HOW LIBRARIES CHANGE LIVES - J. Clement “Bud” Cicilline is one of the pioneers in mental health, and a story in the Newport Daily News Feb. 25, 2013, explained how libraries helped him decide on a career that now has touched thousands of lives. Cicilline will retire this year as the longtime president of the Newport County Community Mental Health Center, where he’s been part of the revolution in treatment of mental illness. The uncle of U.S. Rep. David N. Cicilline, Bud Cicilline helped end large-scale warehousing of the mentally ill in hospitals by providing local, outpatient care, as he oversaw the evolution of the Newport County center.
But it wasn’t a foregone conclusion he’d go into the field.
Joe Baker wrote in the Daily News that in his student years, Cicilline went to Florida after a lackluster freshman year at Providence College, working as a laborer and waiter. But he also frequented a local library. Baker wrote:
There he discovered Sigmund Freud and the field of psychology. And so, having taken, as Frost said, “the road less traveled by,” Cicilline discovered something that has “made all the difference” in his life.
Here’s the link to the story:
CHALLENGES FACED BY R.I. LIBRARIES
Ellen Liberman has written an excellent overview in Rhode Island Monthly’s March edition about the fiscal pressures facing Rhode Island libraries and the efforts of library advocates to keep them going.
Liberman recounts the shocking closing of the Central Falls library when that city went into receivership in 2011, and the reopening made possible by donations, including those of actors Alec Baldwin and Viola Davis, along with the determined efforts of scores of volunteers.
She notes the closing of two branches of the East Providence library last year, and the desperate steps the Providence Community Library took in the face of an unexpected cut by the financially-strapped city, with unionized workers foregoing a year’s worth pension contributions.
The column notes the state of Rhode Island’s relatively generous program that provides millions in operating grants to local libraries, as well as support for building projects, and the continued support of the Champlin Foundations to local libraries.
Liberman also notes the founding of the Rhode Island Library Report as an effort to focus public attention and support on the state’s libraries, quoting one of our staffers as saying that “the library is the last doorway to knowledge for people who don’t have resources.”
The March edition is on newsstands, and the magazine’s Website is at this link:
THE “HUMAN LIBRARY,” R.I. EDITION
The “Human Library” is an international program to promote better understanding between people often from very different backgrounds and life experiences, and Andy Smith covered the Rhode Island inaugural event in the March 4, 2013 story in the Providence Journal.
Held at the Rochambeau Library in Providence, the event featured 39 people who offered themselves as “human books” that patrons could sit with one-on-one to discuss their life experiences on a personal level.
The event was sponsored by the Providence Community Library, of which the Rochambeau is part, and the East Providence Public and Barrington Public libraries. More than a hundred “readers” showed up to select the “books” from a catalogue listing their backgrounds.
The participants included a cancer survivor, someone who promotes eating of insects, a formerly homeless person, public officials, and Gambian journalist who left Africa to avoid imprisonment, a poet and gay parents.
The Journal’s articles are accessible to patrons of Rhode Island libraries in their print and electronic editions.