Cornucopia of Rhode Island: A Library Community of Color (CORI), begins 2019 as a section of the Rhode Island Library Association. A grass root organization CORI was founded in the fall of 2005 with a mission and goal to serve the library community of color and an objective to promote library services to people of color within Rhode Island and the development of librarians and library staff of color.
CORI meetings has provided a forum that encourages the exchange of ideas and the discussion of issues, problems and concerns of librarians and library staff of color. Members are mentoring librarians and library staff of color and encouraging librarianship as a profession to people of color as well as promoting the development and delivery of multi-cultural collections, services and programs.
Cornucopia aimed to present community conferences on the diverse minority groups in Rhode Island. The first conference held in 2005 was entitled “I is not for Indian” and was a total success as it enlightened the many librarians of the inadequate portrayal of Native Americans in children’s books and literature. This conference was followed by a workshop on the Chinese language and culture; a combined effort with the University of Rhode Island Confucius Institute. In following years CORI’s Fall Conferences as they became known, included the Cape Verdean Community, the Rhode Island Hispanic Community, and the African American Community. A community conversation on Rhode Island students included the president of the American Library Association, Barbara Stripling and United States Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island. Senator Reed, a prominent advocate for libraries and librarians has supported CORI throughout its incorporation.
CORI has also presented at the annual RILA Conference. The very first presentation was Dr. Carla Hayden, past president of ALA, former director of the Enoch Pratt Library and now Librarian of Congress. Other presenters have included former Commissioner Deborah A. Gist, Rhode Island Department of Education, Pamela Goode, an associate editor of American Libraries Association, Keith Stokes, former Executive Director of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation and Attorney Veronica Hobbs, Director of the Domestic Violence Training & Monitoring Unit for the Rhode Island Supreme Court.
CORI is very excited about the next phase of the organization as a section of RILA. The potential benefits for CORI uniting with RILA are many. An excellent example is the organizations would increase the effective advocacy for library services in all Rhode Island libraries and to improve the quality of life of all Rhode Islanders. Why not join us as we continue to better our state.
For additional information on CORI, visit our blog. If you are interested in adding your voice in support, please consider joining us. To join CORI (or renew your membership), please visit the membership page.
First you must join RILA at the membership level that best fits your employment status. If you are a practicing librarian, please select the salary level that best matches your income. Students, retirees, trustees and supporters can join at the $15 level. During the membership process, you will be able to join the CORI Section.
Submitted by Ida D. McGhee, MLIS