The Rhode Island Library Information Network for Kids (RILINK) represents a cooperative effort by Rhode Island school library media specialists to share resources and expertise in support of the students, schools, and communities they serve.
Founded in 1998 with just two member libraries, RILINK has grown to 205 members in 2020. At the time of this writing, when remote learning has become a necessity for all Rhode Island students, membership inquiries have increased and the consortium’s growth is projected to rise over the coming year.
RILINK functions under the auspices of the non-profit East Bay Educational Collaborative (EBEC) in Warren, Rhode Island. In exchange for annual dues and software licensing and maintenance fees, RILINK provides its member libraries with access to Follett Destiny collection development and management software as well as a variety of database subscriptions and online resources, a shared ebook collection, a customizable research and website building platform, interlibrary loan and resource sharing services, on-demand on-site or virtual professional learning, training, and development, an annual summer conference, and many other benefits that enhance teaching, learning, and library management in both face-to-face and digital environments. RILINK is also a recognized provider of the Educator Course Network (ECN) of the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE).
Throughout this document, use of the word “member” refers interchangeably to member schools, libraries, and the individual library media specialists and library staff who work in those libraries.
Dorothy Frechette, Executive Director
Zach Berger, Member Services Librarian
Donna Good, eResources Collection Development
Jackie Lamoureux, Member Services Librarian
Karen Shore, Member Services Librarian
Sharon Webster, Professional Learning & Technology Support Specialist
Unless explicitly stated otherwise, “RILINK Staff” or “Staff” as used in this document always refer to the above team of professionals who work for the consortium as a whole and in support of its members and do not refer to the school library media specialists who work for the schools comprising RILINK membership.
In June of 2019, RILINK Staff gathered to discuss the creation and implementation of a five-year Strategic Plan to address a number of organizational needs and objectives, including (but not limited to)
discussing concerns about our ability to provide support at current staffing levels for an ever-increasing membership
finding additional funding sources to expand member benefits, services, and staffing
considering strategies to become the statewide solution for all K-12 school libraries to provide equitable access to resources for all students
developing resources and modeling practices to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse statewide student population
weighing the ramifications of moving to an off-site Follett-hosted server
grappling with the complexities of the annual student records update process and the need for single sign-in capability for seamless username/password access to online resources for both students and teachers
acknowledging the urgency to advocate for school library programs and positions
developing an Executive Director succession plan and increasing the position to full-time with available funding
Over the course of five additional meetings, we began the process of formulating a Needs Assessment and soliciting an Advisory Committee to help us shape our planning process. More information about those steps is available below.
RILINK Staff is indebted to the expertise and support of the Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services (OLIS) and the Rhode Island Library Association (RILA), whose own Strategic Plan documents have served as models for our own.