Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Cornucopia of Rhode Island (CORI): A Library Community of Color and Section of the Rhode Island Library Association, presented its annual fall mini conference, "A Look Back As We Move Forward." on November 4, 2020 via Zoom. Over 60 librarians, library directors, and library staff throughout the Northeast registered for the 2-hour conference.
Tracie D. Hall, Executive Director, American Library Association (image right) was the featured speaker. Tracie suggested that Rhode Island library directors to be creative and financially support library students of color as they pursue their Master’s degree, as the University of Rhode Island no longer has a grant for the Prism Program. Tracie discussed in detail Race, Redlining and Resistance: Libraries Making of the Next Civil Rights Movement. She stated that as librarians we could have a passive or proactive attitude toward red lining, as she highlighted today’s information poverty with various examples. Ms. Hall stated that she believes “information access is a public health issue” and that library services must exist beyond library buildings. Tracie was passionate about universal broadband and the privileged majority, indicating that this is a case of urgency.
Keith Stokes, Vice President of the 1696 Heritage Group, moderated the conference. Mr. Stokes is a lecturer with expertise in early African and Jewish American history and frequently appears on national historical programs.
Karen Mellor, Chief of Library Services for Rhode Island's Office of Library & Information Services, acknowledged the many contributions of Cornucopia to the RI library community as she welcomed Tracie to Rhode Island.
CORI would like to thank everyone who attended this year’s annual fall mini conference during these challenging days. A special thank you to Julie Holden, President of RILA, and Dymond Bush, 2020-2021 American Library Association Spectrum Scholar, for their assistance and technical skills.
For additional information about CORI, visit their blog: http://cornucopiaofri.blogspot.com/