Library Reform Group

October 31, 2009

PCL Staff Holds Halloween Meeting and Brunch

Filed under: 1 — Patricia @ 10:13 pm

On Friday, October 30, the PCL staff assembled at Rochambeau Library to meet, eat, and socialize. The staff meeting was fairly brief: Assistant Director Laura Marlane ran the meeting, as Director Ann Robinson was home with bronchitis. Among other things, Laura told the staff that Stephanie Chausse will be starting a staff Health and Wellness group very soon.

Board Treasurer Linda Kushner thanked the staff for its patience as we worked with National Grid to get the heat turned on at several libraries a couple of weeks ago. As the outside temperature continued to drop, the inside temperature got lower and lower, and the staff attempted to stay warm with space heaters and long underwear. Fortunately, we got the problem resolved within a few days, and we only had to close one library on one day due to the frigid temperatures.

Board Vice-President Patricia Raub reviewed the holiday staffing plans for PCL. In appreciation of the PCL staff’s dedication and hard work in ensuring that the transition from PPL to PCL has gone smoothly, the PCL Executive Committee has decided to give the staff a half-holiday on New Year’s Eve: all libraries will close at 12:30 p.m. that day.

In the midst of the meeting, Mount Pleasant Library’s Children’s Specialist Betty Nunes made a dramatic appearance–as the Cat in the Hat.

After a short question and answer session, everyone made their way to the food tables and filled their plates. Among the offerings was an apple pie with the letters “PCL” cut out in dough and arranged on top. Tom O’Donnell and the Rochambeau Library staff hosted the brunch–and kept the coffee flowing.

Below are a selection of photos taken during the brunch.


GTECH-Donated Computer Lab Opens at Wanskuck Library

Filed under: 1 — Patricia @ 8:50 pm

On Thursday, October 29, GTECH Corporation opened the first of three GTECH After School Advantage computer centers scheduled for PCL libraries this fiscal year. This computer lab was installed at the Wanskuck Library. (The other two computer centers are slated for Fox Point and Mount Pleasant Libraries.)

GTECH’s Senior Vice President Robert K. Vincent was the master of ceremonies for the event, which was also attended by City Council President Peter Mancini and Councilman Nick Narducci, and by the Mayor’s Senior Advisor Leo J. Perrott, who represented the Mayor who was forced to miss the event due to ill health. Leandro Gomes, a Wanskuck patron who was looking forward to using the new computer center, was one of the speakers, and Patricia Raub, vice-president of the PCL Board of Trustees, represented PCL.

Most of the professional-looking photos below were taken by photographer Al Weems. Patricia Raub took the rest of them.

October 3, 2009

Laura Marlane Joins PCL Administration

Filed under: 1 — Patricia @ 7:05 pm

Laura Marlane, former Director of the Central Falls Free Public Library , president of the Rhode Island Library Association, and past president of Ocean State Libraries, accepted our invitation to become PCL’s first Deputy Director and started work on September 21st.

We are particularly pleased that Laura has a strong background in library cataloging and computer services, as well as in library reference services, and we are delighted to welcome Laura to the PCL administrative team.

laura marlane

Developments at Knight Memorial Library

Filed under: 1 — Patricia @ 6:46 pm

Over the past month or so, there have been a lot of developments at Knight Memorial Library.

The library staff is up to its full complement, under the leadership of Adam Misturado and with the able assistance of Craig Kaspark and Maria Cotto, Adult and Children’s librarians, respectively, and Melissa Rivera, Knight’s Children’s Specialist. Behind the circulation desk, you will find Christine Williams and also Rose Stetson, Yiry Pereyra, Cheri Melvin and Karina Veras (you will recognize all of them by their friendly smiles!).

Below the main library level, the PCL maintenance staff has been hard at work preparing work spaces for the IT staff (David Sok, our computer support specialist par excellence, and Stephanie Chausse, PCL’s very capable web designer). Sharing their office in what was once Knight Memorial’s Children’s Room (with its elaborate tiled fireplace) is Mike Nickerson, our head maintenance worker. Just down the hall, the PCL driver Luis Garcia sorts books for delivery to the neighborhood libraries, and Mike, Moses Lilly and Frank Grinchell have just finished up constructing the maintenance department’s workshop.

Behind the building sits our new maintenance truck (when it’s not in use), as well as Luis’ delivery truck.

September 16, 2009

PCL Library Staff Selects Pro-Jo Donated Books

Filed under: 1 — Patricia @ 12:39 pm

The Providence Journal generously donated a year’s supply of review books to Providence Community Library, and librarians from all nine neighborhood libraries assembled at Wanskuck to divide the spoils.  Thanks to the Providence Journal for its very welcome gift!


Tech Services Staff Moves into New Quarters

Filed under: 1 — Patricia @ 12:31 pm

In August, the PCL Tech services staff reported for duty and moved into their temporary office space at 220 Manton Avenue in Olneyville.  Working in Olneyville Tech are Doug Hinman, Deb Furia, Barbara Reddington, Donna Pettigrew, and Cynthia Reed.  After years of laboring in a windowless office in Central, they are delighted to have large street-view windows in their new home.

Their desks are assembled, the cartons of unprocessed books and DVDs have been delivered, and they are making steady progress at getting the new materials out to the libraries for distribution to patrons. 

Note the BOOK TRUCK donated by Salve Regina!  Brown University has also donated a book truck, too.

August 14, 2009

PCL Volunteers Sell T-Shirts and Assemble Desks

Filed under: 1 — Patricia @ 3:50 pm

T-Shirt Sales

On Saturday, August 1, PCL Friends Group members sold T-shirts at the Farmers’ Market and shared information about the transfer of the PPL branches to Providence Community Library. Representatives from Knight Memorial, South Providence, Smith Hill and Olneyville Friends demonstrated their sales skills. Rochambeau Friends provided tables, chairs and backup supplies of T-shirts. By the end of the morning, we had made nearly $250.

We will be returning to the Farmers’ Market on Saturday, September 12, so stop by and buy at T-shirt, if you haven’t already done so. The market is located at the intersection of Hope Street and Blackstone Blvd. It starts at 9:30 and ends at 12:30.

Desk Assembly

Also, on August 1, a group of hard-working volunteers joined PCL Maintenance Head Mike Nickerson to assemble five desks for PCL’s Technical Services staff–in time for the opening of the Olneyville Technical Services office on Monday, August 3. Each desk had what seemed like 10,000 separate pieces. Putting the desks together was like assembling a jig-saw puzzle–only heavier. Work continued from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. but at the end five very handsome desks were ready for occupancy.

August 7, 2009

PCL Staff and Board Hold 1st Brunch/Meeting

Filed under: 1 — Patricia @ 6:42 pm

The PCL staff and several members of the PCL Board of Trustees met for a potluck brunch at Mt. Pleasant Library on Friday, August 7.  Executive Director Ann Robinson updated the staff on a number of library developments–and then everyone enjoyed an extensive brunch and the opportunity to socialize with colleagues from other libraries.

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

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