Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Death of Chief Librarian of the Guyana National Library

Author: Michel Outridge
Title: Chief Librarian Gillian Thompson dies in road accident
Source: Guyana Chronicle Online
Date published: Dec 24, 2013


The news article reports on the death of Gillian Thompson, the Chief Librarian of the Guyana National Library. Outlined are some details about the circumstances leading to her death. Biographical details are also reported about her life. The reporter also captures the emotions of a staff member of the National library, Margaret Eastman, Coordinator of External Activities. Also reported is the statement released by the Ministry of Education offering condolences to the family as well as providing further biographical details about Gillian Thompson. 

Thompson served as Chief Librarian for the past nine years after pursuing post-graduate studies in Library Science at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus.
Many staff members bemoaned the loss of a person who they considered to be “a good boss.”Funeral arrangements will be announced later.
 Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education expressed sincere condolences to the family, friends and staff of the National Library, on the passing of Ms. Thompson.
 The Ministry in a release said Thompson worked at the National Library for just over two decades, beginning on November 1, 1991. In 2004 she became the Chief Librarian and worked tirelessly until her untimely passing on December 24, 2013.
 “A consummate professional who dedicated her time, energy, and professional training in library science towards the advancement of reading in Guyana, Gillian would be dearly missed not only by her family, but by her colleagues and friends at the National Library and those from within the education fraternity,” the Ministry said adding: “May her soul Rest In Peace!.”

CARIB LIN's 6th anniversary and 2014 goals

It has been 6 years since I have been keeping this blog going. As is my custom, since it is now December, I reflect on and review the year for the Carib LIN blog.

In December 2007, when Carib LIN was born, the blog represented my timid foot into blogging. Here I refrained from commentary and sharing opinion, but just providing a referral blog to other news relevant to the region's library and information professionals. Hence, my aim and objective in Carib LIN was to provide documentary evidence of facts and descriptive and analytical summaries. Today, the blog is still operated in this manner. (However, I have become a bit bolder in blogging, in my blog Small Island Librarian, taking greater risks by publishing my professional opinions, rants and ideas).

At the writing of this post, the Carib LIN statistics indicate that I have managed to maintain this blog with at least one post per month, with an average of 2 posts per month. This is a good achievement considering the effort it takes to: a) keep blogging and b) to keep an eye out for news to blog about.

For 2014, I will strive to continue:
  • providing an abstracting and selective information dissemination service for important library and information related news in the English-speaking Caribbean
  • maintaining grammatically and error free entries, while ensuring that this blog is accurate, trustworthy and reliable 
  • providing a voice in the blogosphere for issues in Caribbean library and information service environment 
  • reporting developments that are of interest to and affect librarians and information professionals who have an interest in the region. 
  • and maintaining the survival of this blog through at least one blog posting per month.
Apart from this, I want to give a shout out to Athaliah Reynolds, from Jamaica Information Service (JIS), who has consented to alert me to relevant news published by JIS that are suitable for mentioning on this blog. Finally, I want to give thanks to you, the reader, for the continued visitation of Carib LIN, and I wish you a prosperous 2014.

Faithfully yours,

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

Monday, 23 December 2013

Jamaica Library Service gets grant for ICT resources

Title: Jamaica Library Service gets grant to boost ICT resources
Source: Jamaica Observer
Date published: Saturday, December 21, 2013
URL: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Jamaica-Library-Service-gets-grant-to-boost-ICT-resources

The article announces the funding of US$2 million to the Jamaica Library Services (JLS) for
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) resources and projects in Jamaican public libraries. The article also reports comments from both Education Minister, Ronald Thwaites and Paul Lalor, Chairman of the Board of the JLS, expressing appreciation for the award of the grant and indicating the implications of what the funding will allow the JLS to accomplish in Jamaica's public libraries.

KINGSTON, Jamaica - The Jamaica Library Service (JLS) received a grant of US$2 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation based in Seattle, United States of America, which will, along with co-funding of US$1.1 million from the Jamaican Government, help the JLS to boost Information and Communication Technology (ICT) resources in public libraries.

The funds will also enable JLS to provide additional training for staff and users, enhance programmes and services and support a comprehensive advocacy and marketing campaign.

In July the foundation advised the JLS of the granting of the award for the charitable purpose to enrich lives and ultimately contribute to the achievement of the country’s Vision 2030, Jamaica the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business.

Jamaica's Ministry of Labour and Social Security launches Records Management Competition

Author: Athaliah Reynolds-Baker
Title: Labour Ministry Launches Records Management Competition
Source: Jamaica Information Service
Date published:  December 19, 2013
URL: http://jis.gov.jm/labour-ministry-launches-records-management-competition/

The article reports on the launch of a  Records Management Competition hosted by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. It outlines the eligible participants and the reason for the competition's initiative, to encourage efficient and effective records and information management in the Ministry. Reported speech from the launch comes from Portfolio Minister, Hon. Derrick Kellier; Registrar, Documentation, Information and Access Services Unit (DIAS), Winston Walker; and Records Manager, University of the West Indies, Sonia Black.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security has launched its Records Management Competition 2014, under the theme ‘Keep or Toss’.

The contest, which is open to MLSS records staff in all 14 parishes, is meant as an incentive to officers, while highlighting their significant role in maintaining efficient and effective records and information management in the Ministry.

Portfolio Minister, Hon. Derrick Kellier, while speaking at Wednesday’s (December 18) launch, highlighted the importance of a comprehensive records management programme, pointing out that it can enable an organisation to fulfill its mission and contribute to nation-building, while saving in terms of finance and human resources.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Caribbean librarian honoured for contribution to literacy

Title: Library recognises literacy and financial contributors
Date published: Thursday, 21 November 2013
Source: The Daily Herald
URL: http://thedailyherald.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=44251:library-recognises-literacy-and-financial-contributors-&catid=1:islands-news&Itemid=54

The article reports on what appears to be Philipsburg Jubilee Library's 90th anniversary celebrations awards ceremony. At this event, retired Caribbean librarian, Blanca Hodge, was honoured for her leadership at Philipsburg Jubilee Library and contribution to literacy. Others awarded at the event included supporters and regular users of the library including St. Maarten Museum Director Elsje Bosch.

Library Director, Monique Alberts is reported as providing attendees at the awards ceremony with a brief history of the library from its opening on November 23, 1923 to the present. The article also reports the name of other important invitees in attendance.


PHILIPSBURG--Retired Philipsburg Jubilee Library head Blanca Hodge, who made the library's slogan "Reading is FUNdemental" popular, has proven that literacy is a family concern. She and her grandson Yshmael Marcelle were honoured by the library on Thursday evening for their commitment to literacy.

They were among several awardees at the recognition ceremony that kicked started the library's 90th anniversary celebrations.

Hodge, represented by her daughter Moira Marcelle-Hodge, received the 2013 President's Award. She was selected by Library President Chantal Schaminee-Ringeling for her "unflinching commitment to literacy" in St. Maarten and the wider Caribbean. Hodge made the library more than a place to read books and helped to develop the library from its humble beginnings on Back Street to the larger building it occupies now, Schaminee-Ringeling said.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Urban Jamaican secondary school gets new library/media centre

Author: Douglas McIntosh
Title: Campion Gets New Library/Media Centre
Date published:  25 October 2013
Source: Jamaica Information Service
URL: http://www.jis.gov.jm/news/leads-100/35422


This article announces the newly constructed library/media centre at an urban Jamaican secondary school. Mentioned in the article is the naming of the facility, some details of the infrastructure, the amount donated to construct it and the principal contributors to the construction project. The reporter also reports on the formal launch of the facility and the speeches by the Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, Chairman of the Vision 2020 Campaign, under which the Centre’s development was carried out, Andrew Mahfood, and a representative from the family after which the facility was named. Both Mahfood and Adam Stewart who spoke on behalf of the family are reported as providing their comments about what they envision the new library will do for the school. Also reported are speeches from the Chairman of Campion’s Board, Anton Thompson, and the principal, Grace Baston, giving their appreciation for the facility and what they envision it will do for the students and the school.


Campion College’s academic programme for its 1,450 enrolled students has been significantly strengthened by a newly built library/media centre at the institution’s Old Hope Road campus, in St. Andrew.

The facility, the Jonathan Stewart Library Media Centre, is named in honour of the late Campion College alumnus and son of hotelier and business mogul, Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart.
Construction of the centre, which has been outfitted with a range of state-of-the-art information technology solutions and applications, was undertaken at a cost of US$1.4 million, of which Mr. Stewart’s family donated some US$350,000.

The remaining sum, inclusive of US$200,000 in gifts, was raised through various donations and fund-raising efforts by past students and friends of the school.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

The Caribbean Genealogy Library on St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands

Author: Gerald Singer
Title: Caribbean Genealogy Library
Date published: October 21, 2013
Source: Life on St. John USVI/ St. John Life
URL: http://seestjohn.com/st_john_life/life-on-st-john/caribbean-genealogy-library/

This article or post reports on the Caribbean Genealogy Library, a library in the US Virgin Islands. The post also declares its location and outlines the scope of its collection.


The Caribbean Genealogy Library is a little known library on St.Thomas that is a veritable treasure trove of information for those interested in genealogical studies as well as Caribbean history. The Library is located at Al Cohens Plaza, next to Mango Tango Art Gallery, across from Randys Restaurant, on St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. Just a 10 minute ride by taxi from the WICO cruise ship dock.

The library features rare books, maps, newspapers, & magazines, Danish West Indies/US Virgin, Islands census records, Virgin Islands Church Records, US National Archives M1883 & M1884 microfilms, Virgin Islands Funeral Booklets, Ancestry.com, Family History Library affiliate library, Caribbean Jewish family genealogies and a St. Thomas Graphics publications collection.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Grenada Public Library to reopen in 2014

Title: Public Library to reopen early next year
Date published: Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Source: The Government of Grenada
URL: http://www.gov.gd/egov/news/2013/sep13/27_09_13/item_2/public_library_reopen_next_year.html

This announcement by the Government of Grenada reveals the relocation of the Grenada Public Library to the National Stadium and the resumption fo library services from this new location. The announcement also reveals the reason for the relocation as well as announces the repairs being undertaken to the library's original building.


The Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development would like to inform the public that negotiations are currently underway to resume the services of the Grenada Public Library.

The Library will be reopened at a new location, the National Stadium, as the previous building is in need of extreme structural repair.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Inaugural book fair for student teachers at a Jamaican college

Title: Moneague College Stages First Book Fair
Date published: 16 SEPTEMBER 2013
Source: Jamaica Information Service
URL: http://www.jis.gov.jm/component/content/article/100-education/35034-moneague-college-stages-first-book-fair


Article reports on the inaugural book fair on the campus of a Jamaican college for teachers, where reading  and educational materials were on display from nine providers. College librarians among others are quoted as indicating the benefit of the fair in exposing student teachers to [local] educational materials that can support their work as teachers in the delivery of the curriculum.


Meanwhile, librarian at the St Joseph's Teachers College in Kingston, Jackie Morris, said the event was useful for the students "to actually see what each book store holds and what they have on display, and what material they can get to support their curriculum".

"I think it is a very interesting book fair and it is something that I would want to adopt also," she stated.

Librarian at the Moneague College, Theresa Reid, explained that the event was held to enable students to access material for their courses.

"As you would imagine, with the economic situation, the libraries are not necessarily able to provide all the resources that the students need, and so based on demand we would want to encourage our students to get their own resources for their classes," she stated. She said the aim was to make the book fair an annual event.

The art collection at The Mona Library at the University of the West Indies

Author: Amitabh Sharma
Title: UWI's Treasure Trove
Source: Jamaica Gleaner
Date published: September 8, 2013 1
URL: http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130908/arts/arts1.html

The article briefly introduces the art collection at The Mona Library at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona campus. Information is given about some of the items or works in the collection as well as to the collection development over the years. Frances Salmon, head, West Indies and Special Collection, is interviewed. Salmon in the interview discusses the range of art featured, how some of the items were acquired as well as the purpose for the collection.


What would you call a space that houses more than 170 pieces of art? A gallery? A museum? Or an art aficionado's sprawling villa? The answer: none of the above. What if one said that these artefacts sit in a library?

Visitors would rarely notice - as they lug their journals, laptops and reading material to study or sift through catalogues and books to research - that a library is more than a book bank.
The Mona Library at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona campus, is the abode of pieces of art that are both steeped in history and a convergence of cultures from across the world.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Heritage public library restoration commences in Trinidad and Tobago

Author: Rachael Espinet
Title: Old Public Library to be restored
Date published: Saturday, August 3 2013
Source: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday
This article reports on announcements made at a reception held by the Board of the National Library and Information Systems Authority (NALIS). Lucia Phillip, Executive Director of  NALIS, is reported as giving some historical background and significance to the Knox Street Library. The article provides further information about the historical background of the library, including when it was opened and when it declined due to poor structural building conditions.
The article however positively reports on the heritage restoration plans for the building. Jennifer Joseph, Vice-Chair of NALIS Board and the Chair of the Restoration Committee is reported as stating what the new library building after restoration will look like and the types of services that it will provide. Plans for the restored library include making hold collections and artifacts from the country’s leaders and for it to become both a research library and a heritage museum.
The reporter also reports on the donations received by the library from various Prime Ministers and presidents of Trinidad and Tobago,  as well pending donations of  photographs, audiovisual memorabilia, documents relating to speeches and government business and other general artifacts. Information is also given about the architectural style of the building. The architect responsible for the restoration, Rudylyn Roberts, is also named and the work done so far and expected due date of completion is highlighted.

The Education Minister, Dr Tim Gopeesingh, is also reported as affirming the Government's commitment towards allocating the necessary funds for the restoration and refurbishment of the building.
Professor Brinsley Samaroo, historian and a member of the Restoration Committee, is also mentioned as calling for donations of artifacts like letters, spectacles, books, journals, or any item belonging to a leader of Trinidad and Tobago for the library's collection.
The old Trinidad Public Library on Knox Street, Port-of-Spain, will be fully restored and filled with a collection of historical artifacts from past and present presidents and prime ministers.
This was announced yesterday at a reception held by the Board of the National Library and Information Systems Authority (NALIS).
The restored library will hold collections and artifacts from the country’s leaders so that it will become both a state of the art research facility and a heritage museum.


Sunday, 7 July 2013

Museum to be established in Montego Bay, Jamaica

Author: Leon McPherson and/or Bryan Miller  
Title: Fencing of Montego Bay Civic Centre to Cost $17 Million
Source: Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Regional Office (Montego Bay)
Date published: Sunday, 7 July 2013
URL: http://www.jis.gov.jm/component/content/article/108-youth-sport-culture/34505-fencing-of-montego-bay-civic-centre-to-cost-17-million

This article reports on comments by both the Mayor of Montego Bay, Glendon Harris, and the Executive Director of the Tourist Enhancement Fund (TEF), Clyde Harrison, mentioning plans to establish a museum in Montego Bay. The site identified for the museum is at the Montego Bay Civic Centre at the historic Sam Sharpe Square. It will be established by the St. James Parish Council in association with the Institute of Jamaica with funding from the Tourist Enhancement Fund.

According to Mayor of Montego Bay,  Glendon Harris, there is a long term proposal to properly utilize the area reserved for a bistro, and to establish a museum,  that will help to  provide a relaxing atmosphere.
The Mayor said that the work being carried out will allow for better control in and around the facility. 
Executive Director of the TEF, Clyde Harrison, said his organization has plans for more work to be done at the centre. 
“The vision is to establish a museum, in association with the Institute of Jamaica; an arts centre; a bistro and a logo shop,” he explained.

Shortwood Branch library's annual essay competition

Title: Oberlin Student Tops Shortwood Library Essay Competition
Source: Jamaica Gleaner
Date Published: Thursday, June 6, 2013
URL: http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130606/lead/lead95.html

The article reports on a prize-giving award ceremony for an essay competition. At the event a secondary school student receives an award for her submission  to the Shortwood Branch Library's Annual Essay Competition held at the Shortwood Branch Library, St Andrew. Both excerpts of the speeches of the winning student and the librarian are reported. The student comments on her emotions at winning the award as well as summarizes what her essay was about, whereas the librarian discusses the purpose and rationale behind the competition and its theme. Colleen Mignott, the librarian also mentions that the programme was outreach to the community and provides background information including the length of time the essay competition has been in operation.

Colleen Mignott, librarian at the Shortwood Branch Library, noted that the theme was inspired by the recognition that, as children begin to define their own ideals such as human rights, equality, honour, and justice, they often seek to identify heroes who symbolise the qualities and ambitions that they themselves aspire for.
"We thought that children use such ideals to define themselves, so we wanted to see them bring that out in their current-day heroes, not only the ones that are gone such as Marcus Garvey and Norman Manley, as there are several that are among us today. Some even wrote about their teachers as their heroes, and that is really good," Mignott said.

She also stated that the competition is a part of the library's community outreach programme.
"We like to consider ourselves as stakeholders in the education process as a library service, especially as a public library. So in doing this, we tried to help the children to develop their writing skills," she said.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Jamaica Library Services' Literacy Intervention programme

Author: Lorraine McLean
Title: The JLS's Literacy Intervention programme
Source: Jamaica Observer
Date published: Wednesday, June 19, 2013
URL: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-JLS-s-Literacy-Intervention-programme_14523529

This article is a letter to the editor of the Jamaica Observer from the Regional Director of the Manchester Parish Library Network, Lorraine McLean, reporting on the Jamaica  Library Services' Literacy Intervention programme. Within the article, information is provided about the Jamaica Library Service, the history of the literacy intervention programme and some of the activities and events under the programme.

The JLS, in support of the goals and objectives of the MOE, embarked on a pilot project to implement its Grade 4 Literacy Intervention Programme which began in Region 3 and was extended to the other five regions. Region 3 of the JLS comprises 170 school libraries in the parishes of Manchester and Clarendon.

The Literacy Intervention Programme began with two schools in Manchester where children were encouraged to participate in activities related to lessons taught from the Grade 4 curriculum. The activities were practical and so students were excited to share their thoughts in a manner which allowed them to express themselves confidently and fluently.

English was the language of choice, but they were allowed to speak in patois as well. Students were rewarded with small tokens and so they were motivated to work hard.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Dr. Joyce Robinson remembered

Author: Desmond Allen
Title: Dr Joyce Robinson — 'a Rock of Gibraltar in times of emotional stress'
Date: Thursday, May 16, 2013
Source: Jamaica Observer

This article reports on various tributes being offered to Dr. Joyce Robinson. In particular, remarks from the Opposition Leader and leader of the Jamaican Labour Party, Andrew Holness is reported. Also reported is remarks from the current President of  the Library and Information Association of Jamaica (LIAJA), Matthew Blake and Dr Hazel Bennett, a close friend and retired senior lecture of the library school  at the University of the West Indies. From these tributes, the life and contribution of Dr. Joyce Robinson is reflected, especially her work as a librarian and her foundational work in developing libraries in Jamaica, including the establishment of the public library, the library association, national library system and  library school.


Joyce Robinson was a founding member of the Jamaica Library Association, the forerunner of LIAJA, and served the Association in several capacities including that of president on two occasions — 1964 and 1973. In 1992 she was elected honorary member of the Association in recognition of her contribution to the growth and development of the profession and to the courageous leadership she gave in promoting the value of library services to national development.

"Joyce Robinson will be remembered specifically for her role in the development of the Jamaica Library Service from 1950-1973, the last 16 years as director and the first Jamaican to hold this position. Equally important was her role in advocating for the establishment of a library school on the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies, as well as her role as a founding member of the National Council on Libraries, Archives and Documentation Services (NACOLADS). For this she served as the chairman from 1980-1990 and was instrumental in the establishment of the National Library of Jamaica, which she served as the first board chairman from 1979 to 1996.

Tribute to Jamaican librarian Dr. Joyce Robinson from the Jamaican Observer

Title: Dr Joyce Robinson, a true human treasure
Date: May 14, 2013
Source: Jamaica Observer
URL: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/editorial/Dr-Joyce-Robinson--a-true-human-treasure_14261663

This editorial reports on the death of Jamaican librarian Dr. Joyce Robinson and provides a tribute on her accomplishments and work in her service to her country. Brief mentioned is her foundational role in establishing the Jamaican Library service.

"From a volunteer on a library committee in Black River, she was one of the women and men who worked to establish a full-fledged library service in 1948 and fittingly became its first Jamaican head in 1957." 

Jamaican PM honours deceased librarian Dr. Joyce Robinson

Author: OPM Communications Unit
Title: PM Hails Dr. Joyce Robinson as a Strong, Determined Woman
Date: MONDAY, 13 MAY 2013
Source: JIS
URL: http://www.jis.gov.jm/news/leads/33854

The article reports on the tribute offered by Jamaican Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller at the passing of Dr. the Hon. Joyce Robinson, a Jamaican librarian. The article briefly mentions in passing her contribution to Jamaican libraries.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller has expressed deep sadness at the passing of Dr. the Hon. Joyce Robinson, who died on Sunday, May 12.

In paying tribute, the Prime Minister said that in the many different areas in which she served, Dr. Joyce Robinson was a pioneering, truly outstanding and highly accomplished Jamaican woman who dedicated her life to public service.

As the first Jamaican to head the National Library Service, Dr. Robinson played an invaluable role in the vibrant development of the Service between 1957 and 1979.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Jamaican rural public library stages annual Boys' Reading Day

Title: "Reading is a 'man ting': Boys urged to read, read, read ..."
Source: Jamaica Observer
Date: Tuesday, May 07, 2013
URL:  http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Reading-is-a--man-ting-_14211980


The article reports on an annual outreach programme by the Manchester Parish Library Network to promote reading among males in the parish. At the event for this year, the article reports on speeches by the director of the Manchester Parish Library Network, Lorraine McLean giving what appears to be a rationale for the programme and the idea behind it.  McLean also provides information on how the programme originated in the parish and why it was adopted. The event also featured speeches from two male role models, namely the head of the Area Three Police (Manchester, Clarendon and St Elizabeth) Derrick Knight and Larone Reid, a student of Holmwood Technical High School, all emphasizing the importance and benefits of reading for males. The article further reports on other activities that took place during the day's events.

MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Faced with data that boys, especially, are not doing well at the Grade Four Literacy Test, the Manchester Parish Library Network has undertaken a programme to promote reading in some of the worse performing schools in the parish.
It hosts an annual Boys' Reading Day, in addition to monthly interactive sessions in individual schools.
"Boys, especially, are not doing well in the grade four literacy exam. Boys learn differently from girls and that's important for teachers to understand and be a little more creative...," regional director for the library network Lorraine McLean said.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Seminar introduces Jamaican librarians to Resource Description and Access (RDA)

Author: Andrea Braham,
Title: All Jamaicans Urged to Embrace Technology
Source: Jamaica Information Service
Date published: 16 April 2013
URL: http://www.jis.gov.jm/news/leads-111/33581


The article reports on speeches delivered to a group of librarians and information specialists attending a seminar to introduce the implementation of a new international cataloguing system, Resource Description and Access (RDA). The event was hosted by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), the Library and Information Association of Jamaica and National Library of Jamaica.The objectives of the seminar are stated, namely to create national awareness of the introduction and implementation of RDA and to educate and inform all members of the Jamaica Library and Information Network (JAMLIN) community and Information Technology personnel about the system.

In the speech by the Jamaican State Minister in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson, he mentions the Government's efforts to connect the libraries, post offices and schools is part of an overall strategy to ensure universal access to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) services for Jamaicans. The Minister further reports statistics regarding the establishment of community access point projects, whereby computer labs and Internet cafes have been established in churches and other public sites. Mr. Robinson is also reported as stating that librarians need to change the services they offer to students and youth.

Also reported is the Head of the Cataloguing Section at the University of the West Indies, Rosemarie Runcie. Ms. Runcie notes that the new RDA system has emerged in response to the changing nature of how users discover and access information. She is further reported as saying that the new system is an improved version of the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR2) currently used in Jamaica. She also reports on what the RDA tool kit contains and how it differs from the AACR2.

President of the Library and Information Association of Jamaica, Matthew Blake, is also cited as urging his colleagues to begin early adoption of the system in their various organizations.


In the meantime, Head of the Cataloguing Section at the University of the West Indies, Rosemarie Runcie, noted that the new RDA system has emerged in response to the changing nature of how users discover and access information.

She assured them that the new system is an improved version of the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR2), currently being used in Jamaica.

“The RDA tool kit contains all the important areas, but with a few additional ones, created especially to accommodate more information about the resources themselves and in particular online resources and about the creators, so as to help us better identify them,” Ms. Runcie informed.

The RDA will also provide rules and guidelines to facilitate the description and access of all digital and analogue material, resulting in records that can be used in a variety of digital environments.

President of the Library and Information Association of Jamaica, Matthew Blake, urged his colleagues to begin using the system in their various organizations, as early as possible.

“A new standard is out. The world we interact with has begun to use it…So, as the world starts, we must also move to be in tandem with what is happening across the globe. Information is dynamic and we as dynamic professionals must move with it, to ensure that our clients (also) move to access that information that they need in a timely manner,” Mr. Blake urged.

Jamaican alumni association plans fundraising concert for digital library project

Title: Classical duo to perform at Mico - School to use concert funds to digitise library
Source: Jamaica Gleaner
Date published: April 16, 2013
URL: http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130416/ent/ent2.html

This article reports on a fundraising event planned by the Mico Old Student Association (MOSA). The fundraiser is a concert featuring two Jamaican international classical vocal artistes. Funds raised from ticket purchases  for the concert are to go towards digitisation of the archives and scholarly collections of The Mico's Renford Shirley Library. The project is estimated at $10-million. When completed, the digital library will feature a gallery of historical photographs, early prints, as well as newspaper and journal articles. The new digital library will also provide users with the opportunity to tag and add metadata. The college librarian, Vinell Spied, is briefly reported as giving a statement on the importance of this digital library initiative.


Two of Jamaica's internationally acclaimed classical artistes, Curtis Watson and Pauline Forrest-Watson, will be the featured performers at the Mico Old Student Association's (MOSA) fund-raising concert entitled 'Evening of Classical Ballads', scheduled to take place at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel on Sunday at 5:00 p.m.

The concert is being held under the distinguished patronage of Sir Kenneth and Lady Hall.

While patrons attending this event will get another opportunity to enjoy the musical mastery of the classical couple, they will also be contributing to MOSA's efforts to preserve and digitise the extensive historical archives and scholarly collections of The Mico's Renford Shirley Library, to create a more user-centred information portal that can be shared locally and globally.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

National Library of Jamaica acquires DVD series of 2008 to 2012 Powerful Men and Women concert series

Title: Powerful Men and Women make legal deposit
Source: Jamaica Observer
Date published: April 16, 2013

This newspaper article reports on the National Library of Jamaica's acquisition of DVD video recordings of a Jamaican charity concert series featuring prominent and popular public officials and personalities. The board director and fund-raising chairman of the concert series, Thyra Heaven, is named as the person depositing the DVDs in keeping with the Legal Deposit Act. A brief statement is given explaining the Legal deposit act. The article also purports that the National Library views this particular deposit as being a primary research resource for researchers studying charity organisations in early 21st-century Jamaica.


THE collection of Jamaica's recorded culture and heritage at the National Library of Jamaica was increased recently with the handing over of video recordings of the concert series, Powerful Men and Woment [sic] in Concert. 
While preparing for this year's concert, set for June 2, Thyra Heaven stopped by the National Library of Jamaica last Wednesday to make her legal deposit of DVDs of the 2008 to 2012 concerts.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Jamaica to switch to RDA 's new digital cataloguing system for libraries

Title: New digital cataloguing system for library network
Date published: Friday, April 12, 2013
Source: Jamaican Observer
URL: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/New-digital-cataloguing-system-for-library-network_14044061


This article reports on plans for Jamaican library networks to move from Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR2) to the newer international digital cataloguing system of the Resource Description and Access (RDA). It also reports on a seminar being planned in Kingston to create a national awareness of the imminent introduction and implementation of the RDA and also attempt to educate and inform members of the Jamaica Library and Information Network (JAMLIN) community about RDA.

The report also discusses an event by Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank, that gathered library professionals to discuss this new plan. Quoted is the president of the Library and Information Association of Jamaica and Librarian at the Jamaica Tourist Board Matthew Blake who supports the move. Also quoted is Maxine Jones, a cataloguer at the National Library of Jamaica, about the need for developing and implementing a National Bibliographical database to facilitate access to all the information within the various libraries islandwide. The views of librarian/documentalist at the Planning Institute of Jamaica, Viviene Kerr-Williams, is also reported. Kerr-Williams opines that the move fulfils some national goals set out in the national development plan, Vision 2030, in making Jamaica a first world country by 2030.

JAMAICA'S public library network will soon boast a new international digital cataloguing system, which is expected to help persons doing research or requesting information from library archives.
The system, called the Resource Description and Access (RDA), is the new international cataloguing standard, designed for the digital environment, and is intended to replace the current Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR2) before year end.

Caribbean Freedom of Information Network launched

Title [of Press Rease]: Caribbean Freedom of Information Network launched at Landmark Conference
Alternative title: 11 Caribbean Countries Meet to Discuss Freedom of Information Laws in the Region
Date published: March 22, 2013
Source: World Resources Institute

URL: http://www.wri.org/press/2013/03/release-caribbean-freedom-information-network-launched-landmark-conference

This article or press release announces the outcome and decision of an event (a two-day conference) held in Kingston, Jamaica where 11 Caribbean countries met to discuss matters relating to freedom of information legislation in the region. Commonwealth Caribbean nations with legislation pending, plus those with legislation implemented are noted.

The press release also reportedly quotes from the persons of Dr. Carolyn Gomes, chairperson of the Access to Information Advisory Stakeholders’ Committee and Danielle Andrade, Legal Director of the Jamaica Environment Trust, stating why such legislation is important, useful and beneficial to citizens. Also reported are the sponsors behind the funding and staging of the conference, as well as participants.


For the first time, Caribbean governments and civil society have come together to discuss access to information, public participation in governance, and access to justice at a landmark conference held in Kingston, Jamaica. Representatives from 11 Caribbean countries attended the “Regional Conference on Freedom of Information in the Caribbean: Improving Management for the Environment.”

At the close of the two-day conference on March 21, 2013, governments, civil society, and media announced the decision to launch a Caribbean network on freedom of information to support processes to improve standards for access to information in the region.

Dr. Carolyn Gomes, chairperson of the Access to Information Advisory Stakeholders’ Committee and Executive Director of Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) said, “freedom of information is the most powerful tool for ordinary citizens to arm themselves with the information they need to change their lives. Launching this freedom of information network will build opportunities for collaboration, learning and capacity building among information commissioners, civil society and media across the region.”

Monday, 11 March 2013

Universal Service Fund (USF) to fund the digitisation of works at the National Library of Jamaica

Title: Universal Service Fund Reports $9.7bn in Revenue
Date published: FRIDAY, 08 MARCH 2013
Source: Jamaica Information Service
URL: http://www.jis.gov.jm/news/leads/33174


The article discusses the Universal Service Fund (USF), an initiative by the Jamaican government to collect funds from incoming telephone calls, to be used for developing the nation's broadband services islandwide and enable more Jamaicans to access Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The purpose and work on the USF is mentioned, which includes creating an ICT platform in secondary schools, libraries, post offices, and at community access points (CAPs). The amount of funds collected as of February 5, 2013 is mentioned. Also mentioned are some of the projects being funded, approved and even completed. One such project is the digitisation of works at the National Library of Jamaica, of which the rationale behind the approval of the digitisation project is stated.


Addressing a JIS ‘Think Tank’ on Wednesday, March 6, Chief Executive Officer of the USF, Hugh Cross, said some 34 libraries, 112 schools, and 57 post offices have already been connected.  

Among other projects being undertaken is the digitisation of works at the National Library of Jamaica located at East Street downtown Kingston.

“We just approved funding for them to digitise their entire content. They have vital content on paper and we would like to move that to where it is digitised and web-enabled and accessible from anywhere in the world, because, as you know, paper will deteriorate over time,” Mr. Cross stated.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Rural school library in Jamaica mounts information literacy awareness display

Author: Karen Sudu
Title: Innswood High 'SHINE' On Jamaica Day
Source: Jamaica Gleaner
Date Published: Saturday | February 23, 2013 0 Comments
URL: http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130223/lead/lead9.html#disqus_thread

The article reports on a rural school library in Jamaica, where Dacian Forrest-Gray, the librarian briefly discusses her school library event and the aim of the event. Mentioned is the effort to get the students to become aware of information literacy skills and its importance for their academic success.

"Today, we decided to have an open day for the school library, where we showcase the library, information literacy, so we mounted a display titled SHINE - Sustained Habits for Improved Necessary Educational Empowerment," explained Dacian Forrest-Gray, librarian.

She added: "We have recognised that our students are not so much information literate and they are not so keen on their educational goals, so we want them to SHINE, and we wanted to show them students who were shining, students who have achieved," said Forrest-Gray.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

The University of the West Indies, Mona launches Ebook & Tablet programme

Author: Athaliah Reynolds-Baker
Title: Ministers Hail UWI E-Book Project
Source: Jamaica Information Service
Date published: Thursday, 21 February 2013 09:16
URL: http://www.jis.gov.jm/component/content/article/100-education/33037-ministers-hail-uwi-e-book-project

This article reports on speeches made at the launch of the University of West Indies (UWI), Mona project dubbed the: ‘UWI/Total Electronic Solution Tablet (TEST)’. The reporter reports the reaction of the Education minister, the Rev. the Hon. Ronald Thwaites commending the university for the initiative and stating how much the ministry spends on purchasing print materials annually.

Details are provided about the project which involves medical students receiving  tablet computers made by a local company JLMobile for a one time charge of US$200 with an arrangement for seven-month's warranty and technical support for the duration of the course. The electronic textbooks however are provided by an overseas-based company VitalSource, via its Bookshelf application. This arrangement is said to enable each student to access 18 core medical texts at a cost of US$199.76 per year. This sum is compared to the total cost of purchasing all 18 books in hard copy.

Also mentioned is the reaction of the Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (STEM), Hon. Phillip Paulwell, who also attended the launch. Minister Paulwell congratulated those responsible expressing his pleasure at the embrace of ICTs (Information Communication Technologies) in Jamaica to solve problems.

Further background is provided about how the e-book programme came into being.  The Principal, of UWI, Mona, Professor Gordon Shirley reportedly states that the project is the first of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean. Prof. Shirley also discusses the aims of the program and how the students will access the books. Prof. Shirley also mentions his hopes for the programme as well as the current adoption rate for this new initiative. He also announces in the report plans to expand the project across all faculties and future partnerships to introduce the programme to secondary institutions across the island.


Minister of Education, Rev. the Hon. Ronald Thwaites, has hailed the University of the West Indies’ (UWI) electronic book (e-book) initiative, noting that it will save students significant sums in textbook costs.

Under the project, being piloted in the medical faculty, students will be able to digitally access all their texts and journals at a fraction of the cost of printed material.

Speaking at the official launch on Tuesday, February 19, at the Medical Sciences Building, Minister Thwaites said the initiative must be applauded, as it forms part of the Ministry’s thrust to use technology to improve the education system.

“We spend roughly $3 billion a year in this country purchasing school books. The state spends about a third of that and this project represents the application of technology, which will remove the burden of the heavy cost of printed material, which many of our parents can scarcely bear,” he stated.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

ACURIL XLIII: Call for Papers, Workshops and Poster Presentations

Conference Name: ACURIL XLIII
Date: 9 -14 June 2013
Location: International San Juan Resort & Casino, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Title: Knowledge Territories: 
Subtitle: Exploring commons environments for learning, research, creativity and productivity in libraries, archives and museums in the Caribbean

The President of the Association of Caribbean University, Research, and Institutional Libraries (ACURIL), Mrs. Cindy JimĂ©nez-Vera, cordially invites you to submit your paper for conference, workshop or poster, the forthcoming conference to be held in San Juan, Puerto Rico, 9-14 June 2013. 

This Call for Paper, Workshops and Posters, to be presented at the Conference, is open to all information specialists including librarians, archivists, record administrators, museologists and educators in the field of information science, as well as information providers.
URL: http://acuril.uprrp.edu/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=78%3Aacuril-2013-call-for-papers-workshops-and-poster-presentations

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Jamaican rural community to get new library and computer facility

Author: Garfield Angus
Title: Accompong to Get Library and Computer Centre
Source: Jamaica Information Service
Date published: January 8, 2013
URL: http://www.jis.gov.jm/news/leads/32680


The article reports on an event launching the construction for a library in a rural community in Jamaica. The  Minister of Education, Hon. Ronald Thwaites, in his reported speech at the ceremony, informs us about the investor or sponsor behind the project and the cost involved. Minister Thwaites also comments on the potential benefit of public and private partnership on the education of children. The time period of the construction and the exact location of the site is also announced.

The community library is to be built on the grounds of  Accompong Primary and Junior High School, and as such, the article also reports on the reaction of the school's principal, Garfield Rowe. Rowe reports in the speech the users that the facility will serve, which includes both the children and adults of the Accompong community.

Both the principal and Minister of Education are reported as praising the investor/sponsor of the project. The sponsor of project, Mystic Bowie, in turn is described by the article as a recording artiste and music producer, a resident of the area, who is living overseas. In his reported speech the sponsor states his personal vision for the the community and how he sees the project as fulfilling that vision by empowering the children of the community with needed educational resources.


Work will get underway next month on the construction of a state-of-the-art library and computer centre in the community of Accompong in St. Elizabeth.

The project is being funded by recording artiste and music producer, Mystic Bowie, a resident of the area, who is living overseas.

Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony on Sunday (January 6), Minister of Education, Hon. Ronald Thwaites, said the project is significant for the Maroon community and lauded Mr. Bowie for investing more than $6 million (US$65,000) “in the building of education for his community”.