2019 Library of Rhode Island Grant Awards

IMLS logoOLIS awarded 15 LORI Grants through the 2019 LORI Grant Program; the total amount of the grants is slightly over $192,000. LORI Grants are supported through the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and funded through the IMLS Grants to States program under the Library Services and Technology Act.  The 2019 LSTA sub-grants are for the period of April 2, 2019 through August 31, 2019.


Adams Public Library

Located in: City of Central Falls

Project Title: A Universe of Ideas
Grant Award: $5,519.00
Contact: Diana Carvalho, Assistant Director/Youth Services Librarian

This project will offer bi-lingual programs to school age children to promote interest in a variety of topics and stem summer learning loss in a low-income community which suffers from low test scores. The library will offer eight programs focused on: coding, mythology/folklore, languages, math, writing, science and cooking, filmmaking, and archaeology. Kits to accompany each program will include analog games, blank books and art supplies for children to create their own books, word games, cooking ingredients, and thought exercises. The library will add a variety of timely, nonfiction books based on the program topics to its collections.

Pawtucket Public Library

Located in: City of Pawtucket

Project Title: Pawtucket Times Newspaper Digitization Project
Grant Award: $49,775.00
Contact: Tim McDuff, Technical Services Preservation Librarian

The library will digitize microfilm copies of The Pawtucket Times newspaper published between 1902 and 1947 to make them available and searchable online. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) will be included in the digital product to facilitate searching and make more precise discovery possible for users. Newspaper coverage encompasses Rhode Island cities and towns surrounding Pawtucket, including East Providence, Cumberland, and Lincoln, and includes many villages in the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor. Online access to the newspaper will make local history of this historic region broadly available to researchers.

Rhode Island Center for the Book

The Center for the Book is a statewide program supporting reading for all ages

Project Title: Reading Across Rhode Island and Kids Reading Across Rhode Island
Grant Award: $15,000.00
Contact: Kate Lentz, Executive Director

The Center for the Book will use grant funds for activities that are part of its Reading Across Rhode Island and Kids Reading Across Rhode Island programs, including the development of resource guides for Reading Across Rhode Island, books and materials for Kids Reading Across Rhode Island, and expenses related to author and educational events for both programs. The Center for the Book works in partnership with OLIS.

Rhode Island Library Information Network for Kids (RILINK)

RILINK is the statewide library consortium for school libraries

Project Title: Read – Feed Your Mind and Your Heart
Grant Award: $11,950.00
Contact: Dorothy Frechette, Executive Director

RILINK will provide access to ebooks with read-aloud functionality and digital audio books for K-12 students who have limited reading skills or are reluctant readers. Students who have difficulty reading but do not qualify for materials and services for the blind and physically handicapped will also benefit from access to read-aloud and digital audio books. The books can be read, shared and discussed by students with teachers, caregivers and others through classroom connections and community or family activities. Books in these formats will give students the opportunity to expand their horizons as well as their reading skills.

Rhode Island State Library

Located in: City of Providence

Project Title: The Legislator Index Digitization Pilot Project
Grant Award: $10,215.00
Contact: Megan Hamlin-Black, State Librarian

The State Library, Rhode Island’s legislative library, will digitize its Legislator Index to facilitate access to primary source records currently available only on index cards. The 4600 index cards contain information about every legislator that served in the RI Senate and House between 1872 and 1989. The digitized collection will be searchable online and facilitate answers to reference inquiries from genealogists, legislative attorneys, legislative support staff, students and the public.

West Warwick Public Library

Located in: City of West Warwick

Project Title: Tabletop Role Playing Games and Game Master Outreach
Grant Award: $6,000.00
Contact: Amber Bliss, Reference Librarian

The project will transform the library into a creative space by engaging a diverse population of adults and teens in imaginative and collaborative social events centered around role playing games. The gaming program will be promoted citywide to reach a broad range of participants. The library will purchase games, rule books other gaming accessories. At the end of the project period, gaming materials will be available for circulation in other Rhode Island libraries.

Studio Rhode Grants

Cranston Public Library

Located in: City of Cranston

Project Title: The "V" Lab
Grant Award: $10,000.00
Contact: Corrie Alves, Coordinator of Technology

The V Lab project will introduce virtual and augmented reality to library patrons through targeted programming for adults, seniors, and teens. Using Google Expedition Kits and other virtual reality equipment, library patrons will explore new virtual worlds and engage in exciting learning environments during five public programs.

East Greenwich High School Library

Located in: Town of East Greenwich

Project Title: High School Library Media Production Lab
Grant Award: $9,250.00
Contact: Michelle Steever, Teacher Librarian

The grant will be used to convert the existing High School Library office into a multimedia production studio to provide access to high-quality recording equipment and editing software for students and teachers to create podcasts and video recordings for distribution to school, local and state communities. Classroom and community projects that students complete will provide opportunities for multigenerational and inclusive learning. Students who create podcasts and videos will increase their knowledge and skills in media, digital, technology and information literacies, while continuing to develop foundational literacy practices of writing, reading and speaking.

North Providence Union Free Public Library

Located in: City of North Providence

Project Title: Blast Off with 3D Pen Creativity
Grant Award: $7,912.00
Contact: Jenny Durant, Head of Youth Services

The library will use 3D pens and supporting materials to teach Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) skills to children and families, and tween and teen youth. The library will enhance opportunities for North Providence youth through educational development and to promote community learning and engagement in a transformative manner. This project will enhance the library’ summer reading program by teaching youth to use 3D pens to create models of real-life technology which is currently used in outer space.

Providence Community Library

Located in: City of Providence

Project Title: Every Place Makerspace
Grant Award: $45,300.00
Contact: David Sok, Information Technology Manager

“Every Place Makerspace” brings PVD Young Makers, the library’s makerspace initiative, outside of the physical library and into neighborhood schools, recreation centers, parks, and community organizations. A mobile makerspace will be equipped with technology and STEM learning tools to set up outdoor makerspaces and/or deliver program kits for use by community partners. Youth and adults will participate in workshops and studio time to learn how to code, sew, design, create, build, use vinyl cutters, poster printers, 3D printers, 360 cameras, robots, and assorted tools and materials to bring their ideas to life.

Woonsocket Harris Public Library

Located in: City of Woonsocket

Project Title: Library on the Move-The Next Chapter
Grant Award: $14,000.00
Contact: Margaret McNulty, Assistant Director
Project Partner: Woonsocket Division of Parks and Recreation

The “Library on the Move” project builds on the success of the library’s 2017 Studio Rhode project by creating a technology bike and going into community gathering spaces to increase awareness of and access to library services and materials. Collaborating with the City’s Parks Department, the library will hold ten “Library in the Park” events and leverage technology in an innovative way to foster connections and provide engagement and learning across age and ability spectrums. Traveling beyond the library walls will allow opportunities for cultivating community connections with culturally diverse neighbors who may not understand or be aware of all the library has to offer. The library will purchase a three-wheeled technology bike and equip it with mobile hot spots, 3D pens and filament, a lap top computer, library card registration capability, culturally diverse books for all ages and other materials to foster learning.

Learning Grants

Davisville Free Library

Located in: Town of North Kingstown

Project Title: Think Tank Collaboration
Grant Award: $2,000.00
Contact: Amanda Chapman, Library Director
Project Partner: North Kingstown School Department, Office of Family Learning

The library will partner with the North Kingstown School Department’s Think Tank program to mitigate summer learning loss by bringing 1st and 2nd grade children to the library weekly for educational programming, book selection, and participation in the summer reading program. Parents in nearby supportive housing will be invited to join their children at the library and to join in the activities.

Greenville Public Library

Located in: Town of Smithfield

Project Title: Summer Learning Lab
Grant Award: $2,000.00
Contacts: Babs Wells and Rhonda Hevenor, Children and Young Adult Department Heads

The goal of the Summer Learning Lab is to diminish summer learning loss for children in grades 2-8 by engaging teens in grades 8-12 as tutors. Caregivers will apply to enroll children as students and determine the subject areas for which children need tutoring. The opportunity is open to youth in Smithfield and surrounding communities. Young adults will learn career development skills by applying for and being interviewed before being offered positions as tutors. Tutors will receive required volunteer hours for community service programs. iPads and apps as well as other tools will be purchased to facilitate tutoring and learning.

Tiverton Public Library

Located in: Town of Tiverton

Project Title: Reach for the Stars
Grant Award: $2,000.00
Contact: Meg Paquette, Children’s Librarian

Reach for the Stars focuses on providing Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) based enrichment opportunities on a family-friendly schedule. Through a variety of services and programs, library staff will provide educational displays and circulate STEM-based kits for families with children ages 5-10 in order to engage in playful learning while observing the beauty of the universe. The project supports A Universe of Stories, the theme of the 2019 Rhode Island Summer Reading program.

West Warwick Public Library

Located in: City of West Warwick

Project Title: Discover West Warwick
Grant Award: $2,000.00
Contact: Rashaa Al-Sasah, Teen Services Librarian

Youth ages 14-18 from West Warwick will take part in a 5-week career exploration project in conjunction with the Comprehensive Community Action Program. The project will teach 21st-century skills as teens explore career pathways and interests. Youth will create a multimedia project highlighting the arts, culture and history of West Warwick.