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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Three URI Graduate School of Library and Information Studies students receive COLA scholarships

Media Contact: Jhodi Redlich, 401-874-4500

KINGSTON, R.I. -- May 9, 2005 -- Three University of Rhode Island students in the Graduate School of Library and Information Studies will graduate this month with an extra new achievement. All were recently awarded scholarships from the Rhode Island Coalition of Library Advocates (COLA) in recognition of their achievements and contributions to the field.

Sheila Harvey and Jennifer Simoneau were the recipients of the Linda Aldrich School Library Media Scholarship and Eugene Jeffers received the William Bergeron Public Library Scholarship at the annual meeting of COLA in February. The students were selected based on their academic record, their potential for leadership in the field, and their commitment to the promotion of literacy and a love of reading.

Harvey, of Providence, fits in her studies at URI along with a full-time position as a seventh grade English/language arts teacher, team leader, and yearbook coordinator at Exeter/West Greenwich Regional Junior/Senior High School. She was on the curriculum committee that integrated reading skills into each subject area in her school. She also helped to develop an up-to-date and comprehensive summer reading list for grades 7 to 12.

Simoneau, of Greenville, R.I., has been working in the field of information technology training since her graduation from the University of New Hampshire in 1987. She has volunteered, and has worked as assistant program director for the Girl Scouts of Rhode Island, Inc. Day Camp, developing and organizing programs on nature and wildlife. She is also a Girl Scout troop leader. She hopes to provide leadership in the planning, management, and evaluation of school library programs in addition to working as a school library media specialist.

Jeffers of Albion, R.I., has been on the staff in the Children’s Department at the Pawtucket Public Library since 1988, but started working at the Library in 1980 as part of a community service project required by his church for confirmation. He studied finance and bank management at Providence College, but still preferred to work at the Pawtucket Library, where he put his management skills to good use providing suggestions to improve services and writing draft policies for the Children’s Room (Unattended Children Policy and Children’s Internet Use Policy). Last year he teamed up with the teen librarian to create an electronic homework center.

Susan Reed, director of the Pawtucket Public Library, remarked, “Eugene is an example of what we hope our library schools will produce in our profession; not just a good student who excels academically, but a librarian who loves what he does and cares about the people he does it for. We are very lucky to have him on our staff.”

COLA is a 20-year-old grassroots library group whose mission is to improve the quality of life for all Rhode Islanders by supporting libraries of all kinds. Their work includes advocacy, education, public awareness, and the encouragement of local library-support groups.


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LIBRARY SCHOLARS: URI Graduate School of Library and Information Studies students (l-r) Sheila Harvey, Eugene Jeffers and Jennifer Simoneau recently received scholarships in recognition of their achievements and contributions to the field.
Photo by Joe McGovern, R.I. Office of Library and Information Services.