The Road to Annual: Sunday, June 2

It isn’t easy getting out of New York City. Joining a million other drivers in traffic can feel like entering a drive test simulator, dogs and bikes and kids chasing balls into the road while you dart around double-parked cars. And it isn’t any easier when you’re driving a van big enough to hold a full suite of documentary film equipment. (Note to my parallel-parking self: you’re longer than you think!) We took it slow and after an hour and change our nose was pointed north on I-95 toward the first stop on our Road to Annual: Cranston (R.I.) Public Library.


The van is loaded with film equipment and ready to depart New York City! Accompanying us on the cross country tour is Leah Richardson (at right), ALA Councilor at Large and Director of Special Collections, George Washington University.

Rhode Island is home to the American Library Association's Senate champion, Jack Reed. With the support of Reed and other federal legislators from both sides of the aisle, libraries and communities access crucial public funding that expands access to broadband internet and supports mission critical projects in tribal, school, public, and academic libraries through the Institute of Museum and Library Services. ALA’s policy priorities include ensuring balanced copyright protections that enable library services, maintaining support for the Federal Depository Library Program, and advocating for net neutrality protections. With Representative Raúl Grijalva (D-NM), Reed has introduced the Right to Read Act, legislation that would invest millions of dollars toward ensuring equitable access to school libraries for students in every zip code in the nation. Our visit to Cranston will highlight these legislative efforts as well as the vital contributions public libraries make in Rhode Island communities.


Filmmaker Nikita Carpenter, Jr. (left) and ALA President Emily Drabinski (right) pose near a sign at the Rhode Island Visitor Center on the first day of thier road trip.

But that’s for tomorrow. Tonight we’ll get some rest and review the footage we’ve captured so far. We can’t wait to tell these stories.

Mileage: 152

Soundtrack: Khruangbin & Leon Bridges

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