Ocean State Libraries (OSL) is a consortium of Rhode Island’s 48 public libraries and St. George’s School. OSL coordinates a statewide catalog of library materials, digital content and future-ready technology services for its member libraries so they may better serve their patrons and communities. Through their library’s membership in OSL and OSL’s partnership with the Rhode Island Office of Library & Information Services, library patrons have access to over six million books, movies and more, all available at or through their local public library.
OSL is governed by its member libraries. Each member library is an independent organization led by a library director. Library patrons are encouraged to reach out to their local library directly for any questions, issues, or suggestions to ensure the speediest response.
OSL was founded in 1982 as the Cooperating Libraries Automated Network (CLAN) for the purpose of sharing a single library automation system with a common patron database for circulation of library materials. In the beginning, OSL was managed almost entirely by the Providence Public Library. Since incorporating in 1993, the management and policy making functions of OSL have passed from Providence to the general OSL membership. In 2007, CLAN changed its name to Ocean State Libraries.
OSL receives nearly all funding from its member libraries. OSL has also received generous grants from the Champlin Foundation, LSTA grants administered by the Office of Library & Information Services and grants from other organizations to fund special projects and major capital expenses.