Mission Statement 

The mission of the Island Free Library is to fulfill the informational, cultural, and recreational needs of its patrons by providing a full spectrum of library services, including access to print, audio, video, and electronic formats; fostering a lifelong love of reading with programs for children and adults; and promoting computer literacy through appropriate forms of instruction. The library will assist its patrons and staff in becoming familiar with new electronic information resources as they become available at the Island Free Library through on-going instruction and guidance.

Service Policy

The Island Free Library, a public library, is an organization based on sharing.  The Island Free Library’s service policy is designed to ensure that the materials in its collection are for use by the entire community of Block Island and the public as a whole on an equal basis. 

The Island Free Library is a member of Ocean State Libraries (OSL) and any patron who is a an Ocean State Library borrower in good standing is permitted and welcome to borrow materials from the Island Free Library. 

An out of state resident upon presentation of identification may purchase a local use only library card.  These visitor cards are $25.00 each and valid for one year.

The Island Free Library’s loan periods are determined by the size of the collection and the demand for each particular type of material within the collection.  There is no charge for borrowing materials for the indicated time period of an item. 


With few exceptions, all circulating materials are available for borrowing through OSL HOLDS and the interlibrary loan system, in compliance with LORI standards.  Alternately, Block Island patrons have access to circulating materials in all other OSL libraries.


Reference service is available during regular library hours.  The Island Free Library staff responds to requests received in person, by telephone, in writing, and via email.









Interlibrary Loan Policy

The library shall provide and promote interlibrary loan services to all patrons holding a valid Ocean State Libraries (OSL) card, except those patrons holding local use only cards. Library holdings may be requested via the OSL online catalog, or requested at the desk. The availability of these items is dependent on the owning library’s policies. Items not found in the public libraries can be requested from other college and university libraries in Rhode Island. If the items are not found, they may be requested from out-of-state. If a patron's card is invalid or  not in good standing, the librarian on duty will work to validate the card whenever possible. All Island Free Library items set as “holdable” are eligible for interlibrary loan requests.

Vision Statement


The Trustees of the  Island Free Library, its staff, Friends group and volunteers share a vision of literacy and enrichment for all Block Island residents and visitors alike.  All Island Free Library resources- human, financial, material and time- work cooperatively and cohesively to create an institution where all may be educated, entertained, enriched and supported.


All policies and practices of the Island Free Library support both the Vision Statement and Mission Statement.


Island Free Library Technology Plan


Goal 1: Develop and implement electronic resources to effectively meet the needs of the Block Island community.


Objective A: Provide cost-effective electronic resources that fulfill the library’s strategic plan for public services.


            Activities for Implementation:


  • Annually evaluate and implement or renew online database subscriptions that meet the needs of the community.

  • Purchase Microsoft Office 2010 software for both the staff and public computers.

  • Investigate and evaluate software or online subscriptions for GED prep, SAT prep and typing instruction.

  • Provide educational and interactive software for children and young adults.


Objective B: Provide assistance and training for the public and the staff in using the library’s electronic resources.


            Activities for Implementation:


  • Provide online help documents, available thru the library web site for software programs offered by the library.

  • Create “how-to” video tutorials for e-commerce, ezone, e-readers, Envisionware and all other electronic resources, tools and gadgets.

  • Strategize a space as well as opportunities for young adults/teens to harness creativity, including web design, writing, publishing and production and editing of music and video.


Goal 2: Provide electronic resources that allow staff to carry out work functions effectively and efficiently.


Objective A: Maintain a training program so staff can perform effectively in their own jobs and can provide knowledgeable assistance to the public.


            Activities for Implementation:


  • Hold at least 5 staff group sessions per year based on competency lists and results of technology skills survey.

  • Schedule at least one staff meeting program per year to review or introduce new technology in the library.

  • Provide online tutorials or training for staff to learn at their own pace.

  • Develop role-based technology competencies based on WebJunction’s Competency Index for the Library Field.

  • Assess staff competencies by having staff complete the TechAtlas Technology Skills Survey annually and strive for improvement through needed staff training driven by survey results.


Objective B: Deliver catalog and reference service away from the traditional reference desk scenario by using wireless connectivity in the stacks and on the floor.


            Activities for Implementation:


  • Purchase handheld wireless devices to be used in roaming reference and reader’s advisory.  These handheld devices will also be used as telephones away from the desk.

  • Train staff on use of handheld devices and reference service to provide competent and efficient assistance to patrons using wireless technology.

  • Purchase handheld wireless devices to be used for collections inventory.

  • Train staff on use of handheld devices for inventory using wireless technology.


    Goal 3: Electronic Collection Development and Web Services- Select, organize and maintain a quality collection of electronic materials which will provide a basis for community information, education, recreation and historical preservation.


    Objective A: Improve and expand service to people who potentially will or already do use the library virtually rather than in person.


                Activities for Implementation:


  • Add online catalog features such as RSS feeds, My Lists, patron reviews and Nearby on Shelf to add more patron interaction and functionality to the catalog.

  • Redesign the library’s website.

  • Create a functional mobile website to allow commuters, pedestrians and visitors on-the-go access to the library’s resources quickly and seamlessly.

  • Utilize existing social networking tools and sites to develop a social network presence.

  • Investigate the optimal way to offer frequently asked reference questions to the public via the website.

  • Acquire more digital tools to share with the public to provide hands-on access and information thru the development of the “technology petting zoo” and the “gadget mobile”.

  • Strategize with the Sr. Advisory Committee for ways to expose the senior population on Block Island to new technologies and electronic resources.


    Objective B: Convert as many local history resources as possible to electronic format to increase accessibility and help preserve the collection.


    Activities for Implementation:


  • Investigate digitizing photographs and documents from the Block Island History Collection.

  • Link the Block Island History Collection to the library’s website.


    Goal 4: Facilities and Equipment- Provide technology resources to support the objectives of the library.


    Objective A: Maintain network equipment and resources to ensure a stable computing environment.


                Activities for Implementation:


  • Review existing technology policies annually and make recommendations for new policies.

  • Implement annual and special Innovative upgrades.

  • Annually review software and equipment licenses and maintenance agreements and renew as needed.

  • Investigate VOIP (Voice over IP) telecommunications to replace the current telephone system.

  • Investigate touch screen scan station.





    Objective B: Implement green technology practices that preserve the environment and save money through reduced consumption.


                Activities for Implementation:


  • Encourage staff participation in online webinars, videoconferences and workshops thus reducing travel.

  • Install Microsoft Office OneNote and encourage staff to enter random notes, procedures and data in a single location (private and/or shared) that eliminates binders and pages of information.

  • Investigate energy management software for the network to track energy usage on the network and make suggestions for reducing consumption.

  • Reorganize copier, printer, fax, scanner and photo printer capabilities for minimal electricity consumption and reduced supplies.


    Objective C: Investigate funding technologies projects within financial constraints to develop and sustain needed and effective information services.


                Activities for Implementation:


  • Investigate, prepare and submit a digitization grant that fits the scope requested, and adheres to state standards.

  • Investigate LSTA technology grants and apply to applicable grant opportunities.

  • Investigate and apply to other grants funding the enhancement of technology in the library.

  • Continue to appeal for Town of New Shoreham capital project money to ensure the continued advancement of technology in the library.

  • Pursuit Sony e-reader library program.


    Objective D: Implement and maintain security and disaster prevention practices to ensure a stable and secure environment.


                Activities for Implementation:


  • Continue to comply with the provisions of the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) to remain eligible for federal funding under E-Rate, LSTA and other federally funded programs.

  • Review and update disaster plan annually to ensure preventative measures regarding the technology plan and its implementation.