Library Reform Group

December 23, 2009

Santa Comes Early to Smith Hill Library

Filed under: 1 — Patricia @ 11:26 pm

The Smith Hill Friends held its annual holiday bazaar on Saturday, December 5, with baked goods for sale, a holiday raffle, craft activities–and a visit from Santa. Here are some photos of the event, including a picture of Santa in action.


November 16, 2009

Knight Memorial Holds Open House

Filed under: 1 — Patricia @ 4:49 pm

On Saturday, November 14, the Open House sponsored by the Knight Memorial Friends of the Library drew a crowd, despite heavy wind and rain. Members of the Library Friends furnished a wide variety of foods, including a number of delicious desserts, and there was a crowd assembled all afternoon around the refreshment tables.

Knight Memorial Library took full advantage of its many separate rooms on two floors to offer over a dozen separate events. While some library patrons, as usual, looked for books, did homework, and used the computers, others practiced line dancing, listened to chamber music and poetry by performers from AUREA–or music by guitarist Art Toegemann, painted ceramics, engaged in craft making, bought a PCL T-shirt, visited the Anti-Tobacco table, read the asthma literature, had their blood pressure checked, watched a slide show of historic photos of the Knight Memorial Library, viewed a video on KML today produced by KML Friend Daniel Leone, played chess, or just visited with one another and with the Knight Memorial Library staff. RISD professor Jim Barnes strolled through the library with the RISD students (Ming-Yi Wong, Kevin Crace, and Lilli Avenia) who are preparing an architectural report on the Knight Memorial Library building.

It is hard to believe that the KML’s Friends group is only six months old!

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.

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.

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