Access to books is critical for children. According to the Department of Education’s study Access to Reading Materials, “While less than 15 percent of students with between 0 and 10 books scored proficient in 2015, 50 percent of students with more than 100 books did. The data and research are clear – children who have access to print reading materials have better literacy outcomes.” Libraries are a wonderful way to access books, and a library can serve as hub for learning, security and support for a neighborhood.
Library Lovers Month runs all of February, but Rhode Island's wonderful library system is open year round. Use February as a chance to learn more about the vibrant community resource in your neighborhood: your local library!
The American Library Association is a great resource to learn more about the issues facing library systems nationwide. Head over to their advocacy and policy resources to learn more about how "...funding, broadband equity, and fair use of copyrighted material is more important than ever as libraries continue to serve their communities amid rapidly changing circumstances." You can get involved as a library advocate and send a message to your local politicians about the importance of libraries as a community resource here.
In Rhode Island, the Ocean State Libraries represent a network of public libraries from Woonsocket to Westerly. These libraries provide FREE access to books, safe spaces to work and play, classes and even outdoor space.
The Ocean State Library network works hard to ensure that Rhode Island residents have access to books, wherever they are! Check out the resources below to see how you can engage with and learn from your local library branch:
Consult this map to find the library nearest to you.
View a schedule of online courses and offerings.
View the database of online courses and videos, curate by OSLRI.
Visit the e-zone to borrow from thousands of audiobooks.
You can even sign up for a library card online!
Even if you can't always get to the library in person, The Ocean State Libraries network offers plenty of resources for families, learners of all ages and adults online!
Remember, libraries are always working hard to share resources, and they are invaluable free, public, community resources. Share a message of gratitude by tagging #ThankYouLibraries on social media when you use any of the resources listed above!