Chafee "Level-funds" Libraries - Again
It’s a glass-half-full situation, if you’re the cheerful sort and appreciate the fact that the state hasn’t slashed library spending during the recession.
Or it’s glass-half-empty, if you’re grumpy and a library official having to continually provide the same services with the same money, minus inflation.
Overall, the governor proposes spending $11.1 million: $7.8 million to supplement local library budgets; $2.3 million for library construction; and $1 million for the Statewide Reference Resources Center, which includes the askRI.org information service, operated by the Providence Community Library.
While state support has been frozen for a number of years, it’s at a relatively high level, nationally. Rhode Island is the envy of many other states, which are stingy when it comes to support for their libraries.
The state Office of Library and Information Services has a local aid summary on its Website.
New Director for Providence Public Library
H. Jack Martin, a former official of the New York Public Library, this month takes over as executive director of the Providence Public Library, replacing the retiring Dale Thompson, who held the post for 25 years.
Martin, in an interview with the Providence Journal’s Karen Lee Ziner last December, says he wants library patrons, staff and city residents involved in a new strategic planning process. Thompson, meanwhile, told Ziner she and her husband have sold their house in Providence and will travel the country for the next few years in an Air-Stream trailer.
Martin’s most recent post was as associate director of the Online Leadership Program for Global Kids Inc., a New York not-for-profit organization. He worked 11 years with the New York Public Library system, including a post as assistant director for public programs and lifelong learning.
An immediate past president of the Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association, he’s a graduate of the University of Georgia and has a master’s degree in library and information science from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.
Read Karen Ziner’s story at the Journal Website; and the PPL news release at its Website.
PLC Running New Pre-kindergarten Program
The program is financed with a $250,000 grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services and will allow the multi-library system to partner with the Providence Plan’s “Ready to Learn” school readiness program.
Four-hundred 400 children and their families are to be involved during the two-year program.
During the spring and summer, the program will bring the children and their parents and other caregivers twice a month to the PCL libraries; the children will be issued library cards, and participate in activities to boost skill levels. Families will be able to borrow “literacy kits” that include books and games.
AmeriCorps workers will help with the program, which also involves the Rhode Island Family Literacy Initiative.
According to a newsletter from the Friends of Rochambeau Library, one of the PCL’s libraries, the Providence school department estimates that “fully half of incoming Providence kindergarten students lack any structured early learning education experience.”
Read the PCL’s news release.