About OLIS


The Office of Library and Information Services strengthens, connects and empowers libraries to advance knowledge, connect communities and enrich the lives of all Rhode Islanders.

The mission of the Office of Library and Information Services (OLIS) is based on the fundamental vision that Rhode Island libraries inspire and transform lives. OLIS provides services and programs for all types of libraries, including public, academic, school and special libraries. These services support and strengthen library and information services in the state to ensure that all Rhode Islanders have free and convenient access to library and information resources and services.

About the Office of Library and Information Services

OLIS is the state library agency for Rhode Island. It is responsible for developing a statewide plan for library development, interlibrary cooperation, and resource sharing to serve the library and information needs of all Rhode Islanders. In addition, the agency participates in planning and providing access to online government information for state agencies and the public. The agency directly serves the public through the Talking Books Library, the Statewide Reference Resource Center (AskRI), and online directories to Rhode Island government and library services.

OLIS has the statutory authority and responsibility to administer state and federal funding to develop programs that support and advance library services in the state. It is part of the Executive Branch of state government located in the Department of Administration, Enterprise Technology Systems and Support, and operates under the direction of the Chief of Library Services. OLIS works with the Library Board of Rhode Island to establish priorities and policies to carry out its mission.

The Library of Rhode Island (LORI) is the Rhode Island Library network, a virtual library consisting of the collected resources and services available from all Rhode Island libraries. The physical network is coordinated and administered by OLIS.

OLIS Goals and Objectives

The Five-Year State Plan establishes the strategic direction of OLIS programs. The Plan addresses specifically the priorities established by the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) but encompasses both federal and state statutory objectives.

The Five-Year Plan establishes three goals:

  1. Access: provide access to library materials and information resources for all Rhode Islanders through physical and virtual spaces.
  2. Learning: support the continuing education of librarians, library staff and trustees and the development of statewide programming for libraries.
  3. Engagement: empower libraries to be incubators for economic, educational and cultural development and community discourse.

The Framework for OLIS' 2018‐2022 Comprehensive Strategic Plan outlines all OLIS programs. The LSTA Five-Year State Plan includes a comprehensive assessment of library and information needs in the state and OLIS' statewide plan to address those needs. The plan is executed through various Services and Programs offered by OLIS.