May 22 Newsletter

Meeting Date:  May 17, 2022

Reporter:  Sharon Garland


Erica Busillo shared quotes from Andrew Carnegie, a passionate supporter and builder of public libraries:
“A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert.”
“There is not such a cradle of democracy upon the earth as the free public library, this Republic of letters when neither rank office or wealth receives the slightest consideration.”


Erica introduced her guests including her college roommate from Berkeley, CA, Emily Shaffer, and library staff Jack Martin, executive director and Aaron Peterman, chief operating officer.


Anthony Hollingshead is asking each Rotarian to bring one or two colleagues or friends to a membership meeting on May 31 to learn about the work of Providence Rotary. Past membership meetings have been an important tool in new member recruitment. The Board will pay for your guest. Rhode Island’s senior senator and chair of the Senate Armed Serves Committee will be the speaker. Contact Anthony or Rob to make a reservation.
Kris David is looking for help organizing with installation of officers. Please contact her if you can help.

Happy Bucks

Don Saracen conducted Happy Bucks, and lead with this:
  • Don donated $60 for students to attend the Barker Playhouse production. That evening he will be attending his grandson’s last high school theater performance. He’s happy that his granddaughter won a juried art show and will attend art school this summer sponsored by Disney Pixar.
  • Anthony because he’s sitting on the right hand of President Holly.
  • Kris for attending her 50th Wheeler School reunion
  • Bob Murphy happy to tour the library today, he remembers his mother bringing him there for his first visit in 1949.
  • Erica $5 for her friend, Emily and $5 for baby John, who just started to crawl on his own!
  • Cap Willey “Two weeks ago I reported that I had some unhappy bucks and some happy bucks.  The unhappy bucks were that I had a wild coyote roaming my yards; the happy buck was that I used to have a geese problem.  The latest update is that I have discovered that the coyote has taken up living under my deck with her newborn pups.  It is going to cost me $575 to have her removed.”
  • Sharon $5 thanks to Erica for inviting the Club to tour the library and for meeting the library staff
  • Luis Lourenco for his trip to daughter’s graduation in Nashville and his son starting college in the Fall
  • Rob Black for his first visit to the Providence Library
  • Holly $20 for library’s hospitality in hosting the meeting


Library director Jack Martin led the group on a comprehensive tour of the vibrantly updated library building. He described the challenges the staff faced integrating current building and fire codes and technology needs into the historical building. Most importantly, he gave a great overview of how the refurbished spaces are ready to engage all members of the community in enhanced learning opportunities.
Erica provided the following background on the library:
Providence Public Library (PPL)’s $28 million building transformation represents a critical step towards fully achieving the Board of Trustees’ strategic vision for the Library: ensuring that PPL is able to continue its service as a welcoming hub of education, innovation, and personal development for our changing 21st century community. PPL plays a significant and vital role in the revitalization of downtown Providence, especially as the city emerges from the COVID-19 crisis.
As Rotarians saw first-hand, the facility now features open, user-friendly, collaborative teaching and learning spaces where patrons of all ages and backgrounds can connect, experience, create, and achieve. These spaces include a 3,000 square foot “Workshop” - the new epicenter of PPL’s education and workforce development programs, including a makerspace and sound studio - a Children’s Discovery Library double the size of its previous iteration, a Teen Loft where youth can explore, study, and relax together, and a refurbished Auditorium, where the public can gather for arts, culture, and humanities programming, lectures, forums, and so much more.
PPL is a private 501(c)3 and over 80% of the library’s funding comes from individual donors and corporate sponsors - the library truly is powered by the people of Rhode Island!
To learn more, including about how you support PPL’s work, visit or reach out directly to Providence Rotarian Erica Busillo Adams (who is happy to give a tour to anyone who was unable to attend Tuesday’s meeting!).
Club Information
Tuesdays at 11:45 AM
Providence Marriott
1 Orms Street
Providence, RI 02904
United States of America
Lunch is served at 11:45 AM; meeting begins at noon.
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Upcoming Speakers
May 24, 2022 11:45 AM
Crossroads RI
May 31, 2022 11:45 AM
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