As of July 1, 2012 Providence Community Library became the new home of the Statewide Reference Resource Center (SRRC). The SRRC provides quality reference services, online databases and electronic resources to everyone in Rhode Island.
As host to the SRRC, PCL will provide technical support for statewide online electronic resources and AskRI.org (the portal to access those online electronic resources), marketing and publicity for AskRI and its resources, and education for library staff and the general public on the use of AskRI. PCL will also provide reference services to all Rhode Islanders and Rhode Island libraries. These reference services are available to the general public via email, chat, or phone every day but Sunday.
AskRI.org has a wealth of free, online education resources and services available. Just what’s so great about the AskRI.org resources?
- HomeworkHelp RI (through Tutor.com) enables students from kindergarten through adult to get individualized help from live tutors during out-of-school hours (2:00-10:00 pm). The service also includes the SkillsCenter Resource Library, available 24/7, which offers links to worksheets, tutorials, and study guides. Students can even have their documents reviewed by a tutor. The College Center offers similar services for first and second year college students, and an Adult Education & Career Center for continuing education and job support services. Homework Help is also provided in Spanish.
- World Book Web provides age appropriate encyclopedias and other classroom resources for elementary, middle, and high school/advanced students, including World Book Discover for adult learners and students with reading challenges. Most World Book products also include a tool that translates content into 14 languages. Hispanica Saber, a complete Spanish language encyclopedia, is also available.
- EBSCO databases includes access to over 10,000 magazines and journals, as well as medical, historical, environmental, general and scholarly articles and information on consumer health, auto repair and home improvement.
- HeritageQuest provides genealogy information and local history articles, family and place name indexes and census data from 1790-1930.
- New databases and resources provide support for Rhode Island students, job seekers and the business community…
- Mango Languages uses real-life conversations and situations to teach students a new language. Lessons are presented on slides with audio content so users can listen and repeat words and phrases. It is a simple and fun way for adults and students of all ages to learn a language. Mango currently offers 22 languages, from Spanish, French and Italian to Mandarin Chinese, Arabic, and Japanese. There are also 15 English as a second language courses, including English for Spanish speakers, Russian speakers, and Vietnamese speakers. More languages and features are being added, including a mobile application for the iPhone.
- Reference USA US Businesses includes information on over 14 million US Businesses, including management contacts, sales volume, employee size, business expenditures, mapped location data and even local area competitors. ReferenceUSA is the most comprehensive and up-to-date resource for business information, whether you are looking for information on a small locally owned business or a major national corporation. Small business owners, jobseekers and student researchers will find the detailed information invaluable.
- LearningExpress is a popular test preparation and skill building resource used by libraries across the country. Students can take practice tests to prepare for standardized tests, including elementary and middle school tests, college entrance exams like the PSAT and SAT, graduate school entrance exams such as the GRE, LCAT and MCAT, and GED and Citizenship tests. In addition, LearningExpress includes sample tests and exercises for the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery Test) and professional tests for a variety of occupations including electrical, plumbing, health care, cosmetology and more. There are also resources for job seekers, including mini-courses on writing résumés and cover letters.
- ReferenceUSA and LearningExpress are available at all public and academic libraries. Mango Languages is additionally available from school libraries. All three online resources can be accessed at anytime from any computer using a public (Ocean State Libraries) or academic (HELIN) library card. Log in to all resources at AskRI.org, your source for answers and a whole lot more.
The Rhode Island General Laws were recently changed to establish the SRRC as a grant program managed by the Office of Library and Information Services (OLIS), which would award the SRRC biennially on a competitive basis to a RI public library. OLIS offered two SRRC grant opportunities, one for operations and one for reference services. PCL is proud to have won this competitive process.
OLIS itself will manage online resource licensing and negotiation of electronic resource contracts in-house based upon recommendations of the AskRI advisory group.