News - RILINK at 151!

(Winter 2012)  RILINK welcomes five new members - four Smithfield elementary schools (McCabe, LaPerche, Old County Road and Winsor) plus the Gallagher Middle School.

(May 2011)  Captain Isaac Paine School in Foster is joining RILINK as part of its recovery efforts from a devastating roof collapse at the school due to heavy snow earlier this winter. Using their online RICAT site an inventory of the collection will be completed, and replacement books can be added to the collection as they are received so that the catalog will be ready when the school reopens.

(April 2011)  Seven Cumberland schools, five East Providence elementary schools, and Jenks Jr. High School/Jacqueline M. Walsh School for the Performing & Visual Arts (Pawtucket)  are joining RILINK.  Community School, McCourt Middle School, and North Cumberland Middle School, which were using Follett standalone systems, are online with RICAT/Follett Destiny.  Data conversion has been completed at Francis Elementary School in East Providence, with data conversion projects underway at Kent Heights, Silver Spring, Whiteknact, and Jenks/Walsh.  Data conversion projects for four elementary schools are scheduled for this summer at Ashton, Garvin and Norton elementary schools in Cumberland and at Waddington School in East Providence.  Cumberland High School will move from their Follett standalone to RICAT in May.  Eight of these new members are funded by the federal Library Services and Technology grant funds that the RI Office of Library and Information Services awarded to RILINK.

(April 2011)  Follett Software Company has added OneSearch to the basic Destiny Library Manager software.  RILINK has sent out detailed instructions to our members regarding how to set up links to online sources through each catalog, including the state-funded resources available through  To see how this works, go to the Portsmouth High School library site, click on the Catalog tab, type "tsunami" in the Find box, and then click on [Enter] on your keyboard.  The resulting page shows the items in the library related to this topic.  Then click on OneSearch, and you will see items found in World Book that match this topic.  Click on Show to see the results, and then click on an article to display it. The world of information at your fingertips !  (Notes:  Many more online databases are available.  The Pop-up blocker in your browser must be turned off to see the articles.)

(February 2011) Hoxsie School in Warwick is now online with RICAT, and conversion of all of the Warwick elementary schools to Follett Destiny is complete.

(December 2010) Five more Warwick elementary schools online in time for the holidays - Holden, Holliman, Norwood, Robertson, and Wyman !

(November 2010) RILINK has received a $35,000 federal Library Services and Technology grant through the RI Office of Library and Information Services to add ten new elementary schools to RILINK/RICAT.

(November 2010) We are in the process of adding all 16 of the elementary schools in Warwick to RICAT, and are pleased to announce that Lippitt, Park, Cedar Hill, Greenwood, Wickes, Scott,  Francis, Sherman, Oakland Beach and Warwick Neck schools are now online!

(September 2010) Welcome to RILINK member number 118, Peace Dale Elementary School, the newest addition to RICAT !

(September 2010) Welcome to our new Professional Development/Technology Support Specialist, Sharon Webster!   In order to foster collaboration with classroom teachers and explore possbilities for school libraries with technology and grant funding, RILINK has added a second new person to our part-time staff.  Sharon is a retired English teacher with many years at Narragansett High School as the Chair of the Department, Literacy Coach and Graduation Portfolion Coordinator.  Most recently, Sharon served as Educational Consultant & Helpdesk Analyst for RINET, troubleshooting technology for the Rhode Island Electronic Portfolion System as well as training and helping users with e-portfolio software. A RITTI trainer, Sharon has considerable experience integrating technology into the classroom setting. (Click here to see her resume.) You can reach Sharon by email at

(August 2010) Welcome to our new Member Services Librarian, Zach Berger!  Zach's most recent school library media work was for the Westerly School Department, first in the high school and then at libraries throughout the district.  He has experience with Destiny, and is tech savvy, especially with new technologies and Web 2.0.  Budgets, finances, and books are also strengths.  Zach has worked with online databases as well as software for differentiated instruction and building electronic portfolios.  He speaks both PC and MAC.  A graduate of URI's school library masters degree program, Zach has been active with state, regional, and national professional organizations.  (Click here to see his resume.)  You can reach Zach by email at

(August 2010) Narragansett Pier School joins our middle school RILINK member ranks as school library catalog # 117 in RICAT. 

(June 2010) Sadly, Elmhurst School in Portsmouth is closing, and we are losing a RILINK member.  New to RILINK this month is San Miguel School, bringing us to a total of 116 members !

(Spring 2010) Library Services and Technology Act funds through the Office of Library and Information Services make it possible to add new libraries, including all of the Westerly Public Schools - Bradford Elementary School, Dunn's Corners School, Springbrook Elementary School, State Street School, Westerly Middle School, and Westerly High School.  Three middle schools also join RILINK and RICAT - Martin and Riverside middle schools in East Providence, and Ferri Middle School in Johnston.

(March 2010) Welcome to three new members, all high schools in Warwick - Pilgrim, Toll Gate, and Warwick Veterans !

(September 2009) St. Raphael Academy joins RILINK as its newest member !

(August 2009)  More new members !  Welcome to three elementary school libraries in Tiverton - Fort Barton, Pocasset, and Ranger, and to four school libraries in Portsmouth - Elmhurst School, Howard Hathaway School,  Melville Elementary School, and  Portsmouth Middle School.  This brings the total to 101 members, all scheduled to be online with our shared Follett/Destiny system by September.  (Note:  This new total takes into account that one school, Middletown High School, has left RILINK, three schools have closed, and one former RILINK member no longer has a library.)

(May 2009)  Welcome to Cumberland Hill School! RILINK converted the library's collection over the summer using the cataloging resources available through the Destiny RICAT database, Follett Alliance Plus, and other catalogs available through the Destiny Z39.50 interface.  Update:  retrospective conversion was completed over the summer, and the library is now circulating online !

(April 2009)   RILINK welcomes new members Tiverton High School (already online with RICAT) and Saint Raphael Academy, which is planning to go online with RICAT this summer.

(August 2008)   RILINK received a $5,000 grant from the Rhode Island Foundation to provide relevant, valuable and accessible information resources to students who are reading below grade level and to students whose first language is not English.   With this grant and funds from its own operating budget, RILINK is participating in a collaborative effort to make these resources available statewide, to everyone who needs them, adults included.  Working with the Office of Library and Information Services, the Statewide Reference Resource Center at the Providence Public Library, Ocean State Libraries, the Higher Education Library Network, WorldBook Online's Discover resource is now available on the web at (scroll to the bottom of the page to find the link to Discover), to anyone in Rhode Island - at their home, school, or local library.  No username or password needed!  Discover offers reference articles, text-to-speech capabilities, learning and life skills activities, research tools, multimedia, and interactive video.

(June 2008)   RILINK chose Barbara Ashby, who is retiring as a School Library Media Specialist at the George J. West School in Providence, as its new Member Services Librarian.  Barbara is a strong advocate for school libraries both locally in Providence and statewide through her participation in RIEMA. She has experience working with Follett Destiny as an administrator, and has counseled and trained other Providence librarians in using Destiny. Barbara also has considerable experience in promoting and setting up professional development, as she was responsible for developing and facilitating professional development workshops for Library Media Specialists in Providence. She has also written and administered a number of grants, both large and small.   Congratulations to us !  Barbara will start her work with RILINK in August.

(June 2008)   RILINK received a Picturing America grant for the following libraries which asked to be included in a group application:

Picturing America is a project of the We the People program of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association.  Grants consist of a collection of large-scale laminated reproductions (20 double-sided laminated posters, 24 x 26 inches) depicting works of American art, as well as other educational resources on American art and history.  Also included are reading lists, and a 125-page resource book.  Items will be shipped directly to each school in September.

(June 2008) Welcome to five new elementary school library members !  Primrose Hill School, Nayatt School, Hampden Meadows School, and Sowams Elementary School in Barrington are moving to Destiny from the Follett standalone system, and the Centredale School Library in North Providence is using Destiny to automate their library.  RILINK now has 96 members, with 91 libraries (soon to be 95) on our shared RICAT/Destiny library system.

(March 2008) Welcome to our newest RILINK and RICAT member - The Court House Library in Bristol, serving the Byfield and Reynolds elementary schools.

(January 2008) RILINK has received a $40,000 LSTA subgrant through the Office of Library and Information Services, which is paying the cost of our group subscription to World Book Online (see next news item).  The grant will also provide funding for at least three additional libraries to join RILINK.

RILINK libraries have a group subscription to World Book Online !  For 2007-2008, students and teachers at RILINK member schools will have a subscription to World Book Advanced, fully correlated to state content standards.  With a single search, they can access:

• 270,000 primary source documents and 5,500 e-books

• 25,000 encyclopedia articles

• 10,000 sounds and pronunciations

• Thousands of images and periodical articles

• Thousands of editor-selected Web sites

 • World Book's Atlas and Dictionary databases

RILINK now has 90 members, with 88 online with RICAT as of December, 2007.

RILINK received an LSTA grant (2006) to upgrade its RICAT servers!  RILINK has upgraded its RICAT automated system, with the capacity to serve a minimum of 100 individual libraries. Interlibrary loan functionality, with the ability for all member libraries in the statewide library network (LORI) to place interlibrary loan requests online, has also been added. With the upgraded system, RILINK can meet projected needs for entire school districts, such as Warwick and Pawtucket, to have all of their school libraries use RICAT. RILINK can also explore options for adding libraries in charter schools, as well as small libraries of other types, such as historical society libraries, that are not currently served by the public or academic library consortia in Rhode Island.

New RICAT libraries

Welcome to our newest RILINK members, who also came online with RICAT in December (2007) - Fogarty Memorial and West Glocester Elementary schools in Glocester !

All twenty-two Cranston public schools are now RILINK members, with the following elementary schools coming online this fall (2007) with RICAT:  Eden Park, Edgewood Highland, Oak Lawn, Orchard Farms, Stadium, Stone Hill, and Waterman.

88 down, and one to go !  This fall (2007) more RILINK member libraries moved to RICAT, using partial funding from a federal LSTA grant through the Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services (OLIS), with local or state funding covering the remainder of the cost: Curtis Corner Middle School (South Kingstown),  Exeter-West Greenwich Jr/Sr High School, Guiteras and Rockwell elementary schools (Bristol/Warren), Johnston High School, La Salle Academy, Mercymount Country Day School, and St. Andrews School. 

Meeting St. School and the Paul Cuffee School have joined RILINK as new members and RICAT libraries, along with two additional junior high schools in Warwick - Gorton and Winman.

Edward S. Rhodes School (Cranston, April 2007), East Providence High School (January) and Chariho Regional High School (February) have joined our shared RICAT system.

Mary V. Quirk students  moved into their new quarters in the recently completed addition to the Hugh Cole School in February (2007), but the libraries at the two schools were previously merged virtually on a new RICAT site.  Welcome to our new RILINK member!

In December (2006), Charles E. Shea High School Library in Pawtucket, a long-time RILINK member, also moved to our shared Destiny/RICAT system.  This leaves only ten current RILINK members that are not on RICAT.

This fall (2006), six Cranston elementary schools joined RILINK, and just went online with RICAT:  Arlington, Barrows, Dutemple, Glen Hills, Hope Highlands, and Woodridge.  Eight existing RILINK members have moved, or are in the process of moving, to RICAT:  Barrington High School and Middle School, Bay View Academy, Lawn and Melrose schools in Jamestown,  Mt. Hope High School, Scituate Middle/High School, and Smithfield High School.  In December, the Urban Cooperative Accelerated Program, our newest RILINK member, will also move to RICAT.

Over the summer, three more libraries went online with RICAT - Broad Rock Middle School, Kickemuit Middle School, and South Kingstown High School, which has rejoined RILINK.

Aldrich Jr. High School has joined RILINK, and is online with RICAT.  Member libraries West Warwick Jr/Sr High School, Narragansett High School, and Hanaford School in East Greenwich moved to RICAT in May.

LSTA funds helped nine RILINK member libraries move to RICAT - the seven of the members listed above, plus Cole Middle School and Eldredge School in East Greenwich, which moved to RICAT this spring.   RILINK is hoping to get additional grant funds to help more member libraries move to RICAT during the next school year. 

The Potter-Burns School in Pawtucket joined RILINK and RICAT, and is working on data entry.

Three elementary school libraries in Cranston - George J. Peters, Garden City and Gladstone - joined RILINK and RICAT this spring.  All three schools moved from standalone MAC-based systems to RICAT.

RILINK receives LSTA grant through OLIS

Nine school libraries are joining the Rhode Island Library Information Network for Kids (RILINK) shared web-based library automation system. Funding from a $20,000 LSTA (Institute of Museum and Library Services, IMLS) grant through the Office of Library and Information Services (OLIS) will allow RILINK to expand disk drive space and add nine current RILINK member libraries to its shared RICAT system, which provides complete library automation services for its members. Grant funds will pay one half of the costs for the initial software license and annual subscriptions, with the local school districts covering the remainder of the costs. Local school districts will be responsible for ongoing costs after the initial year. 

Mercymount gets new library (pictures)

“Sister Diane, this is a library!” exclaimed one sixth-grader on his first visit to Mercymount Country Day School’s newest addition. Bright, accommodating, and attractive, this new space resounds with all sorts of learning and library activities, including singing and dancing as kindergarten students explore new stories and rhymes. The spacious carpeted area in the center makes a great spot for stretching out to enjoy that new book that you just picked from the shelf.

This flexible library space, designed by Aharonian & Associates, gives students room for research, listening to stories, and working on class projects. Lighting is provided by both clerestories and dramatic curved windowed panels overlooking a hillside of trees. Librarian Diane Russo enjoys the easy sight lines, and says that the new library has provided her with more opportunity to work collaboratively with other teachers at Mercymount. She is also working with the students on their research and Internet searching skills on the new library computers, as students explore the library’s OPAC and World Book online for their class reports, using word processing to begin their writing.

In the works for the near future is a comfy reading corner to be dedicated to Venerable Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, who was a great believer in the importance of hospitality, making people feel welcome and comfortable. This atmosphere permeates the new space. To quote yet another sixth grader, “Sister, you’re so happy in your new library.”

Mercymount Country Day School, a private Catholic elementary school (preschool through 8th grade) is sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas (RSM). Sister Diane Russo has served as the school’s librarian for the past nine years. The library is a long-time member of RILINK and an active participant in statewide interlibrary loan.

Central Falls gets the big checkCentral Falls School Libraries awarded federal Improving Literacy Through School Libraries Grant of $339,173

Literacy and Information through New Connections and Services (LINCS) will connect libraries, classrooms and homes to help students, teachers and parents improve literacy skills. The grant will help serve one high school, one middle school and six elementary schools with a total of 3,541 students. LINCS will provide literacy-based books, add current non-fiction titles to each library media center collection, provide access to online authoritative sources, and add computers for student access. LINCS will build partnerships with teachers and parents, providing professional development and training to foster existing literacy programs in the district. Students, teachers and parents will have more access to library and literary resources through workshops and orientations, extended library hours, and electronic access on the Worldwide Web. LINCS will also sponsor a literacy celebration for students and their families during “El día de los niños/ el día de los libros” (the day of the children/the day of the books).

For more information, contact Debbie S. Fisher at
(401) 727-7710;

Last updated:  May 05, 2011.

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