Providence Public Library Welcomes… Unicorns!? Executive Director Jack Martin is doing things differently

Source: John Taraborelli, Providence Monthly, January 20, 2015

….That changed in early 2013, when renovations to the Grand Hall and several other sections of the Washington Street side were completed, and the library opened for business as a special event space. A partnership with Russell Morin Fine Catering positioned the library as a venue for weddings, fundraisers and other special occasions that merit an air of grandeur. Proceeds from those rentals go straight back to the library to support programming and services – a crucial source of funding for an institution that no longer receives money from the City. “We’re a private nonprofit, so it’s vital to us. We couldn’t carry out a lot of these ideas if we didn’t have that funding,” Martin says. “When people have events here, they’re essentially donating to the library.” Renovations continue to transform the space. An ongoing expansion of the fifth floor, which has always been staff workspace that was never open to the public, will turn it into a learning lab and maker space for innovative and educational programming. Martin points out that PPL’s 112,000 square feet of learning library make it a physically larger cultural entity than even AS220, which owns three separate properties downtown. ….