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About Us

Mission

The Office of Library and Information Services makes Rhode Island libraries of all kinds more effective so that the people of Rhode Island can have the best possible library services.

About the Office of Library and Information Services

The Office of Library and Information Services (OLIS) is the state library agency for Rhode Island. OLIS supports and strengthens library and information services in the state to ensure that all residents will benefit from free and convenient access to library and information resources and services. In addition, OLIS participates in planning and providing access to online government information for state agencies and the public.

OLIS has the statutory authority and responsibility to administer state and federal funding and to coordinate and support programs for libraries of all types. It is part of the Executive Branch of state government located in the Department of Administration 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 Objectives

The LSTA Five-Year Plan establishes both the general direction and specific objectives for this program. The LSTA Plan addresses specifically the priorities established by the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) but encompasses both federal and state legislative objectives. The LSTA Plan was approved by the Library Board of Rhode Island in 2012 and is updated annually.

Under the LSTA Five-Year Plan, OLIS is charged to:

  • Oversee the development and administration of state laws concerning or relating to libraries
  • Develop, administer, and promulgate state regulations and standards relating to libraries
  • Administer state aid for public libraries
  • Administer federal funding for RI libraries, including funding for statewide library programs sponsored by OLIS and funding received by those libraries that qualify for and are awarded LSTA federal subgrants
  • Administer Gates Foundation and other grants for the benefit of RI libraries
  • Submit annual reports and five-year plans to the Institute of Museum and Library Services
  • Collect, compile, and manage public library statistics for the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Library Statistics Program
  • Serve in an ex officio capacity as a permanent member of the Steering Committee of the Ocean State Libraries (OSL) for public libraries
  • Interpret regulations and provides professional and technical support services to Rhode Island libraries

In addition to the LSTA Plan, OLIS services, activities and programs are guided by the complementary OLIS Framework for Action [pdf].

OLIS Services

OLIS provides professional and technical support services for all types of Rhode Island libraries and their staff, and public library trustees. Areas of support include:

OLIS Programs

OLIS Libraries