Spring 2021


Dearest Membership,

I am coming to the end of my term as your president. I will proceed through the door marked "Immediate Past President" on June 1st. Looking back on our achievements over the last two years, we have had some successes to report, even in the face of a 100 year pandemic that turned the world upside down! Here are some highlights:

  • Most recently, SLRI gave a presentation to the RI Council on Elementary and Secondary Education, getting our national standards unanimously endorsed by RIDE! This wrapped up a nearly 2 year effort after meetings with RIDE, conducting surveys, and offering PDs on the national standards.

  • Earlier this year, the SLRI Advocacy Committee met and worked with a team of Providence Librarians to successfully get a resolution passed by the Providence City Council that officially recognizes the value of School Libraries and Librarians within Providence schools. This came after two middle schools’ librarian positions remained unfilled after being vacated at the beginning of this school year. This is something that we might want to consider doing with other cities/towns as well.

  • Over the course of the last 2 years, our newly-created Curriculum Committee researched and created the RI School Library Curriculum Guide, which includes assessments and a lesson database to provide content for school librarians.

I will still serve on the board as Immediate Past President and expect to continue working on the Advocacy Committee to keep fighting for fully staffed and funded School Libraries, as well as being recognized for the important role we play in education. Please consider joining me on this or any of our other committees. You choose how much time you can afford to give to the committee’s efforts. With more volunteers, there’s no telling what we can accomplish.

Very truly yours,

Deanna Brooks

SLRI President


RIDE Endorses ALA Standards

On April 6, the Rhode Island Council on Elementary and Secondary Education officially endorsed the new AASL National School Library Standards. SLRI members Deanna Brooks, Sarah Hunicke and Mary Moen made a strong presentation, the culmination of several years of work, before the Council, whose vote to recognize the standards was unanimous. In a press release publicizing the endorsement, RIDE said "We recognize that strong school libraries play a key role in student learning and achievement. These standards emphasize important aspects of student learning and development that include competencies in four domains; think, create, share, and grow.The roles and responsibilities of school librarians have evolved in recent decades to meet the needs of today’s learning initiatives. It is more important than ever in this age of information and disinformation, that students are given the research skills necessary for college and career readiness."


SLRI Members Meet with Sen. Jack Reed

The Reopen and Rebuild America’s Schools Act of 2021, legislation introduced earlier this year by Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed and US Rep. Bobby Scott, offers $130 billion to modernize classrooms and improve schools' physical and digital infrastructure. If the legislation is approved, the recipients, Title I districts and schools, would have discretion over the allocation of funds. On April 19, SLRI members met with Sen. Reed to advocate that school library infrastructure be prioritized. During the meeting, participants discussed the needs of school libraries, including the results of a recent SLRI survey. In the survey, members indicated their funding priorities for libraries, including furniture, electronics and budgets.


In Memoriam

Dr. Cheryl Ann McCarthy, Professor Emerita at the University of Rhode Island's Graduate School of Library and Information Studies (GSLIS), passed away on May 16, 2021.

Dr. McCarthy was known to many of us as the Coordinator of the GSLIS School Library Media Program. She was also Coordinator of the Information Literacy Instruction Certificate Program during her 25-year tenure at URI. Prior to her 2016 retirement, she served as Interim Dean of URI University Libraries.

A past President of School Librarians of Rhode Island and the New England Library Association, Dr. McCarthy had also been Chair of the RI Coalition of Library Advocates (COLA) and had served on the executive board of the Rhode Island Center for the Book.

Among the many qualities for which she will be remembered are her enthusiasm as an instructor, her advocacy for school libraries, and her guidance as an inspirational mentor to scores of GSLIS students and school librarians.

Information on funeral arrangements and donations can be found here.


Membership Elects New Officers

New officers for the 2021-2023 term are Joan Mouradjian, President; Mary Moen, Vice President; and Marianne Mirando, Secretary. Congratulations!


SLRI Mini Grants Available!

Are you planning a project to support student learning, improve a school library collection or program, and enhance your library? Tell us about it! SLRI members can self-nominate for the annual Mini Grant Award. Up to two grants of $750 will be awarded at the RILA Conference on June 3-4, 2021. Nominations are due May 27, 2021. You can access the award description and submission form here.


SLRI Needs You!

SLRI is seeking members-at-large. What is a member-at-large? The SLRI Executive Board selects a maximum of five members-at-large to serve on the board. They attend meetings and help the board in decision making. It's a good way to get involved with SLRI if you'd like to work with the board but aren't sure about the commitment of being an officer. If you're interested in serving as a member-at-large, please submit this form.


The Votes Are In....



If you have begun teaching at a new school, please email Joanne Gongoleski so she can update our membership list.



  • RILA Conference: RILA's Annual Conference will be held June 3-4, 2021. The theme is "Well+ Connected: Libraries and Healthy Communities." To register by June 1, click here.
  • Summer Reading Program: This year's theme is "Tails and Tales," and celebrates animals and animal stories. Find out more here.
  • RISTE Summer Institute: No matter how you will you be teaching in the fall, RISTE's Virtual institute offers skills and strategies to help. Register here for sessions to be held on July 14-16, 2021.
  • SLRI Board Meeting: Our next board meeting will be in August, date TBA.