News & Announcements

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Ocean State Libraries Receives Grant to Expand Free “Parking Lot” Wi-Fi at Rhode Island Public Libraries

Contact Information: Ocean State Libraries Stephen Spohn sspohn@oslri.net 401.738.2200 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 1, 2020 

Ocean State Libraries Receives Grant to Expand Free “Parking Lot” Wi-Fi at Rhode Island Public Libraries 

Ocean State Libraries (OSL) has been awarded $85,000 to expand external “parking lot” Wi-Fi to public libraries statewide.  The grant comes from the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation and the Rhode Island Governor’s “Take It Outside” initiative to expand access to outdoor resources and services to Rhode Islanders.  This generous funding, along with equipment donated from the Information Technology Disaster Resource Center, will be used to expand this service to 40 additional library locations.  OSL recognizes its partnership with OSHEAN which will be essential to this exciting project. 

Due to the pandemic, many public library buildings across the country temporarily closed.  For those who normally relied on public libraries for Internet access and the many others who faced job loss, business closings and other economic tragedies, these closures left them without any reliable means to access the Internet.  People were unable to apply for unemployment, apply for relief funding, search and apply for jobs, and more.  External “parking lot” Wi-Fi will allow library customers to take advantage of broadband Internet access regardless of whether libraries are open or closed, and to do so while safely social distancing.  This provides a valuable service for those who have no or limited Internet service at home, are experiencing a residential[...]

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High Demand for Digital Library Services in Rhode Island

Contact Information: Ocean State Libraries Stephen Spohn sspohn@oslri.net 401.738.2200

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 26, 2020

High Demand for Digital Library Services in Rhode Island

Libraries are busier than they’ve ever been right now.

While public library buildings are closed, Rhode Island’s public libraries continue to offer vital 24/7 digital services to their communities.  Through their public libraries and AskRI, public libraries have access to digital books, magazines and newspapers and a wealth of online learning tools.  From the comfort of home, Rhode Island residents have full access to:

125,000+ ebooks and digital audiobooks in Ocean State Libraries’ eZone. Encyclopedias for all ages, including English and Spanish editions in AskRI Millions of full text articles for students and online learners in AskRI. Online learning tools to learn a language or to prepare for a test in AskRI

Access all these resources are more via the Ocean State Libraries website: www.oslri.org.

Library card sign-ups have increased by 167%!  Prior to this crisis, OSL received an average of 9 applications each day.  Since public library buildings closed, this average has grown to 24 applications each day with a recent high of 55 applications on March 23!

Ebook and digital audiobook use has increased by 23%!  Ocean State Libraries’ eZone is seeing a large spike in new users and ebook use.  Comparing[...]