Contact Name
Ms. Karen Mellor
Contact Title
Chief of Library Services
State Library Address

Rhode Island Office of Library & Information Services
One Capitol Hill
Providence, RI 02908-5803
United States

Contact Email Address
Grants to State Programs

The Grants to States Program

The Grants to States Program is the largest grant program run by IMLS; it provides funds to State Library Administrative Agencies (SLAAs) using a population-based formula set by the law. SLAAs determine goals and objectives for the funds in their statutorily required five-year plan (see below). For more information, see the Grants to States program overview.

    YearAllotment Value
    2020 $1,198,673.00
    2021 $1,233,676.00
    2022 $1,244,847.00
    2023 $1,417,691.00
    2024 $1,413,623.00
    5 Year Plan Text

    Each state creates a 5-year plan for its programs to strengthen the efficiency, reach, and effectiveness of library services. View all states' plans.

    5 year plan
    Attachment Size
    rhodeisland5yearplan.pdf 445.3 KB
    5 Year Evaluation Text

    At the end of a 5-year period, each state reports their results in achieving goals and objectives projected in their 5-Year Plan. View all states' evaluations.

    5 year evaluation
    Attachment Size
    rhodeisland5yearevaluation.pdf 6 MB
    Karen Mellor, Chief of Library Services, Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services

    “Libraries are transformative agents, incubators for educational, professional and personal development, and places for community discourse and creation. The Office of Library and Information Services provides leadership and services to support this vision and ensure that all Rhode Islanders have equitable access to a wide range of in-person and online library services. LSTA funding enables us to expand statewide programs and resource access for the public and support for libraries and their staff.”
    -Karen Mellor, Chief of Library Services, Rhode Island Office of Library & Information Services

    Project Examples

    Any Place Office Space

    Any Place Office Space
    When the North Providence Union Free Library reopened with limited, then full hours during the pandemic, it saw high demand in computer reservations and printing needs, especially with the decrease in computers available due to social distancing requirements. To address the wait times for computer and printing sessions in the building, the library created Any Place Office Space kits that patrons could borrow for up to three months at a time, which included a laptop, mobile hotspot, mobile printer, and related peripherals. The library provided adults and families the ability to do computer work freely from home without time constraints or worry about being in a public building during a pandemic. The kits offered safe access to technology to meet community needs, while empowering patrons to improve digital literacy from the comfort of their own home.  
    IMLS Funds: $11,270.60

    Indigenous Voices Anthology & Fellowship

    Indigenous Voices Anthology & Fellowship
    The West Warwick Public Library helped young Indigenous writers enhance skills in fiction writing and publishing. The cohort attended workshops, lectures by literary professionals, and peer critique sessions, while also going through the professional editorial process. The project culminated in the publication of the Indigenous writers’ stories in an anthology made available through all Rhode Island public libraries and select commercial venues. The library partnered with the Cranston Public Library teen department to provide additional support for program attendees, and with the Tomaquag Museum, an Indigenous museum in Exeter that educates about the history and culture of the Narragansett, Niantic, Pokanoket, Wampanoag and Nipmuc tribes of Southern New England. The project also promoted the value of artists and their work by paying professional rates to the cohort of writers and cover artist.  
    IMLS Funds: $11,500

    Preservation and Digitization

    Preservation and Digitization
    The Office of Library and Information Services (OLIS) supports digitization efforts and provides preservation resources and referral services for libraries and other cultural heritage organizations statewide. Services include dPlan-RI, an online template for disaster plans, as well as an online directory of preservation and disaster response resources. Additionally, OLIS awarded grants to libraries across Rhode Island to digitize unique collections and thus preserve and promote access to them. The grants increased the number and diversity of digital collections while developing expertise at Rhode Island institutions, two tactics that support development of a robust statewide hub for the Digital Public Library of America. 
    IMLS Funds: $173,533.82

    Review recent Grants to States projects from this state library in the State Program Report database.

    Search the Awarded Grants Database for additional details about awards in this state or view the State Details Dashboard.

    Five-Year Plan Highlights

    Goal 1: Access: Facilitate access to library materials and information resources in physical and digital formats for all Rhode Islanders.

    • Projects include:
      • Resource sharing, including interlibrary loan and digital materials through AskRI portal
      • Talking Books Library, a regional library for the blind and print disabled
      • Digitization, preservation, and disaster preparedness

    Goal 2: Learning: Support the continuing education of librarians, library staff and trustees and the development of statewide programming for the public.

    • Projects include:
      • Continuing education for the library workforce and trustees
      • Reading and literacy programs, including early literacy, grade level reading, summer reading, and book award programs
      • Statewide programs to address other literacies, such as digital, financial, and health

    Goal 3: Engagement: Empower libraries to be incubators for economic, educational and cultural development, civic discourse, and healthy communities.

    • Projects include:
      • Equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives
      • Community Connectors partnerships addressing adult education, workforce development, and small business support
      • Local library development through consultant services, resources, and grants

    IMLS Data Collection

    State Library Administrative Agency Survey
    The State Library Administrative Agency Survey (SLAA) provides descriptive data about state library agencies for all fifty states and the District of Columbia. To interact with the latest data, please visit the SLAA Survey Comparison Tool.

    Public Libraries Survey
    The Public Libraries Survey (PLS) provides national descriptive data on the status of public libraries in the United States and its territories. Explore state profiles representing more than 9,000 public library systems and over 17,000 public library outlets.

    Impact Videos