In This Issue

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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It's hard to believe that it is November already. The days have grown shorter and the hurried hustle and bustle of the holidays are almost upon us. However, let's not forget to take a moment to be thankful. Thankful for family and friends, shelter and food; but also for the privilege of having such vibrant and active local libraries.


Fall brought many exciting library-related events to our calendars and this issue recaps many of them! For one recent happening, RILA, OLIS, and COLA sponsored a successful joint event on the "new normal" in libraries. Attendees were given the chance to ponder current trends in the library world and learn how to integrate innovative services into their own library. Be sure to check out news of this event - and others - below.


Speaking of events, don't forget to save the date for the upcoming RILA Annual Conference. We hope you can join us Wednesday, May 27th, and Thursday, May 28th at Salve Regina University. If you have a program or poster session you'd like to present, proposals are being accepted through January 9th. Now could be your chance to share your ideas and expertise with others in our library community. Click here for all the details. 


So much of what we do in this state couldn't be done without the hard work of so many of you. So, in the spirit of the season, thank you!


Watch for more library news and updates from RILA in early 2015.   



Andria Tieman and Brandi Kenyon 

RILA Communications Committee Co-Chairs

The New Normal
By Kasia Piasecka
Reference Libarian, Middletown Public Library

The Coalition of Library Advocates, the RI Library Association and the Office of Library and Information Services presented "Exploring the New Normal: Trends in Library Services" at the Cranston Public Library on November 13.  The forum was designed to shine a spotlight on emerging library trends by showcasing innovative projects and initiatives at libraries across the state.  


What thought or vision do the words "learning lounge", "connected learning", and "Minecraft" spark for you? These concepts are just a few that were thrown out to the audience of librarians, library staff, trustees, and friends. Unless you have been vacationing on a remote desert island for the last five years, you are witness to public libraries working hard on a multitude of special projects, programs, and initiatives which implicitly re-envision their role in the larger community.


Long gone are libraries which solely boast their book collections. "Now is the time to start collaborating with your community school, arts organization, and local business", warned Providence Public Library's director, Jack Martin. He strongly encouraged library staff to reach out to the greater community to bring in talent, instruction, and innovation. "If you don't know how to do something, get someone who does!" he told the audience. Seemingly simple, the results are empowering and overpowering. Imagine watching a child's face light up with joy while they learn Tinkercad from a FabNewport teen intern in the Newport Public Library's new makerspace -- that is the kind of progress RI libraries need to be making. Welcoming their communities into spaces that have been re-designed to make room for connected learning, play, technology instruction, and most of all, pure fun is "the new normal" for libraries.


Attendees were able to tour the library and get hands-on experience with some of the technology libraries are implementing in programs and services. They got to see a 3D printer in action, use an Overdrive Media Station to order digital media, and view local history projects developed with digital tools. 


A few key quotes from the evening summed up the philosophy many libraries are adopting in regard to technology: 


"Make every [patron's] visit a destination visit"

"Staff interactions are KEY"

"libraries should be kitchens"

"gaming is like storytime -- it's an opportunity to play socially in the same physical location."

"think big, execute small"


Check out what the Teen Tech Squad are doing at PPL

Download a PDF of the Aspen Institute's "Rising to the Challenge" report.


Links to all the presentations will be released by OLIS, COLA, and RILA very soon.  

The Imagination Club
By Elliott Stevens
Library Assistant, Providence College Library
Walker Mettling and friends
Photo Credit Providence Phoenix

Have you ever gone for a hike in the woods, only to wander through a clearing and come across little mythical humanoid creatures (maybe they're pixies or elves or faeries) conferring about things beyond the scope of mortal, adult understanding? If you're lucky, you get a glimpse of these beings before they give you annoyed looks and disappear back into their sylvan kingdom. But if you've never had the experience of stumbling into an otherworldly confab, you can witness the next closest thing by sitting in on any of the Providence Comics Consortium workshops that cycle through the Providence Community Libraries.


The Providence Comics Consortium (or PCC) was started by Walker Mettling about four years ago. Speaking of the early days of PCC, Mr. Mettling, who is the physical embodiment of Dr. Strange, Calvin, and Krazy Kat, says, "We started by trying to trick kids into literacy. But we always knew we wanted them to make their own books."


Children and teenagers who participate in PCC workshops don't just learn about the creative processes of brainstorming, drawing, character development, and storytelling. They also focus on the completion of a major work-what they call the "Showcase." These Showcases are a collection of character descriptions (sort of like baseball cards for heroes and baddies), short original comics, and even other comics that the kids collaborate on remotely with professional artists. Interspersed through these Showcases are also gags that take the form of ads for things like a mysterious delectable called "Fruit Rash."


What's incredible about these Showcases isn't just that the kids produce and assemble them themselves; it's also that these Showcases get catalogued and that they live in libraries. There are now eighteen of these works, and you can check them out from PCL branches as you would any masterpiece or anticipated bestseller.


But back to Mr. Mettling-one cannot help but to be impressed by his excellent teaching. Immediately, it's obvious that his concerns aren't just who and what he teaches. For him, it's also about how he teaches and why he does so that way. For example, Mr. Mettling often has his workshoppers do writing and drawing exercises that feature timers and dice. These tools introduce a piquant mix of constraint, chance, and serendipity into the creative process.


"Sometimes, I don't want to give them too much time to think," Mr. Mettling explains. He says he wants kids to think divergently because, so often, at school, they are taught to tests and compelled to converge on but one answer. Mr. Mettling further goes on to say how a teen had once told him that in middle school the most popular clubs deal with sports. "But this is the first imagination club I've seen," the kid said.


So if you'd like to see what an Imagination Club can produce, simply visit your nearest PCL branch and borrow a Providence Comics Consortium Showcase. Or if you'd like to see these pixies and imps at work, you can find them at the Fox Point Library on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:00-6:00PM this November and December. Don't worry: they won't give you funny looks and disappear if they see you in their midst. Instead, they'll probably give you a pencil and some graph paper and get you to draw Abraham Lincoln crossed with Frankenstein's monster and a refrigerator. 

OSL's New Kid-friendly eZone Site Launches
By Jessica D'Avanza

Community Services Librarian, Barrington Public Library

Chair, Ocean State Libraries eZone Committee

Ocean State Libraries (OSL) recently expanded its services with a new digital collection website experience just for kids. There is a new URL for this digital collection,, which brings younger patrons to a separate site and provides a safer and easier browsing experience. Adult and teen book jackets will not show up here, but there is a link to get back to the main collection from every page.The user-friendly interface contains all digital content, including eBooks, audiobooks, music and streaming video


We're proud to say that OSL is the first Overdrive site in the country to use an outer-space theme! Browsing can be done by subject, reading level or interest level, but OSL children's librarians on the eZone Working Group also worked to add sections that were of special interest to our patrons. These include past and present RI Children's Book Award winners and nominees, as well as sections for Harry Potter, Magic Treehouse, and Caldecott and Newbery Medal Winners.


According to Jessica D'Avanza, chair of OSL's eZone Working Group, the Kid's page has been extremely popular. "We've had over 1000 items checked out since we launched the site in May and feedback has been so positive."


As always, the site is free for users with a valid Ocean State Libraries card. Digital titles are available to download or view on a variety of devices and will expire automatically, so there's no need to worry about late fees. Please ask your local public library for help in using the eZone site, or visit

Financial Literacy Programs Take Root in Little Rhody
By Jenifer Bond
Assistant Director, Bryant University Library
RILA President
Everyone is on the consumer financial empowerment bandwagon! This is a timely and important topic for all ages, and libraries can help patrons become savvy consumers and informed financial wizards. There are many initiatives and professional development opportunities coming up to prepare libraries to tackle financial education in their communities. 

As previously mentioned, Rhode Island was selected by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to roll out year-round
 programs and services in support of financial literacy. On October 9, OLIS & RILA hosted a "Financial Literacy @ Your Library" event at the Cumberland Public Library to officially kick off this initiative and provide orientation to the CFPB's consumer financial resources. The CFPB's online site provides program ideas, links to tools and information, and includes a partnership guidebook to help establish community collaborations in order to deliver strong financial education services and programs at your location.  

Money Smart Week 2015 planning is already underway, too! RILA's MSW team is hard at work recruiting more library participation, cultivating additional community partners, and lining up important programs for April's week long event. This spring's event coincides with school vacation week, which is the perfect time to incorporate some financial education programs for the younger crowd. It's never too early to learn to be Money Smart! Mark your library calendars for April 18-25 and see our call for participants at the end of this issue. 

In related news, Rhode Island Jump$tart Coalition, Rhode Island Council for Economic Education, and Rhode Island College are hosting a one day Financial Capability Conference on Saturday, December 6 at RIC. Open to the public, this free professional development opportunity is aimed at teachers, librarians, and other social service providers. It features interactive exhibits, workshops, and speakers throughout the day, with opening remarks from Senator Jack Reed. A panel of local librarians, including Julie DeCesare of Providence College and Lori DeCesare of Mohr Library, will be on hand to educate attendees about the many financial literacy programs on offer locally! See the online conference registration form for more information and to sign up to attend

Please hop on the financial literacy bandwagon along with RILA and our partners to support financial education initiatives in our libraries!  
Minecraft @The Library
By Corrie MacDonald
Technology Coordinator, Cranston Public Library
Chances are you've heard about Minecraft, the popular video game that's taking the world by storm. Maybe you had some boxy-looking "creepers" come trick or treat at your house on Halloween, or maybe you heard that Microsoft just dropped some serious change to acquire the rights to the game  Maybe there's a kid or teen in your life who's a player. But if you're a non-gamer like myself, you might wonder "what is Minecraft, exactly?"

I went to Minecraft Club recently to find out. It was definitely an "I can't believe they pay me to do this" moment: Sitting at the Auburn Branch Library surrounded by preteen boys and one charming teen librarian. Minecraft club was on, and my mission was to figure out just what it is about the game that's so compelling. The first time I attempted to play Minecraft, all I'd managed to do was get stuck in a deep hole that I'd dug - not very exciting stuff. Under the tutelage of more seasoned Minecrafters, soon I was digging up (virtual) carrots and feeding them to (virtual) rabbits. I was pretty excited about this, but the teen gamers were unimpressed. 

Minecraft is a video game from Sweden that looks distinctly unlike most of the video games on the market today. The pixilated graphics are decidedly low-tech, but Minecraft allows players to collect materials and build structures, or operate in survival mode where players defend themselves from zombies and, um, creepers. Because players can choose a multiplayer mode, they are able to collaborate with other players to build, destroy, or defend buildings and places of their choosing. Players can choose how they interact with the game, and that allows for creativity, cooperation, and communication.

In Cranston, YA Librarian Christina Dufour has taken the reins of the popular program. Laptops are delivered to various library locations and Christina supervises the players. "I like to let them take the lead and choose what they want to do as far as playing the game goes," she said. When I visited Minecraft Club at the Auburn Library, one teen was building a wall, which the rest of the group would then protect from invading hordes of bad guys. Christina gave help and advice when needed, but for the most part acted as a moderator who reminded the players to keep the sound of their enthusiasm to a dull roar.

Interested in starting a Minecraft Club? The game is wildly popular at the moment, so attracting participants will not be a challenge. Many attendees will already be familiar with how to play, and will act as mentors for other attendees (or librarians) who are less familiar with how to play the game. Libraries around the Rhode Island have been starting up Minecraft clubs for their teens. All you really need are a few computers (extra credit if you can create a Minecraft server to allow for multiplayer games) and the teens will come. You might even find you enjoy the game yourself. 

This recent Providence Journal article  explains the game more in-depth.
Rapid Fire Exchange @ Information Literacy Month Celebration
By Mary MacDonald
Head of Instruction, URI & ILART Co-Chair
Information Literacy Lightning Talk Participants (l-r): Kerry Caparco, Tish Brennan, Liz Richter, Mary Moen
Over fifty academic and school librarians from across the state joined forces at the William Hall Library on October 16th to celebrate Information Literacy Month, as proclaimed by Governor Chafee, and to share information literacy lesson tools, tips and tricks.  

The "Library Desk to Classroom" event, sponsored and hosted by RILA's Information Literacy Action Round Table (ILART) and the School Librarians of Rhode Island (SLRI), included ten informative lightning talks about new and novel ways that RI librarians are teaching information literacy to students.  Check this list of presenters along with links to their presentations!  Click a speaker's name to review presentations and handouts. Feel free to adapt and share what you see!
News From the Field

Call for Presentation Proposals for the 2015 Rhode Island Library Association Annual Conference.



Wednesday May 27 & Thursday May 28, 2015


Salve Regina University, Newport, RI


We are looking for traditional presentations, poster presentations and NEW this year - lightning round presentations.


Click this link to submit your presentation proposal. 


Share your fantastic ideas, successes, programs, and projects!  Build up your resume!  Network with other colleagues and experts in the field!  Enjoy Newport in May!



Email the RILA Conference Committee [email protected] or one of the Co-Chairs, Laura Kohl: [email protected]  or Mackenzie Dunn: [email protected]   


Money Smart Week

"Help Your Patrons Become Money Smart!"
Money Smart Week 2015 is April 18-25. The Rhode Island Library Association is looking for libraries interested in providing financial literacy programs during Money Smart Week.  For more information and details, please contact RILA Members-at-Large, Chris Wallace-Goldstein ( or Julie DeCesare ([email protected]).  


RI Center For The Book

Hello Librarians! The 2015 Reading Across Rhode Island selection is Norwegian by Night by Derek Miller.

Senator Reed will announce the title at a special Rhode Island Council for the Humanities event on November 21st but we wanted to give you advance notice so you can put your book orders in.


Local Ballot Question #10 in Cranston was approved by the voters with 68% of the vote.  The question reads: Shall an Act passed at the 2014 session of the General Assembly entitled "An Act authorizing the City of Cranston to finance general capital building improvements to the Cranston Public Library system by the issuance of not more than $1,200,000 bonds thereof" be approved?

Assistant Director Ann Osbom retired in September 2014.  "Ann came to Cranston from the Bridgeport Public Library, after a whirlwind library career that included stops in Alaska, New York City, and Texas.  She loved being a librarian and was always enthusiastic about learning new technologies.  We will miss her cheerful sense of humor and hearing the stories of her past library adventures."  --Library Director Ed Garcia.

The Cranston Public Library is pleased to announce that Katherine Boden has accepted the position of Emerging Technologies Librarian. Katherine starts her new position on October 6th.

The Association of College and Research Libraries, New England Chapter ( invites you to submit a proposal to present at our 2015 Annual Conference. This event entitled "Spacing Out with the Library: An Exploration of Collaboration Across the Physical, Virtual and those Places in Between" will be held Friday, May 8, 2015 at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.

As the academic library evolves, it is wherever students and faculty are conducting research and learning, and within physical and virtual spaces intentionally designed to encourage scholarship, collaboration and production. Librarians and our colleagues across our campuses and beyond are actively engaged in building and assessing the most useful discovery services, the most valuable collections, the most cost-effective learning resources, the most effective collaborative spaces ... for the best education and research. What does it take to expand "the library" beyond its traditional physical space? With whom are we working to expand our services?

We are seeking proposals for presentations, panel discussions, interactive sessions and posters on topics including but not limited to:

�Virtual learning environments, team-based learning and/or course instruction
�Scholarly communication, institutional repositories, data management
�Open education, open science, open access
�Maker spaces, media labs, and other collaborative spaces
�Discovery services and expanding access to information resources through library web sites, course management systems and other campus portals
�Assessment of collections, services, spaces, learning outcomes, user experience, etc.
�Campus and wider community projects, e.g. Digitizing campus archives, Wikipedia, Digital Public Library of America
To submit a proposal, follow this link:
The deadline for proposal submission is midnight on Friday, December 5th, 2014.
Questions should be directed to Christine Turner ([email protected]), Claire DeMarco ([email protected]), Bharti Joshi ([email protected]), or Susan Stearns ([email protected]).

Take Action: Be a Health Literacy Hero
a free workshop sponsored by the NN/LM

Keynote Speaker:   Helen Osborne, 

Date:  Thursday, December 4, 2014, (snow date is December 5)

Location:  University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester

Time:   9:30 AM - 2:15 PM

Register here. 


Continental Breakfast (9 - 9:30)

Health Literacy: What It Is, Why It Matters,How You Can Help (9:30-11)

Conversation with Librarians about Health Literacy (11:15 - 12:15) with Irena Bond, Margo Coletti, Anne Conner, and Nancy Goodwin

Lunch (12:15 to 1:00) and book signing with Helen Osborne (author of Health Literacy from A-Z)

Take Action: Be a Health Literacy Hero (1:00 to 2:15)
Parking vouchers and lunch will be provided.   Travel expenses can be funded for several librarians.   To learn more, please contact Michelle Eberle at [email protected].

Rhode Island College
Instructor (Reference Librarian), Adams Library
Full-time, three-year limited term position
Spring 2015
For full job description and application procedures*, see our web site:

Providence College
Providence College, Phillips Memorial Library, seeks applications for a Commons Librarian-Technology & Access (Full-Time/Full Year) position.
Interested applicants are encouraged to apply online, please go to:

Johnson & Wales
Johnson & Wales University Library has an opening for a full-time reference librarian.  The position features the opportunity to provide library research and instruction services to an international population of undergraduate and graduate students, and to participate in a team-based decision making environment.
To apply, see requisition #3110 at:

Salve Regina
McKillop Library, Salve Regina University, Newport RI has an opening for a full-time position as: Special Programs Librarian
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