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A Section of the Rhode Island Library Association

         The RI Coalition of Library Advocates (COLA) is a grass-roots library support group that seeks to improve the quality of life for Rhode Islanders by supporting libraries of all kinds. Through advocacy, education, and public awareness activities, COLA works to help improve library services throughout the state.

            On January 1, 2019, COLA officially became a section of the Rhode Island Library Association(RILA). COLA members now have full access to the vast array of resources and services that RILA offers to its members. Together RILA and COLA can boost significantly COLA’s efforts in the areas of advocacy, education, and public awareness.

To Contact COLA:

Past Events

“Launching Young Lives: Why Authors Love Libraries”

COLA and Barrington Public Library Co-host Author Panel and Book Signing

      What makes libraries wonderful? At the Barrington Public Library on Saturday, September 21,  a panel was held featuring  award-winning authors, Kara LaReau, Nancy Tupper Ling, and Padma Venkatraman on the subject: “Launching Young Lives: Why Authors Love Libraries.” Moderated by the Lincoln School’s Meagan Lenihan, the event featured a book sale and light refreshments. Funds raised went to COLA for their advocacy efforts.

            Also featured at the sale but unable to attend the panel was local author Linda Crotta Brennan. Brennan’s Climate Change and Air Quality; LaReau’s middle-grade trilogy, The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters; Ling’s The Yin-Yang Sisters and the Dragon Frightful; and Venkatraman’s The Bridge Home feature diverse characters and settings, fiction and non-fiction. Providence's Books on the Square handled book sale. Thanks again to the Barrington Public Library for co-sponsoring this event with us.

        The Rhode Island Library Association (RILA) welcomes the RI Coalition of Library Advocates (COLA) and Cornucopia of Rhode Island (CORI) into our organization as RILA Sections.

L to R: Cheryl McCarthy, COLA; Julie Cerrito, CORI; Sharon Lux, COLA; Kieran Ayton and Julie Holden, RILA

“This connection creates a larger advocacy voice for the Rhode Island Library Community,” says Kieran Ayton, President of RILA. “This will allow us to build opportunities around the state with combined networking activities, programming, and professional development.”

COLA Founder Joan Ress Reeves feted by the Rhode Island Library Association

         On Sunday, October 21, 2018, RILA honored Joan Ress Reeves, longtime library advocate and COLA founding member. Joan received the ALA Distinguished Award from ALA's Washington Office for her tireless efforts advocating on behalf of libraries, both locally and nationally. U.S. Senator Jack Reed presented Joan with her award.  Also pictured is Joan's daughter, Ellen Reeves.

COLA Becomes a Section of RILA

At its May 2018 Annual Meeting at the RI State House, COLA membership voted unanimously to become a section of RILA to preserve COLA’s mission and legacy and continue advocacy for all libraries working together with RILA and our partners in RI. Pictured is COLA Chair Cheryl Ann McCarthy who continued to work with RILA to implement this transition by January 2019.

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