Thursday, 25 December 2014

Carib LIN 2014 reflections and goals for 2015

Each December, I pause to reflect on Carib LIN, a blog that I started in 2007 to provide access to news regarding libraries, museums, archives and other information-centric institutions. This custom begins with my reading what I wrote for reflections for the following year. This is the seventh year that I have been doing this and am thankful and blessed to continue this blog, despite pursuing doctoral studies, tending to my family and among other competing interests.

For 2014, I promised 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.
So how well did I do? I will leave you, my reader, to be the judge.

However, I must first mention, that looking back at the numbers, there were at least two months in which I did not post (March and August). It may not necessarily have been my fault as perhaps there was nothing to report on in those months. Second, gauging by the statistics of views, I think I have also met the goal of reporting news of interest to my library and information professional audience. One of the top posts for the year was one entitled Jamaica public librarian to be honoured for nation... posted October 18, 2014 with 529 unique views.

For 2015 (all things remaining constant), my main objective for Carib LIN is just to keep it alive to represent news from the region, even if it is just a few islands. Wishing you my faithful readers all the best for the rest of 2014 and good health for 2015.

Faithfully yours,

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

Museum established for Jamaican former Premier and National Hero

Author: Tyrone Thompson, Gleaner Staff Reporter
Title: Norman's Birthplace Restored
Date published: December 14, 2014

This article reports on the restoration of the birthplace of former Premier and National Hero Norman Manley at Roxborough in Manchester and the establishment of a museum there. Excerpts of speech are reported from Tourism Minister Wykeham McNeill reacting to the completion of the restoration. Also mentioned is the amount spent so far - $42 million. The article further outlines the economic challenges plaguing the project while providing arguments for the value of the project for Jamaican heritage and tourism. Also reported is Ainsley Henriques, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the National Heritage Trust, defending the investment made in Roxborough and arguing that the return on investment is already evident in the numbers of increased visitors.


The site, which sits on approximately 2.5 acres, had fallen into disrepair and eventually destroyed by fire in 1968. It was renovated by the Government and the National Heritage Fund and was reopened in July of 2013 as a museum and heritage park. The roads leading to the site were also repaved.

McNeill argued that there is intrinsic value in the renovation of historical sites such as Roxborough, which he believes will aid in projecting the island as a multiple-attraction destination.

"Its part of the wider cultural package. You have to remember that part of the role of the Tourism Enhancement Fund is to showcase our history and our culture, because we are not just selling sun, sand and sea, we have a lot more that makes us special as Jamaicans."

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Jamaican public libraries to benefit from grant for ICT services

Author: Balford Henry, Observer Senior Staff Reporter
Title: Bill and Melinda Gates give J$226m to Jamaica’s ICT development
Date published: November 26, 2014


The article reports on the Minister of Education, Ronald Thwaites, announcing to the House of Representatives in Parliament the details of a grant by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. According to the article, the donation is earmarked at providing US$2 million (approximately J$226 million) to finance increased access to ICT services for Jamaicans via the islandwide public library service. The reporter details the amount of the grant and the projected cost of the project as well as the expected beneficiaries. It is also mentioned that part of the grant will be spent on marketing public library services and promoting advocacy for the importance and value of the public library to Jamaica's national development.


The project costs US$3.1 million (approximately J$350 million). The Jamaican government will donate the other US$1.1 million (approximately $123 million)
Thwaites said that beneficiaries will include users of public libraries islandwide, including marginalized groups, senior citizens, persons from rural and inner-city communities, the unemployed and persons with disabilities, including the visually impaired, and ordinary citizens seeking information about self-improvement.
“The marketing plan, which envisages a major campaign to make Jamaicans aware of the project and its deliverables, and will increase the number of library users, is being finalized for implementation commencing in November,” he said.

Jamaica Library Service gets new Director General

Title: Karen Barton appointed new director general of Jamaica Library Service
Date published: November 10, 2014

This brief article announces the appointment of Karen Barton as the new Director General of Jamaica Library Service. It further outlines some of her qualifications and experience that she brings to the position as well as provides some background information on the Jamaica Library Service.

The University of the West Indies graduate has more than 30 years experience in the Jamaica Library Service.  
She has written several papers on librarianship in Jamaica. 
The Jamaica Library Service has responsibility for 124 public libraries and 926 school libraries throughout the island.