Library Reform Group

July 25, 2009

PCL Holds Its First Board Meeting

Filed under: 1 — Patricia @ 9:01 pm

PCL held its first ever Board of Trustees meeting at Knight Memorial Library on Wednesday, July 22. Marcus Mitchell, PCL president, presided over the meeting. Ann Robinson gave a Director’s Report, while Steve Kumins outlined his Development plans. There were also reports on Facilities from PCL secretary Linda Kushner, Personnel from PCL VP Patricia Raub, and Finances from PCL treasurer Ellen Schwartz.

Also present at the meeting were community library representatives from Wanskuck (Dale Gorton), Fox Point (Ken Wise), Rochambeau (Harriet Frank), Smith Hill (Althea Graves), Knight Memorial (Peter Karczmar), and Mount Pleasant (Maureen Romans). Olneyville, Washington Park and South Providence have not yet selected board representatives.

Alix Ogden is the Mayor’s staff representative on the Board. Mark McKenney, representing the Governor, also participated in the meeting. The City Council sent two representatives: Christian Calderone, of the Smith Hill CDC, and Rochelle Lee, long-time library and neighborhood advocate.

Knight’s head librarian Adam Misturado generously provided an electric fan for the occasion, as Knight is not air-conditioned.

The next meeting of the Board will be the Annual Meeting, and it is scheduled for 5:30 on September 16 at Rochambeau.


July 9, 2009

Reasons to Celebrate!

Filed under: 1 — Patricia @ 2:09 pm

Dear library advocates,

Last week we celebrated PCL’s opening at all nine libraries –despite the bad weather. Here is a presentation incorporating many of the photos that a number of people sent us: Our biggest reason to celebrate on July 1 was that we have kept all nine libraries open past their projected June 30 closing date.

We have another reason to celebrate now: we have an Executive Director! Ann Robinson, from Worcester, will be starting on Monday. Below is the press release we have sent to the media. (Attached is a photo of Ann, talking with PCL’s Deb Furia.)


After an extensive national search for a library director, Providence Community Library has hired

Rhode Island native Ann A. Robinson to supervise its new nine-library system, formerly part of Providence Public Library.

Having most recently served as the Associate Head Librarian of the Worcester Public Library for eight years, Robinson has experience working in a city similar to Providence in size and diversity of population.

A graduate of Clark University, Robinson earned her library degree at Simmons College and was a social worker for a decade before beginning her library career in 1987 as director of the Bancroft Memorial Library in Hopedale, Massachusetts. Over the next twenty years, she gained considerable experience in many areas of library administration as she moved to progressively larger cities with more complex library systems.

Maureen Romans, co-chair of the PCL Search committee that recommended Robinson to the PCL Board, commented, “Despite receiving applications from across the country, we found Ann Robinson to be the person best suited for Providence. We are delighted that she is from the area and will understand our needs.” Robinson was raised in Pawtucket, and her family moved to Providence in 1971. Robinson reflected, “In the early 1980s I had the pleasure of introducing my two-year-old niece to the Rochambeau Library and was thrilled when she wanted to return over and over again.”

"I look forward to working with Ms. Robinson and the Providence Community Library as we preserve the core mission of the former Providence Public Library” said Mayor David N. Cicilline. This work is tremendously important to the residents of Providence and especially our children.”

The executive committee of the Providence Community Library board was especially impressed with Robinson’s leadership style and management strengths. PCL President Marcus Mitchell believes that her “experience in administration, team building and outreach, along with her focus on running a customer centered library, will serve the city of Providence well.”

Ann Robinson will start work next Monday, moving into temporary administrative quarters at South Providence Library. “I commend the dedication and hard work of all those who were determined to safeguard branch library service,” Robinson said. “As Executive Director of the Providence Community Library, I look forward to building on Providence’s tradition of excellent branch library service by working towards the goal of providing easy access to a high quality, responsive, neighborhood library system.

ann robinson deb furia july 2

July 2, 2009


Filed under: 1 — Patricia @ 12:09 pm

The Celebration marking the opening of the Providence Community Library system went surprisingly well on July 1, despite torrential rain, thunder storms and flooding! We had really great turnouts at Smith Hill, Wanskuck, and Olneyville–and HUGE numbers of people partying at Fox Point! Every library sent a book to the next library. The book relay started at Knight Memorial around 2 p.m., with new books passed from one library to the next until the circle was completed back at Knight Memorial five hours later. Mount Pleasant Friends had wonderful food–and Washington Park had great signs! South Providence started out to have a barbeque but changed their plans to serve hot chocolate as the weather got worse. Rochambeau’s oregami workshop was well attended–and many people bought T-shirts, at Rochambeau and elsewhere.

Take a look at some scenes from the Celebration:

July 1, 2009


Filed under: News — Patricia @ 1:12 pm
Our new library website is now live:
By the end of the day, if not before, active phone numbers for all the community libraries will be listed on the LOCATIONS AND HOURS page (the current phone numbers, starting with 455, are no longer active).
Our driver is out looking to buy a delivery vehicle today, so there will be no book deliveries among the PCL libraries.  Books and materials ordered from outside of Providence will be delivered, as usual, by the state delivery driver.
There are undoubtedly going to be a number of glitches for the first few days, so we ask PCL staff and patrons to be patient as we work through these issues.  Meanwhile, we are just glad that all nine libraries are opening today, the day that PPL slated for closing five of our neighborhood libraries.
Please attend our Celebrations today!  See our new website for details.

Create a free website or blog at