Thursday, 27 December 2012

CARIB LIN's 5th anniversary & 2013 goals

This year 2012, marks the 5th year of keeping this blog going. And since it is now December, it is about that time again when I reflect and review the year for the Carib LIN blog. For 2012, my goals were to:

  • maintain grammatically and error free entries, while ensuring that this blog is accurate, trustworthy and reliable.
  • provide a voice in the blogosphere for issues in Caribbean library and information service environment
  • report developments that are of interest to and affect librarians and information professionals who have an interest in the region.
  • and maintain the survival of this blog through: posting at least one blog posting per month on news relevant to the region and attempting to enlist at least one other partner blogger to post

As I began and completed my first year as a PhD student, I wondered if I would have any time to update this blog and keep the posts coming in regularly. However, on reviewing the record, I have found that  Carib LIN was able to maintain the schedule of posting at least 1 post per month. In fact all goals have been met with the exception of enlisting a partner blogger to help with maintaining the content of this blog.

For this year, our news postings came from Guyana, Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago on a number issues representative of the happenings in academic, public and national libraries and other information institutions. The blog also featured posts on a number of conferences and events of importance taking place within the region. Some of our news may seem ephemeral, but in the long term, our blog could be considered for archival value as an historical record of select events and happenings in libraries in the region. More realistically, our blog could serve as an information source to point researchers (including historians studying the region's libraries) to other source materials to help in creating those official historical records.

It is that outlook that keeps me motivated to continue to commit a fraction of my time each month to documenting some of the relevant news and available electronic information sources on the region's libraries and information-related institutions. It is something that I will do for free and will commit to not even advertising or accepting advertising funds for.

Yours faithfully

Mark-Shane Scale,
Chief editor of Carib LIN, curator, and blogger.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Georgetown School of Nursing to get 'virtual' library

Author: Anthony Layne  
Title: Health sector skills capacity boosted as 91 medical personnel complete training programme
Source: Guyana Chronicle
Date published: 5 December 2012


This article reports on a speech made by the Guyanese Health Minister Dr. Bheri Ramsaran, delivered at the graduation of clinical and technical trainees at the National Cultural Centre. In that speech, the Minister announces plans to have the Georgetown School of Nursing upgrade its library to a virtual one with the installation of computers and Wireless Internet. In addition, the library will be expanded to accommodate more persons.

"Georgetown School of Nursing—at the centre of controversy in recent times—will soon have its library upgraded to a virtual library with the installation of computers and hot spot. Further,the school’s resource centre will be expanded  and so will the classrooms to alleviate the cramped conditions."

University youth implements the Read For Life Summer Programme in Barbados

Author: Natasha Beckles
Title: Nourishing a love for books
Source: Nation News
Date published: DECEMBER 02, 2012

The article reports on a summer reading programme for children in libraries across Barbados, the Read For Life Summer Programme. In this programme, participants as young as three years old are involved in activities to use their imaginations and creativity while discovering the fun of reading books. A brief biographical background about the founder of the programme, Gillian Rowe, is provided. Rowe  is a 22 year old history student at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Cave Hill Campus.

The article discusses the outcomes and impact of the programme from Rowe's perspective. Read For Life according to Rowe, has helped to increase the usage of libraries especially during the summer, and has impacted children's personal development over the three years. Parents have also came forward seeking assistance to improve their children's reading.

How the programme was implemented is also documented. In the first year, volunteers went into the community to learn about the reading habits of children from their parents. In the second year, the children themselves were surveyed in order to find out what their favourite books were, who read to them, if they enjoyed reading and if they liked drawing pictures or imagining stories after reading a book. Based on these findings, the volunteers used the third year to locate more books that the children can relate to culturally.

Rowe make suggestions from her research about the development of children book publishing for the region. According to Rowe, children want to read about the stories and issues in their own lives of which they have questions about. Rowe is also reported as stating that there is a shortage of Barbadian and Caribbean children books, despite the quantity of teachers, writers and literary students graduating from the University of the West Indies. Rowe suggests that a publishing platform be established to to purposefully increase the quantity of regional books. Other suggestions are given in order to rectify the problem including using the submissions to the National Independence Festival Of Creative Arts (NIFCA) to discover new ideas for publication.

Rowe also discusses the partnerships that Read For Life has established including referrals of children who need extra assistance to the LITE Remedial Reading Centre. Future expansion in programming are announced, including a plan to launch the pilot phase of its Homework Helper programme which will include three schools and three branch libraries. A bit of information is provided about the homework helper program, where after school assistance will be provided to select students at the libraries who need help with their homework. This programme will be staffed with volunteers at three libraries that will provide one-on-one assistance.Rowe also announces plans for two additional end of year readings on December 22 and 29 at the Bridgetown Library, lasting for two hours, which will enable parents to have their children occupied while completing their shopping.


“We encourage children to come and use the resources in library branches for themselves, to help them with their schoolwork, to help them with general knowledge and to help them as they try to find a profession and way of life for themselves,” she said of the programme which caters to those up to the age of 18. 

The non-profit organization is staffed by a number of volunteers, many of whom are former teachers and principals and students who want to become teachers. 

However, anyone who is passionate about encouraging children and helping them to develop is welcome to volunteer since they are trained before being placed in the libraries.