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Q&A with Commerce: Public Libraries in RI

Q&A with Commerce: Public Libraries in RI August 9, 2017

Welcome to our monthly Q&A Overview.  Our goal is to answer questions that you may have about programs, services or resources that exist for your business. We will also address any concerns you may have regarding the process of “doing business in RI” and inform you of any news you may find useful.

Questions and Answers with Commerce RI

Q. Have you ever thought to utilize your public library to help your business grow?

A. There are more than 70 public library locations across the state of Rhode Island and they all have resources that can help your business. All RI public libraries offer free public computers and wireless Internet access and many also hold computer training courses free of charge. (www.oslri.org/libraries)

  • A to Z databases is a service that can help to generate free mailing lists and sales leads. The databases features 30 million businesses, 220 million residents with 200,000 new movers and 50,000 new homeowners added weekly.
  • AskRI (askri.org) The RI Office of Library and Information Services (OLIS) offers this service which provides free reference services via phone and chat which can help navigate state regulations and agency websites. The service also offers several databases that can help your business.
  • Learning Express provides college prep, GED and test books for most professional programs.
  • Mango Languages offers free online language learning with over 70 languages available.


RI public libraries have also become a hub for new and emerging technologies and training. Many have established dedicated digital media and maker spaces.

  • The Cranston Public Library has the C-Lab (www.cranstonlibrary.org) which features five 3D printers, analog-to-digital media conversion tools, open tech time and one on one technology appointments.
  • The Warwick Public Library hosts the Idea Studio (www.warwicklibrary.org) which also offers access to a 3D printer, analog-to-digital media conversion tools and technology training courses.
  • The Providence Public Library has started the Rhode Coders Club which trains adult learners in computer coding (www.provlib.org). These classes are offered in Providence, Cranston, and Pawtucket (www.pawtucketlibrary.org).
  • The East Providence Public Library has just opened the Fuller Creative Learning Center which features 3D printing, tech time and a recording studio. (www.eastprovidencelibrary.org).

Ocean State Libraries (www.oslri.org) provides online e-books and audio books for you to download at your convenience.

Libraries across the state including Cranston, Providence, Pawtucket and others offer ESL and citizenship classes to help new members of our community gain the skills needed to find jobs.

Rhode Island public libraries can be a great resource for you and your business with all these services and more free of charge. Go check out your local library today!


Upcoming Events

Introduction to Government Contracting

Thursday August 17th, 9-11:00am

RI PTAC @ Southern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce

to register: https://riptac.ecenterdirect.com/events/signup/4552


Explore SBA Resources

Monday, August 21st, 11-1:00pm

Center for Women & Enterprise (CWE) to register: cweonline.org


Healthcare Summit

Thursday, September 14th 8-10:00am

The Rhode Island Manufacturers Association (RIMA) contact: rima@mfgri.com


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Categories: Events, Q&A with Commerce, Resources
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