Raimondo Announces Next Generation Library Challenge

Press Conference

PROVIDENCE, RI – Governor Gina M. Raimondo today announced the Studio Rhode Next
Generation Libraries Challenge, an innovative approach to supporting public libraries
with new technology and training to engage with Rhode Islanders in the digital age.
«Libraries are an integral part of every community,» Raimondo said. «My grandfather
learned English at his local public library, and it was hearing about the closure
of libraries around the state that inspired me to get involved with public service.
As our world changes, Rhode Islanders need these vital centers of knowledge to keep
up with the times, so they can continue to be places of learning for future
I look forward to seeing how communities from around the state get involved with
this challenge.»
Led by the Rhode Island Office of Innovation in partnership with the Office of Library
and Information Services, Studio Rhode will provide all libraries in Rhode Island
with a chance to explore the use of innovative technologies to develop a digital
creation hub in their library. This challenge will serve as a model for how libraries
can be transformed, through technology, to better support high-needs communities
in an increasingly digital world.
«Public libraries are true pillars of our community and our democracy. Our libraries
help educate, inform, engage, and connect people from all walks of life. From offering
literacy programs to homework help to resume writing workshops to computer access,
our libraries fulfill a vital need. Libraries have always been on the front lines
of addressing changing community needs and the new ways of sharing and understanding
information. With greater support and resources, they could accomplish even more,
and I know this effort being launched today will help our libraries better serve
our communities,» said U.S. Senator Jack Reed, the leading champion of public
in the U.S. Senate and the author of the bipartisan Museum and Library Services
«Libraries in Rhode Island are already embracing their role as community hubs that
empower residents to be active learners and creators, said RI Chief Innovation Officer
Richard Culatta. «We hope that Studio Rhode will spark new approaches to tackling
tough problems with the library user at the center.»
«Studio Rhode will bring the transformative power of libraries to another level,
providing the latest technology to engage people in new ways and enable them to
find solutions to individual and community challenges,» said Chief of Library Services
Karen Mellor. «The Office of Library and Information Services is excited to partner
with the Office of Innovation on this unique project that will enrich and expand
the library experience of Rhode Islanders.»
Any Rhode Island public library is invited to submit an application for how they
would reimagine their role around becoming a next generation library and leverage
the Studio Rhode framework to solve a pressing challenge facing their community.
Once selected, one library will receive Apple technology and professional services
to outfit their Studio space.
This donation includes 10 iPad Pro with Apple Pencils, 30 iPad Air, as well as an
Apple TV, an iMac, a MacBook Air, accessories, a lock and charge storage cart, Apple
professional services and Apple Care protection for all devices.
All public libraries are invited to attend a Next Generation Libraries workshop
on February 6th to develop their next generation library vision, collaborate with
other libraries, and learn strategies for rapid prototyping, collaborative design,
crowdsourcing, ideation, user experience design, and community storytelling.

For more information or to apply, please visit www.innovate.ri.gov/studiorhode