RILA Logo 85.2
In This Issue
Meet the Candidates
2013 Conference Preview
Teens and Mental Health Awareness
Healthy Programs for Teens
A World Without Books
Summer Fun at the Library
Reference Refresher: Mango Languages
A Spotlight on Warwick Public Library
Cumberland Library Receives the Hasbro Summer Learning Initiative Grant
Better Know a Library--Knight Memorial Library
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, RI 02940
401-203-READ (7323)

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Constant Contact Newsletter

The temperatures are getting warmer, the flowers are starting to bloom-it looks like spring is finally in the air! And just in time for the Rhode Island Library Association Annual Conference.


This year's conference is shaping up to be a great one, with speakers and workshops covering all aspects of library service. Come connect and share ideas with others, learn about new initiatives in the library field, as well as ways to implement these ideas into your own library.


Also, after two years of hard work, Eileen Dyer has reached the end of her term as President of RILA; this issue of the Bulletin will give you a chance to get to know the new candidates nominated for the upcoming RILA board.


So join us on June 3 & 4 at Salve Regina University in lovely Newport, RI! We've also got some fun post-conference activities for those librarians who like to let their hair down.  It is not too late to register for the conference, hope to see you all there!

Andria Tieman & Brandi Kenyon
RILA Communications Committee Co-Chairs    

Meet the Candidates

Vice President/President-Elect:

Aaron Coutu, Cumberland Public Library

I fell into librarianship. It started with volunteering at the school libraries in both junior and senior high. Despite an attempt to become a reporter, I found my way back to my true calling, librarianship, and never looked back. I've been the Assistant Director/Technology Coordinator at the Cumberland Public Library for almost two years after serving as the Young Adult Librarian at the Greenville Public Library for more than a decade. I have both an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Political Science and a master's degree of Science in Library & Information Studies from the University of Rhode Island, where I am also an adjunct instructor specializing in young adult literature and public library services for all ages. I have been the chair of the Rhode Island Teen Book Award for the past 11 years.


I see libraries as core organizations for our communities. Besides our traditional role of connecting people to information, we are becoming community centers: helping people learn new skills, overcoming the Digital Divide, coming together with shared interests, creating, and coming together for social reasons. RILA is a core part of that transition. RILA can be a crucial tool for the library community and its members as individual librarians look to improve their skills sets, better market their materials and services, and help with building collaborations among library types and other community and governmental groups. I look forward to being a part of a team helping to continue the great work of RILA.



Julie Decesare Member at Large: 

Julie DeCesare, Providence College

After graduating with a BA in comparative literature and a concentration in film studies from the University of Massachusetts - Amherst, I worked at Brown University Media Services as their technical coordinator. During my time at Brown, I completed my Master's in Library and Information Studies at Simmons College. In 2005, I became Digital Media/Film Studies Reference Librarian at Boston College.  In 2010, I became Assistant Professor and Commons Librarian, Head of Education & Research at Providence College's Phillips Memorial Library, where I currently coordinate instructional and educational opportunities between the library, campus community, and beyond.  I also teach at the Marlboro College Graduate Center in Brattleboro, VT. The class is Digital Research Technologies, which allows me to bring many of my interests together -- emerging web tools for teaching, learning, research, & publishing, the evolution of online library collections, and multimedia. As a Member at Large for RILA, I co-coordinate Money Smart Week (which we hope to keep growing), as well as, advocate for RILA's membership and the library community of RI. I also have a two year old, who loves her storytimes at the Cranston Public Library.
Chris Goldstein Member at Large:
Chris Wallace-Goldstein,
Woonsocket Harris Public Library
For the past year it has been my pleasure to serve the RILA executive board in the capacity of Member-at-Large. I look forward to continuing the work done on Money Smart Week. In the next year, I will work on getting a speaker who is bilingual who might be able to do a program at the Knight Memorial Library and other libraries requiring a speaker who can conduct a program in English and in Spanish. I will also work on recruiting the Providence Community Libraries in our Money Smart Week program. These are my two primary goals for next year. I look forward  to serving the RILA board and attend meetings as an executive board member.

Amy Greer Secretary:
Amy Greer, Providence Community Library  

Amy Greer is the Youth Services Coordinator at Providence Community Library in Rhode Island. Through this position, Amy coordinates children's and young adult services across 9 neighborhood libraries and oversees programming, homework and literacy assistance, and collaborations with local schools and other organizations. Previously, Amy was Community Services Librarian at Barrington Public Library and archivist of the Feminist Theory Papers at the Pembroke Center of Brown University. In Barrington, Amy was responsible for building a programming schedule and cultivating relationships with community organizations. With the Feminist Theory Papers, Amy was involved with establishing, growing, and making accessible FTP's collections. As a PhD student, Amy explores the social and cultural issues around urban youth's access to information and library services. As the Secretary, she plans to work hard to communicate clearly and effectively with RILA members, and support any and all library advocacy efforts around the state.     


eileen ALA Councilor:

Eileen Dyer, Cranston Public Library  

It has been my pleasure to serve as RILA president for the past two years. Together, we have made great strides in becoming a more active and vibrant association. As RILA's Councilor to the American Library Association, I will ensure that the Rhode Island library community is aware of all important national issues, trends, and legislation that could impact our libraries. I believe that my innate passion for politics and policy -- as well as my understanding and familiarity with libraries of many types --  will make me a great fit for ALA Councilor.     

2013 Conference Preview

Salve The RILA Conference Committee is gearing up for an exciting 2013 conference, with exciting speakers such as ALA President Maureen Sullivan, NPR reviewer and Georgetown University faculty member Maureen Corrigan, RI Education Commissioner Deborah Gist, and activist librarian and NYC library director Andrew P. Jackson.


We're thrilled to welcome presenters with a diverse lineup of topics. A smattering:


The Laundromat Literacy Program-- Speakers detail how their Laundromat Literacy Program has spread throughout the state of Maryland, providing crates of books for children and families to enjoy while waiting on their laundry.


Libraries and Bookstores-- Unite! Discover what unfolded when a public library teamed up with a local independent bookstore in Connecticut.


Open Access Publishing and Intellectual Freedom: Remembering Aaron Swartz--

A discussion ofopen access, scholarly publishing, and the flow of information as it relates to libraries with a focus on Creative Commons and the Aaron Swartz case. 


Google Tips and Tricks - Learn about Google's newest supported features and tools, get tips for keeping up on the latest changes, and become a more confident and efficient searcher.


Dealing with Difficult Patrons - New strategies to deal with challenging behaviors.


Dewey for the 21st Century - Create bookstore browsability in a Dewey collection with the Glades classification model!


The conference will be on Monday and Tuesday June 3 & 4 at Newport's beautiful Salve Regina campus in the newly renovated Antone Center. You can check out the full schedule of events in our online brochure.  See you there!

Post Conference
That first day of the RILA Conference is going to be a whirlwind of awesome activity, and if you're looking for a chance to gather and unwind a bit, the RILA PR team has the perfect solution! Avoid the rush over the bridges and join us at the Barking Crab in Newport on Monday, June 3rd for some post-conference drinks, appetizers, conversation, and maybe even some "roving" trivia from 5pm - 7pm! For more information, please contact Chelsea Dodd ([email protected]) or Emily Grace Mehrer ([email protected]).




Looking for the cherry on top of your RILA Conference 2013 experience? Come by the Redwood Library & Athenaeum on Tuesday, June 4th at 5:30pm for a "behind the scenes" walking tour, including the newly reconstructed special collection stacks, the Rovensky Gallery, and the original library building. For more information, please call 401-847-0292 and ask for Maria Bernier (Assistant Director) or Robert Kelly (Collection Development).

The conference committee would like to thank our sponsors, including Comprise Technologies. Be sure to visit them at the conference June 3rd and 4th!  
Teens and Mental Health Awareness Month
By Brandi Kenyon
Youth and Teen Services Librarian, South Kingstown Public Library

Just like many adults, teens often feel the need to please everyone and be perfect. They have to do well in school. They have to fit in with their friends. They have to meet familial expectations and obligations. Some must work to earn extra money or volunteer or do after school activities so they will appear as well rounded individuals on their college applications. It can be overwhelming. Even though it is normal for these things to cause some stress, it can sometimes be hard to cope when expectations are coming from so many sources all at once. Stress can affect sleep, school performance, personal interactions, and self esteem; in some cases, excess stress can lead to serious mental health issues including panic disorders, depression, eating disorders, cutting, or thoughts of suicide.


According to the National Institute of Health, about 11 percent of adolescents have a depressive disorder by age 18, however many more may be affected but don't seek help. The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders reports that "over one-half of teenage girls and nearly one-third of teenage boys use unhealthy weight control behaviors." And the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention said a recent survey showed that "sixteen percent of high school students seriously consider suicide each year". 


So as librarians, how can we help teens deal with both everyday stress as well as more serious mental health issues?

Be friendly and approachable. While you don't have to constantly ask every teen paton, "So how are you feeling today?" (because lets face it, after a while that starts to feel insincere a bit creepy), sometimes a genuine smile and a simple, "How's your day going?" is enough of an opening to get a conversation going.


Provide resources that teens can access on their own. Not all teens will want to talk with someone they know, so be sure to provide resources on the library's website as well as in brochures in the teen area of the library.Resources can include bibliotherapy booklists on various mental health subjects, as well as hotlines, websites, and other informational aids. Make it a point to review this information often to make sure that links and phone numbers are all current.


Offer active and passive programming. Programming can offer ways to help teens develop healthy habits for managing stress, heading off the development of more serious mental health issues. Set up a bulletin board display and let them post ways that they cope with stress. Create a simple make and take stress ball craft. If it is the beginning of the school year, host a program about how to stay organized and use effective studying methods. Programs such as these also help teens develop that sense that the library is a safe and welcoming place for them. Be sure to see Stephanie Barta's article "Healthy Programs for Teens" in this month's RILA Bulletin for even more programming ideas!


Partner with local health professionals. Be familiar with sevices in your area--both outside of and within the schools. Talk with them about who they serve, and how they interact with teens needing help. It is important to remember while we may be able to lend an ear and provide resources for help, ultimately we are not mental health professionals. If you have a teen patron that you believe may be truly in need of help don't be afraid of stepping in, and readily having a trusted resource or a place to refer them to can make that easier to do.

For more information about teens and mental health, visit,, or Teen Health on WebMd.
Healthy Programs For Teens
By Stephanie Barta
Youth Services & Reference Librarian, Coventry Public Library
Teen Cooking

Stress and obesity are two health issues we can't seem to stop hearing about on the news, in magazines, online and in books.  Just a quick browse through the new bookshelves yields the titles Fat Chance, 8 Keys to Stress Management, How Everyone Became Depressed, and The Heavy, among others.  The First Lady even runs a very public campaign to help keep youth fit and healthy.  Just a glance through health statistics shows why we are constantly hearing about these issues.  About 1/3 of children and adolescents (ages 6-19) are considered to be overweight or obese, according to a publication by the Weight Control Information Network, WIN.  Stress and mental health are factors that can affect physical health and weight.  The National Institute of Mental Health reports that over a quarter of teens deal with some form of anxiety that stems from a variety of sources.   


Offering a variety of fun, health-centered programs is a great way to encourage teens to ways to take stock of their health, learn new skills and have fun.  Here are a few suggestions:


Teens Cook!

Cooking classes for teens gives them  a great way to learn about food preparation.  Don't have access to a stove?  No problem!  There are tons of yummy no-bake recipes available online and in print to create a whole smorgasbord.


Get Active!

Programs that get teens moving are a great way to encourage activity and bust stress.  Yoga classes are a great way to help teens de-stress and start moving and studies show that after practicing yoga participants feel better physically and mentally.  It's low impact and accessible to all levels of fitness.  All you need is an open area and some mats, which you may find by contacting local studios that might donate old or lost mats.


Wii Move!

If your library has a Wii, host a Wii Move night.  Play sports like boxing and tennis that are sure to get teens moving or get your dance on with Dance Dance Revolution.


Just Chill!

Have a de-stress spa night at the library.  Teen Librarian's Toolbox has a great blog post on spa night activities, including DIY salt scrubs and lip gloss, plus great resources for further tips and recipes.  


Have Fun!  

Many libraries already host teen game nights, so why not turn these games into something fun and active?  Have a hoola-hoop and jump rope contest, or play a good, old fashioned game of bocce or cornhole. Skill levels are minimal and the fun level is always high.



What is a better way to beat stress than through laughter?  Host a teen comedy night or improv group and teens can brush up on their comedic skills.


A World Without Books
By Carol Wiseman
Commons Intercollections Specialist, Providence College
Books Through Bars Imagine, if you can, a world devoid of books. Some might say that describes hell. For many of the over 2 million men and women confined within our nation's corrections system, that hell is their reality. Three-quarters of them are charged with non-violent crimes representing mostly drug use and trafficking. The "drug war" has doomed them into an existence of sorrow and solitude. Others accused of more serious crimes are offered little hope of rehabilitation in a system which allocates less than 1% of its $80 billion-plus budget to education.

Providence Books Through Bars, Inc is a grass roots 501c3 organization. We send free books, by request, to individual inmates nationwide. We have an extensive library of books donated by many facets of our community. Virtually, our only expense is for the
cost of postage. $3.50 sends a three pound package of reading materials to another human being. The benefit? Priceless. In most cases it is our only hope to reduce recidivism with literacy and education, provide escape from demoralizing conditions and maintain contact with the outside world.

This June will be conducting a yard sale on the East Side. We are seeking contributions of anything that might sell. Please, look through your garage, sort through your closets, take a peek in the attic or basement... items that you haven't used in a year or two are likely destined for dust and eventual demolition. You can make
a difference in the lives of many of our country's forgotten men and women. Please help to support our worthy cause by donating a few of your unwanted/un-needed articles.

Drop-offs may be made at 42 Lenox Ave. (rear), Providence until June 15. Arrangements may be made to pick up larger quantities on any Sunday in May until June 9th. Call 401-356-0388 or email Pro[email protected]. Cash donations may also be made online at or mailed to 42 Lenox Ave., Providence, RI 02907

The event is scheduled on Sat & Sun June 22nd and 23rd at 205 Butler Avenue.
Summer Fun at the Library
By Megan Weeden
Youth Services Librarian, William Hall Library
Dig into Reading 1

Summer is just around the corner, and librarians are busy preparing for their annual Summer Reading Programs.


All 39 cities and towns participate in the Summer Reading Program open to young people, preschool through young adult, with programs, prize drawings, story hours and reading clubs. Some libraries, including Cranston, Providence Public Library, Tiverton, Greenville, and East Providence, are also offering adult summer reading programs.


This year, kids and teens will explore all things underground with the themes "Dig Into Reading" and "Beneath the Surface."


Programs for children may include dinosaurs or construction vehicles, animals that live underground or Ancient Egypt, caves, rocks and more.


Between June and August, children will also be entertained with a wide slate of performers including magicians: The Great Baldini and Malik Haddadi; storytellers: Sarah Gardner and Carolyn Martino; puppeteers; artists: Deenie Pacik Giuliano and Eric Fulford; dancers, musicians: Rick Morin; poets and live animals: Animal World Experience and Bwana Iguana Reptile Adventures.


Teens can look forward to programs that explore what's beneath the surface of the earth, water, history, or our popular culture and participate in some great workshops including watercolor painting, cartooning, improv, crafting, animation, poetry, and magic.


Beneath the Surface  


The adult summer reading program, called "Groundbreaking Reads," is designed to encourage adults to read during the summer months while creating positive publicity for the library.  Over the summer, adults can explore new genres or interests which gives the library the opportunity to highlight books of interest. The adult summer reading program also offers an excellent model of lifelong learning and reading to the children participating in their own summer reading programs.


Funding for the Summer Reading Program comes from the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act.


Summer 2013 at Rhode Island libraries promises to be tons of fun for kids, teens, families and adults, so be sure to spread the word!

Reference Refresher: Mango Languages
By Lenora Robinson
Reference Librarian,

Summer is coming! Suggest Mango Languages to patrons; traveling adults and bored students alike! Mango is an online language-learning program that can help patrons learn foreign languages like Spanish, French, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, Pirate, German, Mandarin Chinese, Greek, Irish, Italian and many more, in an easy-to-learn manner. Mango Languages for Libraries also offers English as a Second Language courses for non-English speakers. Courses include ESL for French, German, Polish, Chinese, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, and eight other languages (at the time of this writing, Mango is always adding new languages to both databases).


Mango teaches languages by using real-life situations and integrates actual conversations into the lesson. By listening to and repeating material designed from native speakers, patrons will not only learn the individual words and phrases, they'll know how they're used in practical situations and conversations. The lessons include more than simple grammar, vocabulary and conjugation, patrons will learn how to communicate.


Mango for Libraries includes a dashboard that gives a summary of what language lessons have been started and how much time has been spent in lessons learning each language. While in the lessons, Mango (both for ESL and foreign language lessons) has "grammar goals" with grammar notes throughout the lesson and "conversational goals"  with cultural notes that has social explanations of some of the phrases used. It also indicates which type of phrase might be used, for both formal and informal occasions for example, within each lesson.


Mango makes understanding words and phrases easier by initially giving the whole phrase, with its translation, then it breaks down each phrase by word. The patron can hover over highlighted words and phrases to view a pronunciation guide and click to have the word repeated aloud. Words and phrases are color coded so that the student can understand which parts of each phrase translate to each word within that phrase. Mango also includes information such as the literal meaning and implied or understood meanings of words (ie "good day" vs "hello") and how they translate to the language being studied.


Each language group has a Basic lesson and Complete lessons; Mango Basic teaches simple, practical skills for common, polite conversation situations in only a few short hours, Mango Complete 1.0 courses are aimed at students who want to move beyond basic language skills, and Mango Complete 2.0 teaches in-depth and comprehensive language and grammar skills (note: not all languages include a Complete 2.0 lesson plan). Mango incorporates information about the language such as how many people speak the language around the world and where it is generally spoken.


Other features of Mango include a translation service that will take a word or phrase in a source language and translates it to a target language. Mango for Libraries can also be downloaded onto a mobile device (available for iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and Android phones) in order to take language lessons to the beach!

A Spotlight on Warwick Public Library
By Sara Deignan 
RILA Public Relations Committee

I recently met with Wil Gregersen, the Community Services Librarian at the Warwick Public Library, to discuss upcoming events that he has planned for the library, and the ways in which the library is growing and changing in order to better serve the community.  Upon entering the library, visitors will notice that the library has several recent additions and improvements, including a newly open floor plan.  The librarians and circulation staff are constantly moving, providing assistance where they are needed.  Also, the Reference and Circulation counters are a thing of the past, having been replaced with compact Welcome and Reference desks that allow staff to work together more easily to serve patrons.  "We do a lot of instruction at the Reference Desk," says Gregersen, "and so by having a smaller desk that you can walk around and get behind, we can invite people behind the desk [for instruction].  Also, there's the idea that there would be one spot where people would go in the library to be served."


A couple of the changes that are clearly a hit with patrons include the new computer workstations and Teenspace.  Gregersen explains, "Our public computers are used all the time, and so the improvement was to upgrade some of the hardware, and to create a space that was more amenable to folks who are using it."


"The idea behind Teenspace," he adds, "is that teens are a very special population.  They don't necessarily fit in the Children's Room and they don't fit in the adult library.  They need a space that caters to their developmental state.  Teenspace was developed so we could have a dedicated space.  There are plenty of teens in Warwick, and they need to be served."  


The Warwick Public Library is also continuing to bring a variety of programs to the community, with activities and events for every age group.  There are a number of successful "recurring programs" that started out as one-time events, and are now "self-run" groups.  "We do the advertising and give them the space, and [the group members] actually own the program," says Gregersen.  One event that aims to engage the community in unique ways is the Writing from Memory group.  This group will be meeting April 9 & 23 and May 7 & 21.  Library patrons are invited to write about their experiences and share their stories with the group.    


Gregersen stresses that the staff of the Warwick Public Library are looking to the future.  There are plans to make improvements to the Children's Room, and an empty room at the entrance to the library will become a tech lab.  "There's a real drive for everyone to understand what Warwick wants from its library and then to work out how we can actually give that service," says Gregersen.  "If [patrons] want space, if they want to be creative or they need information...whatever Warwick wants from its library, we're working hard to provide."

Cumberland Library Receives the Hasbro Summer Learning Initiative Grant
By Debra Cohen
Youth Services Librarian, Cumberland Public Library

The Rhode Island Afterschool Plus Alliance (RIASPA), an education initiative of United Way of Rhode Island, officially announced its grantees for the 2013 Hasbro Summer Learning Initiative. The Cumberland Library Children's Department, along with the Boys & Girls Club of Lincoln/Cumberland, The Office of Children Youth Learning, and the Cumberland School Department were one of the grantee teams chosen!

Out of sixteen programs, reflecting eleven cities around Rhode Island, the Cumberland Library is one of three libraries in RI who will be participating within this grant this summer!


The implementation team of myself, Tamara Burman of the Boys & Girls Club, Liz Lemire of the Office of Children Youth and Learning, the principal of Garvin School, and two teachers from the BF Norton Elementary School and the Garvin Elementary School,  have already begun collaborative efforts,  planning ahead to use the summer months as an opportunity to co-create and co-deliver thematic curriculum for low income, under-served elementary age children in Cumberland, RI. This is a great collaboration which aims to prevent literacy loss and build a stronger community of educators and children!


The curriculum implemented by this team will focus on approximately 30 campers enrolled in the Boys & Girls Club camp. All activities will carry Common Core Standards curriculum focused on social, emotional, and 21st Century Learning.


The library portion of the funding will focus upon extending library staff hours to work at the Boys & Girls Club and within the library with the campers, hiring additional performers, adding additional programs, and purchasing Summer Reading initiative resources and books for this community. Our Summer Reading Program "Dig into Reading" will easily meet the many measurements and outcomes within the rubrics and evaluations of the grant team.


The library already plans to offer these services:

  • "Dig Into Reading" Summer Reading Program initiative materials and free books
  •  Training of Boys & Girls Club staff to run the Summer Reading Program at their camp
  • Literacy based creative programs and performers within the Boys and Girls Club
  • Special program invitations to Boys & Girls Club children within the Cumberland Library
  • Recreational programs created and held for library children/families within the Boys & Girls Club.
I'm excited at the expansion of the Cumberland Library 2013 Summer Reading Program to a new community of children and families. We all have great aspirations of continuing this community collaboration and inspiring families and children along the way. This is what our role as a community librarian is, and I am proud of be a part of the Hasbro Initiative Grant team for this summer! Stay tuned for more fun, information, and collaboration to come!
Better Know a Library--Knight Memorial Library
Information Collected by Deborah Del Gais
Friends of Knight Memorial Library
Knight Memorial Exterior
Image courtesy
Providence Public Library
The Knight Family
Benjamin Brayton Knight (1813-1898) and Robert Brayton Knight (1826-1912) were Rhode
Island textile mill owners and founders of the Fruit of the Loom brand. Robert Knight and his
family lived on Elmwood Avenue and in the surrounding Elmwood neighborhood.

Elmwood Public Library
Sarah Lippitt Knight (wife of Robert's son Webster) and Emma Shaw (wife of a local contractor) spearheaded the effort to establish a library for the Elmwood neighborhood. They knocked on doors throughout the area, soliciting enough small donations from a large number of supportive community members to open the Elmwood Library in 1915 at the Greenwich Street Fire Station for the use and education of patrons of all ages.

Knight Memorial Library
In 1924, the Knights financed the construction of a new home for the Elmwood Library--which became the Knight Memorial Library--on property that was part of Robert Knight's estate. The Knights also created an endowment for the building's maintenance. The Elmwood Public Library Association continued to operate the library until it merged with the Knight Memorial Library Association in 1971. Knight Memorial Library Association officially merged with Providence Public Library (PPL) in 1995, though the Knight Memorial Library had been under the management of PPL since 1962.
KMA Exterior

The Building
Knight Memorial Library was designed by Edward Lippincott Tilton, a renowned architect who designed approximately a hundred libraries across North America. He was noted for such innovations as placing the book stacks below ground to preserve daylight areas for readers.
The Beaux Arts-style Knight Memorial building features these underground stacks, as well as an Indiana-limestone exterior, fine stained glass, painted ceilings and a Greco-Roman frieze
along the interior walls.

KMA Frieze The open plan of the first floor space was a design feature that Tilton pioneered. The lower level was originally the Children's Library and featured a fireplace decorated with unique tiles (likely hand-painted by local artists) depicting scenes from classic children's stories.
Knight Memorial Interior
Image courtesy Providence Public Library
KMA interior
Image Courtesy Providence Community Library

KMA Book Special Collections

Robert Knight's personal book collection remains housed in the second floor office above the main entrance. Other special collections housed at Knight Memorial Library include the Rhode Island Collection and the James N. Arnold Collection, which features extensive genealogies and vital records.

Today Knight Memorial is a busy hub of Providence's West End, but age and decay mean that the building itself is increasingly expensive to repair and maintain.  Due to the lack of air conditioning, the building is frequently closed in the summer months, though the recent installation of blinds by the Friends of Knight Memorial Library had a significant impact on the building's internal temperature and allowed the library to remain open far more in the summer of 2012 than in previous years.

The Friends established a planning group for KMA, and that group is trying to develop a long-term building goal/plan.  The Friends also established a fund-raising committee.  Among all of the challenges the library faces, KMA is perceived by many people in the community as being closed because the front steps are blocked off in front and in need of repair. That area is most visible from the street.

Last year, the Friends paid for children and an art instructor at City Arts to design and paint a banner to go over the steps in front.  The banner was meant to advertise that the building was open.  The banner was damaged somewhat as a result of tropical storm Sandy, and it was taken down.

Knight Memorial recently received a Community Development Block Grant to repair the crumbling front steps.  Unfortunately, the grant money was not quite enough to cover the cost of repair, so the library is holding a fundraiser Thursday, May 9th called Step up for Knight.  Hopefully we can preserve this architectural treasure for many generations to come.
Step up for Knight
News From the Field
Providence Community Library
The Washington Park Library started PCL's first-ever seed library this year.  Named the David St. Germain seed library after the man who was a tireless advocate for the homeless in Rhode Island.  The seed library kicked off April 30, and it allows patrons to check out five seed packs with the hopes that they will bring back the seeds left after the growing season.  For the inauguration of the seed library April 30, Michelle Walker from the Southside Community Land Trust will be on hand to offer expert advice on exactly what patrons should do with the seeds they "borrow."

The Cranston Public Library was recently awarded a "Talk Story: Sharing Stories, Sharing Culture" $500 grant. The grant was awarded in a joint program from the American Indian Library Association and the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association.
"Talk Story: Sharing Stories, Sharing Culture is a literacy program that reaches out to Asian Pacific American (APA) and American Indian/Alaska Native (AIAN) children and their families. The program celebrates and explores Asian Pacific American (APA) and American Indian/Alaska Native (AIAN) stories through books, oral traditions, and art to provide an interactive, enriching experience. Children and their families can connect to rich cultural activities through Talk Story in their homes, libraries, and communities."

The Cranston Public Library Youth Services Department will offer a three part family literacy program targeting Asian students and their families using culturally appropriate literature. The families will be invited by the Library and the Cranston Family Center/COZ to join the program, which will meet three evenings in October 2013 at the Central Library. The Family Center will outreach to eligible families encouraging their participation in the Talk Story program. The Asian children enrolled in Gladstone, Edgewood Highlands and Eden Park schools will be recruited for the program, which will be comprised of three short meetings of one hour and 15 minutes in duration. The final event will feature a professional storyteller.

Rhode Island College
On Friday, May 31, 2013, please join the James P. Adams Library at Rhode Island College for the conference on Querying the Library: Digitization and its Impact.

To register and learn more, please visit:

Would you like to be a founding member of RILA's LGBT Section?
RILA has received several requests from our membership to establish an LGBT Section in our association. As RILA is a Chapter of the American Library Association (ALA), the RILA board thinks this would be a great opportunity to begin to mirror locally some of the active groups from the national level. A RILA LGBT section could offer  opportunities for socializing/community building, could represent/provide leadership on LGBT issues within the profession, and keep abreast of any relevant local and national issues as they occur. Membership to this group would be open to all members of RILA regardless of sexual orientation or identification. If you are interested, please email Eileen Dyer directly at [email protected].

We had our first RILA trivia night on April 16th at Mozzarella's in North Providence. They graciously let us participate in their regular Tuesday night trivia hosted by WRIK Entertainment and librarian Stefanie Blankenship. It was a great success! We had 15 players there on behalf of RILA and a good mix of library types as well as ages. Some players came for dinner and some came for just drinks, but we all had a blast testing our knowledge. We're planning to have more events, so please join us next time!
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]

Andria Tieman & Brandi Kenyon
Rhode Island Library Association