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A Section of the Rhode Island Library Association

Dr. Fredric G. ReamerCOLA Annual Meeting

Tuesday, April 6 at 6:30 PM

via Zoom-- Click to Register


Our guest speaker is Frederic G. Reamer. Dr. Reamer is the host of This I Believe New England on The Public’s Radio where he shares stories of New Englanders.

 Dr. Reamer is Professor in the graduate program of the School of Social Work, Rhode Island College, where he has been on the faculty since 1983. His research and teaching have addressed a wide range of human service issues, including mental health, health care, criminal justice, public welfare, and professional ethics. Dr. Reamer received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago (1978) and has served as a social worker in correctional and mental health settings.  

We will present our Sweetheart of the Year (2021) award to Karen Mellor, Chief of Library Services for OLIS (RI Office of Library Information Systems). As Rhode Island’s Chief of Library Services since 2013, Karen has long been a trusted advisor, ally, and collaborator of COLA as well as the state’s library community as a whole. Since the pandemic struck she has worked heroically to coordinate CARES Act grants for library expenses and support librarians in adapting to the year’s challenges with everything from policy development to the creation of virtual services.

During the meeting we will award two scholarships, as we do annually to students at URI’s Graduate School of Library and Information Studies (GSLIS) whose academic records and professional engagement promise future contributions to library work in the state. This year’s Linda Aldrich Award, for school library work, goes to Elena Hughes. The William Bergeron Award, for public library services, goes to Christina Swiszcz. 


The COLA Annual Meeting will take place during National Library Week -- April 4-10, 2021 so let's celebrate!

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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