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Rhode Island. Department of State Library Services (1964-1995) | State Archives Catalog

Name: Rhode Island. Department of State Library Services (1964-1995)

Historical Note:

The predecessor to the Office of Library and Information Services was Public Library Services (P.L.S.) in Rural Areas that succeeded in providing library services to rural libraries.  The P.L.S. was formed in 1957 (Chapter 93) in order to meet the requirements of the Federal Library Services Act.  The Department of State was empowered to co-operate with the commissioner of Education of the United States in the carrying out of the library services act (public law 597 – 84 congress, chapter 407 second session, H.R. 2840 approved June 19, 1956.)  The Department of State was authorized to present a plan for the extension of public library services to rural areas in compliance with the provisions of the federal act.

The Department of State Library Services (DSLS) was established in 1964 under Public Law Chapter 233.  Upon passage of the act, the supervisor of the P.L.S. (Elizabeth Myer) became the  first director of the Department of State Library Services.  The Department included the following Divisions:  Division of Administrative Services; Division of Planning and Development; Division of Special Library Services.

Originally located on 30 Benefit Street, Providence, the P.L.S. was moved to the Roger Williams Building on 22 Hayes Street in 1959.  In 1967 the department moved to 95 Davis Street, to 300 Richmond Street in 1988 and finally to their current address at 1 Capitol Hill in 1997.

In 1996 the DSLS was dissolved as a department and became the Office of Library and Information Services (OLIS) under the Department of Administration (Public Law 1996, Chapter 100, Article 29).  The head of OLIS is the Chief Information Officer.

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