Library Reform Group

November 15, 2009

Senator Whitehouse Visits PCL Libraries

Filed under: 1 — Patricia @ 7:52 pm

We are delighted to report that Senator Shelton Whitehouse visited two of PCL’s community libraries on Thursday, November 12.

He began his visit at Smith Hill Library, where, guided around the main library floor by librarian Alan Gunther, he met and talked with the many children and some adults checking out books, lining up for the computers and interacting freely to one another around tables of games and books. In the community room downstairs, Children’s Specialist Jennifer Romans was conducting a PASA class – “Read and Rap”–where the kids took turns reading poems. Pressured to recite a poem himself, Senator Whitehouse rose to the occasion and did so!

The Senator remarked to PCL Trustee Linda Kushner that he was really impressed with the vitality of Smith Hill. “Those children own that place; they are so at home,” he remarked. “They weren’t at all disturbed by us adults being there.” The kids may have been slightly nonplussed at having several adults visiting their class, but they were really impressed when the Senator joined in with a poem of his own. What a great experience for those children and for the Senator!

Sen. Whitehouse then went South Providence Library, where he had the opportunity to see a busy renovated library that is in excellent physical condition. Since Smith Hill and South Providence were both built in the early 1930s, the physical differences between the two buildings and the urgent repair needs of Smith Hill were clear to the Senator.

At South Providence Library the Senator met PCL Executive Director Ann Robinson and the administrative staff of PCL. He toured the PCL administrative office, the small computer laboratory in the basement of South Providence where 5 of our 6 administrators are now camped. We hope to move our administrative offices to a more suitable location as soon as we can and return this space to South Providence to have for patrons’ computer use.

It’s great that Senator Whitehouse had the opportunity to see how important our neighborhood libraries are to Providence communities, and we thank him for taking the time to visit us.

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