2024 Legislative Agenda

Funding & Support

RILA urges Governor McKee and the General Assembly to pass the FY25 budget with full funding for libraries and AskRI at the 25% state level prescribed by the RI General Laws.

→ This funding is critical for our public libraries, and was achieved in the FY23 & FY24 state budgets.

Protection of the Freedom to Read

In Rhode Island's obscenity and harmful to minors laws, there is no stated protection for library workers, educators, and museum professionals. All of the other New England states have these protections codified into law.

Across the nation, with increasing frequency, librarians and educators have been subject to criminal prosecution for teaching about health and sexuality and/or circulating books with information about sex, or containing sexual or LGBTQ themes. Efforts to criminalize these normal practices of education and librarianship have included the introduction of legislation and criminal complaints to law enforcement. We will remain steadfast in our defense of intellectual freedom and the freedom to read.

→ RILA advocates to codify legal protections & the Freedom to Read into state law.


RILA advocates for fair access and pricing for digital content to libraries. Currently, libraries face many barriers to meet the ebook needs of Rhode Islanders:

  • Some publishers do not allow libraries to purchase licenses to some or all of their digital works.
  • Many major publishers set library pricing as much as 6 times (or more) the cost to consumers for ebooks. (Note that libraries often purchase print books at a discount from consumer prices.)
  • Increasingly, publishers license ebooks to libraries that expire after one or two years, forcing libraries to repurchase ebooks to sustain access and further inflating the actual costs for an individual ebook.
  • Repurchasing ebooks requires constant monitoring and analysis of both patron demand and shrinking budgets, leading to an unnecessarily complicated workflow for library staff - diverting time and energy from more important services to library patrons.
  • Some publishers embargo new ebooks, disallowing library purchasing for several months.
  • These barriers hit hardest on those who face technology, accessibility, or financial challenges, inflaming the digital divide.

→ RILA calls for legislation that requires reasonable pricing & terms for all licensed digital ebooks and audiobooks that are sold to libraries in Rhode Island.

"Rhode Island Library Association" is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Rhode Island Library Association, P.O. Box 6765, Providence, RI 02940

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software