Library Reform Group

May 18, 2009

Delegates from Library Friends Groups Meet to Compare Notes

Filed under: 1 — Patricia @ 11:03 am

Wednesday, May 13: Library Friends Group delegates from across the city met at Knight Memorial Library to share information and advice. Representatives from Smith Hill, Rochambeau, Olneyville, South Providence, Mount Pleasant, and Fox Point, in addition to those from Knight Memorial, attended the meeting, chaired by Knight Memorial’s Debbie Schimberg.

Olneyville’s Cyndie Wilmot reported that Olneyville Friends is off to a strong beginning, with a number of events scheduled for June, including Karyoke Night. Mount Pleasant’s Susan Shepard and Ray Arsenault, president and vice-president respectively, reported on their group’s annual bazaar and book sale. A member of Smith Hill’s Friends group recommended that the Friends groups consider using and to obtain free books for their libraries.

Fox Point’s Chris Bickford reported on the successful inception of the Fox Point Friends. Debbie Schimberg discussed a recent meeting of the Knight Memorial Friends at which PPL’s Assistant Director Kathyellen Bullard and PPL’s head of maintenance Peter Rossi gave a presentation on the physical condition of the Knight Memorial Library building.

Rochambeau Friends Sam Grabelle and Chris Suchmann described the structure of their organization and noted that Rochambeau Friends has changed its bylaws so that it can provide financial support for the two smaller libraries in its cluster, Smith Hill and Fox Point. Gil Mason reported on Rochambeau’s very successful annual book sale. The Rochambeau Friends representatives have suggested that they offer a workshop on fund-raising at the next meeting of the Friends Council.

South Providence’s Sister Ann Keefe and Brendan Ryan announced that their group was holding an organizing meeting on May 14 and has already created a website. Patricia Raub, PCL co-founder, announced that PCL will have a student intern this summer, Andres Salmeron, who will be able to help other Friends groups set up websites. Knight Memorial Friend’s IT expert Siobhan Ross-Humphries will also be available to assist with the creation of Friends Groups blogs and websites.

Marcus Mitchell, who is also a PCL co-founder, gave a brief report on the progress of Providence Community Library as it moves toward assuming operation of the neighborhood libraries on July 1.

The Council has decided to meet again on May 27 at Knight Memorial Library. The time of the next meeting is 6 p.m.


May 10, 2009


Filed under: Press Release — Patricia @ 1:13 pm



DATE: May 4, 2009



The Providence Community Library has received a letter from Mayor David Cicilline confirming the City’s intention to transfer library funding to PCL to operate the branch libraries for the City starting on July 1, 2009. The Mayor wrote, “Your group has developed a capacity to operate the nine branch community library system, which … will meet the city’s needs.” The letter invites the PCL officers to meet with members of his administration to work on language for an agreement that will begin transitioning the operation of the branch system to PCL on July 1.

City Council approval is expected as council members, who are anxious to avert the closure of any of the nine neighborhood branches, publically expressed support for Providence Community Library as early as last January, when PCL pledged to keep all of the branches open.

“We are very pleased to be able to help the City keep the nine branches open,” said Marcus Mitchell, PCL president. “Of course, with less than two months until the transfer, there are an enormous number of things that must be done and we are working hard to be ready for the deadline.”

PCL plans to immediately begin a search for a Library Director to implement and manage the new system. The new library will employ about seventy people, most of whom are present PPL employees whose work relates to the branches.

PCL officers will be meeting with city officials to work out details of a three-year management agreement. They will also be meeting with PPL officers and administrators to plan for a transfer of branch operations from PPL to PCL in a manner that will cause the least amount of disruption for library patrons and employees.

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