Hi from RI!

It's really great to hear from you all.

I love Sharon's quote, "diversification in delivery is our new programming priority"...think I'll send it to all our committees.

On March 1st we received our first grant rejection letter blamed on Covid 19, stating that the foundation board decided they wouldn't be able to accept any grant requests as they "needed to err on the side of conservatism because of the global meltdown due to Covid 19." It's pretty much been downhill since then, in terms of funding.

We've had to cancel all our Reading Across Rhode Island (One Book, One State) events and are planning a virtual event with the author for April 2nd. High school teachers on our programming committee are hosting A Virtual Evening for Educators the second week of April to discuss ways to bring students and adults together online, to talk about the statewide read.

It looks like we will also cancel all our Kids Reading Across Rhode Island events as well. That program was scheduled to kick off at the Rhode Island State House on May 2nd. We 're looking into setting up Skype/Facebook/Zoom events and writing workshops with the author for the month of May and will wait to see what happens with our summer programming.

We are hoping to go forward with the Rhode Island Festival of Children's Books and Authors in October and Feria del Libros y Las Artes in November.

Ending on a positive...grateful we got our visit in w/ Chelsea Clinton. Her book Start Now! is the elementary companion read to our 2020 Reading Across Rhode Island book Rising. We had a full day of activities with Chelsea including a visit to a public library that partners with community schools, an appearance on Story in the Public Square, with our partners at Rhode Island PBS and a presentation with three elementary and middle schools in Providence. She's a great speaker and was amazing with the kids.

I'm also interested in exploring the suggestions of seeing if there's anything we can do together such as a 24 hour event focused on literature, etc.!

Be well everyone. Looking forward to our next virtual meeting. 


On Tue, Mar 24, 2020 at 10:45 AM Sharon Shaloo <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Thanks for opening the convo on this, Guy.  I've been interested to read the reports from the field rolling in.  

Mass had planned a series of events this year linked to our 20th anniversary -- and we are now not only rethinking all of them but also interrogating our delivery model ... understanding how dangerous it is to have nearly all of our activities culminate in large social gatherings.  Even those that are promoted at more of a distance presume that the commonwealth libraries will be open as sites for the promotion ... Diversification in delivery is our new programming priority! 

I'm spending the next two weeks catching up on admin tasks and asking our two very part-time folk to keep our book awards (the 20th annual) and lal (yep also 20th annual) programs moving forward while we rethink how we will deliver the performance of them in public. I am betting dollars to doughnuts that we won't have access to the State House (where each of these programs  normally culminates) until at least the fall and so we, like Minnesota, are exploring video and how to make it exciting.   

I will be eager to get the news about author resources from LOC, Guy.  I'm about to darken the commonwealth events calendar we host and replace it with a page of online resources and streaming events and will be happy to have that to add. 

Guy, do you think LOC is rethinking National Book Festival?  I ask not to be alarmist but to factor in our Great Read announcement and what may or may not happen to that ... 

Take care everyone ... last week I felt as if the sky were falling ... now I feel that calamity is easier to deal with after it's arrived than when it was only anticipated. 

Regards to all, 


Sharon Shaloo, Executive Director
Mass Center for the Book 
617.872.3718 (office)

On Mon, Mar 23, 2020 at 3:36 PM Lamolinara, Guy <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Dear Affiliates,


It is hard for me sometimes to believe how are lives and work activities have so drastically changed in just the past two weeks!


I just started teleworking last week and am still getting used to the lack of social interchange with my colleagues face-to-face. I have never teleworked before because I have always enjoyed coming into the office each day. It also puts me in a “work” mindset. The constant racket from the construction project next door is a constant and annoying distraction. If you know Alexandria, Va., and its historic district, then you know we all live in rowhouses in a densely populated neighborhood. I live in one of those rowhouses, attached on only one side. Right next door, about 12 feet away, they are erecting a large Sunrise senior living facility on what has been a parking lot for the entire 33 years I have lived in this house. At least when the times comes, I won’t have to move very far!


On a more serious level, I am writing to reach out and learn how all of you are coping, how your work, activities and plans have changed, and what I (and the Library of Congress) can do to support you. I can tell you we are planning to release online later this week the beginning of a series of reading and learning activities with some top authors who have agreed to work with us to reach out to young readers who are home from school. As soon as I have details, I will let you know. Perhaps it is something you can offer your users.


Can you tell us if you are engaging in any novel approaches to reaching your constituencies?


What activities have you been forced to cancel? Are you doing any virtual programming?


Are you involved in a state or local book festival? Are you making contingency plans?


Anything you would like to say to get the conversation going, please share.


Take care. I hope we return to “normal” soon, whatever the new normal may be.