maker Logo Twelve librarians recently participated in a special Young Adult Round Table workshop which taught them how to make their own movies using Movie Maker.

This program was presented by Lara Sebastian of Wutup Productions and Jeannine Chartier of VSA Arts Rhode Island. It was an extension of a previous program that took place last winter, when four Rhode Island libraries participated in a teen media-production pilot project, "My Digital Life."

The My Digital Life project was funded by the RI Arts Learning Network, a coalition of organizations and individuals working for equal access to the arts for all RI children and youth, in and out of school.

Each library had 10 teens participate in the project, where they learned how to make and edit their own movies using Movie Maker. The movies were then broadcast on Lara Sebastian's PBS show "Teenage Critic."
According to Cheryl Space, OLIS Library Program Specialist, the response to the "My Digital Life Project" was so positive that the librarians involved felt it would be beneficial if they too knew how to use Movie Maker..

The workshop was open to librarians that work with teens with the hope it would encourage others to try new programs. "I loved watching the teens work on their movies during the My Digital Life project," says Tanya Paglia, Young Adult Librarian at Marian Mohr Library. "I then started a Film & Animation Club that meets twice a month and think understanding MovieMaker will help me with that program. Kids in Johnston don't get to do this sort of stuff in school."

For an example of what can be done with Movie Maker, check out William Hall Library's Lego Club:
Lego Club
Lego Club

Book Review: UContent: The Information Professional's Guide to User-Generated Content by Nicholas G. Tomaiuolo 
By Aaron Coutu, Assistant Director/Technology Coordinator
Cumberland Public Library 

Do you sometimes feel a little lost and confused about all of the possibilities for libraries and patron interaction when it comes to Web 2.0 tools? Well, Nicholas Tomaiuolo has produced a book that will help you get caught up on some of the trends. You don't need to be a power user to understand his presentation on each topic. He uses plain and simple language for the average reader.   


Each chapter is dedicated to a specific web tool or type of tool. Starting with the Gutenberg Project, the massive online collection of classic materials that have passed into the public domain, through spaces like Facebook, Flickr, citizen journalism, self-publishing, and allowing patrons to provide reviews on library catelogs, Tomaiuolo has created a basic guide for libraries and librarians as to how to make the Web work to increase patron interaction and help our users create and share content through the library.


One of the nice things about the presentation of each tool is that Tomaiuolo presents them with the eyes of a newcomer. He provides a brief introduction of the history and evolution of the tool, often interviewing something who played a major role in the development of the tool or a librarian who would be considered a power user, before presenting the pros and cons of library uses of the tool.   Examples of specific libraries and how they each use the tool are also presented, giving the reader a chance to see how beneficial use of such tools can be.


Tomaiuolo's presentation does not rely solely on research from the professional literature and the interviews he completed. For each tool, he registered an account and worked with the tool itself to see how easy (or not) he found the experience. His insight into the use of Project Gutenberg and Wikipedia are perfect examples of such.

Considering the topic, it will probably not surprise you to learn that this book is more than just a book. There is a parallel website that provides direct access to the websites and tools discussed throughout the book. And according to the book, Tomaiuolo is planning to maintain and update the site with new resources as they develop as well as dropping others as they fall out of fashion. Visiting the site is also a great way to get a sneak peek into the book and its content.


Tomaiuolo teaches online research skills courses for both Central Connecticut State University and the University of Maryland University College. He also writes for Searcher Magazine.   His first book, The Web Library, was published in 2004.

Getting to Know RILA--Conference Committee
By Paula Anderson
Salve Regina University is hosting the 2013 conference June 3-4

A key benefit the Rhode Island Library Association offers is the annual conference. This two-day event requires most of the year to plan and the hard work of a dozen or more committee members. Their goal every year is to provide a mix of practical, implement-it-tomorrow programs and thought-provoking, philosophical debates. They also strive both to bring in national figures and to showcase outstanding local talent.


It's all a tall order when one considers their modest budget and the relatively small size of Rhode Island's library community. Fortunately, they have a seasoned committee chair in Karen McGrath, Auburn Branch Librarian, Cranston Public Library. Karen keeps the committee members on task, coordinates logistics, wrangles volunteers and speakers, and bakes cookies for every meeting. (We're not talking Toll House from a log, either, we're talking the kind of selection that inspires ballets).


Her co-chair this year is Dawn Emsellem, Outreach and Instructional Librarian, Salve Regina University. Not only has Dawn embraced the challenge of conference registrations, she will be the liaison with Salve, the location of the 2013 conference. Bryant University has been a wonderful host for the past few years, but planned construction there necessitated a move. As more than a few conference evaluations have advocated for a rotation back to the East Bay, the committee was delighted that Salve was eager to accommodate RILA.


Securing a location, of course, is only part of the challenge of putting together the conference. Over the next couple months the committee will seek out possible programs and presenters. Last year RILA inaugurated an online process for submitting proposals with great success. In addition, the committee welcomes recommendations from the RILA membership.


The committee also must secure sponsors for the conference. Vendor contributions help keep registration fees affordable. One goal the committee has this year is to make the vendor experience more meaningful to them and to attendees. Many libraries already have the products our vendors offer and most attendees are not there to purchase anyway. The message the committee wants to get out is that conference is a great opportunity to offer feedback and learn more.


Once presenters and vendors are lined up, the programs are scheduled and the brochure produced. Registration must go live online, coordinated with Membership. Travel and accommodations are arranged for out-of-state presenters. The committee and RILA executive board promote the conference through the RILA Bulletin and email blasts. Right before the conference, the only contentious meeting is held--the one in which the menu is decided.


Happily, the conference committee is otherwise very collegial. Any RILA member in good standing can join and the committee has been blessed with a healthy mix of public, academic, and special librarians at all stages in their careers. Committee members value the "cross-pollination" that comes from working across disciplines. Plus, there's the satisfaction of bringing off a major event. Cathy Poirier, Reference Librarian, CCRI, sums it up nicely: "It's the best committee I'm on and the most productive. And there are cookies."


Cornucopia Conference
By Corrie MacDonald
Technology Coordinator, Cranston Public Library
Panelists at the Cornucopia Conference
Photo provided by Dhana Whiteing

Cornucopia of Rhode Island's Annual Fall Conference took place on November 2nd before a packed audience.


The topic was What About Our Students?  

A Community Conversation, and panelists from a diverse array of professional backgrounds led a thought-provoking discussion.


Many of the panelists addressed the inequities that number of youth face and the ways libraries and other organizations can help them to succeed. Dr. Cheryl McCarthy, a professor at the URI GSLIS, shared disturbing statistics regarding both graduation and incarceration rates for African-American males. She took part in a library summit at the University of North Carolina over the summer and recommended that librarians download the report for more information. The report can be found at:

ALA president-elect Barbara K. Stripling's keynote address highlighted the Rhode Island education system and the key roles that libraries must play to enhance the needs in the various communities where the student test scores are low. Quoting Mahatma Gandhi, Stripling stated that "our libraries must be the change we want to see in the world." Stripling's eloquent address exemplified her passion for the much needed collaboration of libraries and community agencies for the greater need of our students.


Some of the school librarians in the audience expressed frustration at the lack of funding for libraries. They pointed out that while praising the work that libraries do is important, it is difficult to effect change without money to purchase materials. Andrew P. Jackson, executive director of the Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center in Queens, shared his tactics for getting the attention of the "power brokers". His staff make sure to reach out to elected officials throughout the year, inviting them to speak at the cultural events and making sure they all have library cards. 


Assane Wade and Senator Jack Reed
Assane Wade & Senator Jack Reed

There was good news amidst the dire statistics and lack of funding to libraries. One of the conference's most dynamic speakers was also the youngest. Stefanie Blankenship, a youth services librarian at the Cranston Public Library, brought along 16-year-old Assane Wade, who volunteers for her at the Auburn Branch Library. Assane shared the ways his experience at his local library has helped him to build his confidence and expand his life goals. Stefanie has acted as mentor to Assane, encouraging him to aim high and take part in opportunities to build his resume. In turn, Assane has become a mentor to to other  by assisting with library programs and tutoring younger students. Assane also accompanied Stefanie to the RILA conference in May, and there seems to be a consensus among everyone who meets him that he is a remarkable young man who is sure to go far.


Senator Jack Reed, who was unable to attend the reception held in his honor in October, spoke at the conference and received his honorary membership card to the American Library Association from ALA President-elect Barbara Stripling. Senator Reed is a longtime library advocate and the crowd applauded as he accepted his membership card and said, "I'm proud to be a librarian".   


Cornucopia of Rhode Island: Serving the Library Community or Color was first organized in 2005 by Denise Dowdell, Dr. Donna L. Gilton, Dr. Michael Havener and Ida D. McGhee, to help make the library profession visible by addressing the issue of multiculturalism in the state of Rhode Island. Previous mini conferences includes: Native Americans in Children Books; Confucius Institute; Cape Verdean; and Library Services to Latino Children. The group has also presented at the Rhode Island Library Association annual conferences.

Honoring Jack Reed
By Andria Tieman
Adult Services Librarian, Providence Community Library

Rhode Island librarians, library staff, and library supporters turned out in droves to honor Senator Jack Reed for his receiving the Crystal Apple Award from the American Association of School Librarians and the American Library Association's Honorary Membership. Also in attendance were ALA President Maureen Sullivan; ALA President-elect Barbara Stripling; AASL President Susan Ballard; and about 130 Rhode Island library staff and supporters from all different types of libraries from all over the state.


Jack Reed Full House
The Fleet Library at Rhode Island School of Design
Photo Credit: Michael Salermo
Maureen Sullivan stated that she wishes "every single state had a Jack Reed of its own...he makes a difference not just for the people of Rhode Island, but the people of this nation." Though the Senator was unable to attend at the last minute, due to mechanical difficulties on his plane leaving Washington, DC, it was a privilege to say thank you to a man who has championed libraries on the federal level since his election to the House in 1990.

The event was hosted by the Fleet Library at RISD, and graciously catered by them as well. 
Jack Reed  Program
Photo Credit: Michael Salermo

AASL President Susan Ballard called Senator Reed a "Treasure" and a "Rock Star" to the librarian community.  Despite the palpable disappointment that the Senator was unable to attend, the energy in the room and excitement at paying homage to a true library champion was not diminished.  It's one thing to hear of Senator Reed's good works, but it's quite another to see people from all over Rhode Island, across all types of libraries come together to honor the unrelenting determination he has shown in promoting and defending libraries at the federal level.  Rhode Island libraries, and all libraries are truly lucky to have Senator Reed in our corner.
Jack Reed Eileen
RILA President Eileen Dyer gives her remarks.
Photo Credit: Michael Salermo

The Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services Chief Library Officer, Howard Bokensenbaum presented the official Gubanatorial Proclamation stating that October is Information Literary Month.  A member of Senator Reed's staff gave the Senator's regrets at being unable to attend, and the Senator sent letters of apology to most of the attendees.

Jack Reed regrets note

RILA would like to that all of the generous sponsors who made this event possible:
Association of RI Health Sciences Libraries (ARISL)
Consortium of RI Academic & Research Libraries (CRIARL)
Higher Education Library Information Network (HELIN)
Ocean State Libraries
Rhode Island Library Information Network for Kids (RILINK)
School Librarians of Rhode Island (SLRI)
Special Libraries Association, RI Chapter (SLA/RI)
URI Harrington School of Communication & Media/
Graduate School of Library and Information Studies

There are many more photos of the event available on  RILA's Flickr stream.
News From The Field
Newport Public Library
Newport Public Library's newest hire is Colleen LeComte, as our part-time YA librarian.  She previously worked at Portsmouth Free Library, and North Kingstown Free Library.  Becky Farwick remains as our other part-time YA librarian.  We said goodbye to Kathy Fitzgerald who has moved on to accept a position at Pawtucket Public Library.


Newport Public Library now offering the 3M Cloud Library for ebooks.  Users must have a Newport Public Library card.  We continue to offer Overdrive as well.  We held a soft-launch of the new service on Monday, November 5 and will do a more visible launch for the public with reps from 3M on hand, on December 3.  Ask Mattie Gustafson at for more info.

Jana Stevenson recently began her position as Public Services Manager at Warwick Public Library.  Prior to moving to Rhode Island, she worked in Charleston, SC at the Charleston County Public Library for over seven years. "When my husband was offered an opportunity we couldn't refuse, we moved here to Rhode Island.  I feel very fortunate to have been offered the position of Public Services Manager at the Warwick Public Library.  I am working with an enthusiastic and innovative group of people, and I am excited to be a part of this team!"

Providence Community Library
Providence Community Library is proud to announce that Amy Greer has accepted the position of Youth Services Coordinator.  Amy had previously worked at Barrington Public Library, and will be starting at PCL at the beginning of December.

Department of Corrections, Women's Unit
Looking for adventurous volunteers to lead a book discussion group at the prison!  Want to go to prison but then go home and sleep in your own bed at the end of the night?  Come run a book discussion group!  You can make the schedule: every week, every other week, once a month, it's up to you.  You can choose which facility you want to work in, so we won't throw you into high security unless that's where you really want to be.  Want to run a writing circle instead?  That sounds great, too!  If you think you might be interested/want more information/just have a random question about prison librarianship, contact Loretta M. Cimini at [email protected] or [email protected]

Brown University
Thurs 11/15, 6:30pm: The Brown University Library presents a panel discussion featuring several of America's most prominent thriller writers. Author Jon Land  will moderate the discussion between authors Steve Berry, David Baldacci, Nelson DeMille, Lisa Gardner, and R.L. Stine. A book signing and reception will follow in Sayles Hall, the College Green. Panel is at the Salomon Center for Teaching, Room 101, on the Brown University College Green. More information here.

Save the Date for Money Smart Week April 20-27th
April is National Financial Literacy Awareness Month
If your library is hosting a financial program during
this week, RILA would like to help you promote your event.
Contact Julie A DeCesare at [email protected] or
Chris Goldstein at

This fall semester, RILA had the privilege of having two URI undergraduates serve as interns working on the organization's PR efforts.  One of our interns, Erin Bergano, wrote a short essay about her experiences, which is available on RILA's website.


Nominations of Library Professionals, Educators Sought for 2013 Coretta Scott King Virginia Hamilton - Practitioner Award for Lifetime Achievement


The American Library Association (ALA) is now accepting nominations for the 2013 Coretta Scott King - Virginia Hamilton Practitioner Award for Lifetime Achievement. The deadline to apply is Dec. 15, 2012.

The award is named for award-winning children's author Virginia Hamilton (1936-2002), recipient of the 1974 National Book Award and the 1975 John Newbery Medal. The award pays tribute to the quality and magnitude of Hamilton's exemplary contributions through her literature and advocacy for children and youth, especially in her focus on African-American life, history and consciousness.


In odd-numbered years, practitioners will be recognized, while authors, illustrators or author/illustrators will be honored in even-numbered years. The first Coretta Scott King - Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Practitioner Award was given to Dr. Henrietta Mays Smith at the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Breakfast during ALA's Annual Conference.  See Press Release for full details and how to nominate. 


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
Rhode Island Library Association