Thursday, 31 December 2015

Carib LIN 2015 reflections and final post

This month marks the beginning of the eight year anniversary of when I started CaribLIN. On December 20, 2007, I wrote my first blog post announcing the intent for this blog. This day, December 31, 2015, I cannot guarantee that the blog will be maintained or updated. As such, this post may very well be the final post for the CaribLIN blog.

To my blog audience, I apologize for the lack of entries for the latter part of 2015 and for the famine of entries for 2016. The year 2015 has turned out to be quite a challenging year for me. Further, considering that I now have dual identities as both a student and an employee, blogging becomes more challenging both in terms of time commitment.

For the most part, I am contemplating to cease personal blogging and to put my writing in other spheres. Time demands this. I have a larger family (four children now) and I am now lecturing, which means that I had to keep up a publication record to secure tenure as an academic. As such, whatever articles that I would have published here will better serve my occupational interest if published. As a consequence, my CaribLIN blog will/may no longer be updated. What articles I might have updated on the blog will now become case studies that I will submit for publication as teaching cases or compile into a book for Caribbean students of LIS. I regret the demise of CaribLIN and the void that it will create in library blogosphere for library trends in the English-speaking Caribbean region.

All the best to my dedicated CaribLIN audience and may you prosper in 2016.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Trinidad and Tobago's Ministry of Legal Affairs Launched Digital Legislative Library

Title: Ministry of Legal Affairs Launched Digital Legislative Library

Date published: Aug. 5, 2015
Source: CCN TV6

Announced is the launch of the Digital Legislative Library of Trinidad and Tobago and the resources that it provides access to as well as the cost of the initiative.

The Ministry of Legal Affairs launched the Digital Legislative Library of Trinidad and Tobago this morning. The digital library will contain legislative material dating back to the 1800's. Costing the government just under a three million dollars Minister of Legal Affairs Prakash said this is a proud moment in the legislative history of Trinidad and Tobago.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

11th Youth Information Centre established in Jamaica

Author: Claudia Gardner
Title: Youth Information Centre Lifts Hopes In Lucea
Date published: July 2, 2015
Source: Jamaica Gleaner

The article reports on the opening of another Youth Information Centre (YIC) in Western Jamaica opened in a remodelled building. Excerpts are reported on the opening ceremony, in particular the speech given by Dr. David Stair, the custos rotulorum of Hanover. Dr. Stair is reported as urging users to protect the buildings and imploring youngsters to  use the facilities. Advice about how the facilities can be used is also mentioned.

Jamaica Library Service receives computer software from Microsoft

Author: Douglas Mcintosh
Title: JLS Receives Computer Software Valued at $131.85 Million
Date published: June 20, 2015
Source: Jamaica Information Service

This article reports on the funding and donations received by the  Jamaica Library Service’s (JLS) for its information and communications technology (ICT) project. How the funding and donations will be used is announced as well the purposes to which the newly acquired ICT resources will be applied.

The JLS Director General, Karen Barton, is reported expressing gratitude for the donations and funding. Microsoft Jamaica Country Manager, George Cobin, is also reported as praising the JLS for its ICT initiatives. Microsoft Jamaica’s Sector Manager for Education, Queenie Ko, is also cited as expressing happiness that  Microsoft could support JLS in using technology for empower individuals and community development in Jamaica.

Further information is provided on both JLS and the  Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Jamaica Library Service’s (JLS) information and communications technology (ICT) project, currently being developed, has been boosted with the provision of computer software, valued approximately $131.85 million (US$1.13 million), by Microsoft Jamaica.

The donation, which is the largest to date made by the technology solutions firm in the English-speaking Caribbean, entails Office 2013 Pro Plus applications, comprising: Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access, which are utilized by global enterprises and companies. These will be uploaded on the approximately 800 state-of-the-art computers slated to be installed within the next three months at all of the JLS’ 127 public libraries islandwide and some mobile facilities, under the project, titled: ‘JLS: Using Technology to Empower Individuals and Communities for Development’.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Jamaican public library director shares her career story

Title: A leaf out of Karen Barton's book
Date published: Monday, June 22, 2015
Source: ALL WOMAN, Jamaica Observer

Article features Karen Barton's career story about how she entered into librarianship, her offered career advice and mentions her hobbies and achievements.


SHE says she would never trade her job for anything, and if afforded the chance to live again, she would choose the same career path.

Born and raised in Lionel Town, Clarendon, Karen Barton, the director general of the Jamaica Library Service (JLS) tells All Woman that after leaving Glenmuir High School, she sought employment before pursuing her tertiary education. She was employed as a library assistant at the Clarendon Parish Library, a job that would seal her fate in the industry.
"At that time I wasn't considering librarianship as a career. I just thought this was a job on my way to going into the diplomatic service," she shares.
"I had dreams of doing Spanish, different languages and everything it would take to go into the diplomatic field. I went into the library that summer but I never thought of it as a career."
But on meeting the now deceased senior librarian Gloria Baker, she fell in love with the discipline.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

New library facility in rural Jamaica

Author: Sharon Earle
Title: Over 600 Residents Benefitting From Skills Training
Source: Jamaica Information Service (JIS)
Date published: May 17, 2015

The article reports on the the official opening ceremony for the Clarks Town Branch Library in rural Jamaica. The cost of and the partnership behind the construction of the library is identified. The construction of the library is identified as being a partnership between the Ministry of Agriculture and the Jamaica Library Service (JLS) that has been built under the Sugar Transformation Programme.

Reported is speech from the official opening ceremony by the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Derrick Kellier. Minister Kellier is reported as stating that rural libraries such as the Clarks Town Branch Library will prove useful to current and future community-based training programmes.

Also reported is speech from the Director General of the JLS, Karen Barton. She is reported as expressing appreciation for the joint efforts of all stakeholders in completing the library building. Background details regarding the accommodation for the Clarks Town Branch Library is provided, including the efforts of the Clarks Town Community Development Committee (CDC) to secure grant funding to build the new library on lands leased from the Sugar Company of Jamaica Holding limited (SCJ). Barton is further stated as identifying partnerships between the Clarks Town CDC, SCJ Holding Limited, the STU and JLS and commenting about how over the years such assisted partnerships have helped the Library Service in accomplishing its mission.


The library which was constructed at a cost of $18 million through a partnership between the Ministry of Agriculture and the Jamaica Library Service (JLS) is among five libraries that have been built under the Sugar Transformation Programme.

...In addition, Minister Kellier said rural libraries such as the Clarks Town Branch Library will prove useful to current and future community-based training programmes.

Meanwhile, Director General of the JLS, Karen Barton expressed appreciation for the joint efforts of all stakeholders in getting the building for the library completed.

Jamaican rural community gets two new libraries

Author: [ST JAMES, Jamaica Information Service (JIS)]
Title: Two Trelawny communities get new libraries
Source: The Jamaica Observer
Date published: Sunday, May 17, 2015



The article announces the opening of the Falmouth Infant School Library and the Clarks Town Branch Library in rural Jamaica. The cost of and the source of funds responsible for establishing the facilities are reported. Also reported are facts about the newly constructed facilities including what they offer in terms of equipment.

Speeches are reported from the official opening by Minister Derrick Kellier and Minister of Education, Rev Ronald Thwaites. Minister Kellier is reported as arguing that public libraries have become even more relevant and possess a critical role to play in Jamaica's development by providing access to crucial information sources to foster proper and wise decision-making. Minister Thwaites is reported as urging residents to take care of and make full use of the library facilities and resources.


The newly constructed Falmouth Infant School Library will serve 220 students and is equipped with reading and information material, new technologies including electronic games, interactive software, multimedia projector, and a television.

In Clarks Town, the multi-purpose facility features a research centre, computer room, meeting room, kitchenette, store room, an office, lunch room, staff and public bathrooms.

In addition to providing traditional library services, the centre will also offer free computer and Internet access, as well as adult literacy, computer training and the High School Equivalency Diploma programme.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Jamaican Teacher-librarian wins award for mastering course management software

Author:   BY RACQUEL PORTER, Career & Education writer
Title: 'Alpha' teacher wins tech prize
Date published:  April 20, 2015
Source: Jamaica Observer

The article announces the winner of an award for mastering a course management software named RenWeb. The winner is a teacher-librarian named Hopplin Thompson. Details about the RenWeb software that Thompson mastered and its capabilities are presented. Also mentioned is the company behind the system. Names of the runners-up are also mentioned in the article.


TEACHER-LIBRARIAN at Convent of Mercy Academy 'Alpha' Hopplin Thompson is the winner of this year's Zed-Makeyla Technology Award for creative use of the classroom management software, RenWeb.

A teacher-librarian is a certified teacher who also has training in librarianship. Hopplin, who received the award at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel on Thursday, beat out a field of 19 to win the top prize.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Jamaican $123 Million for ICT in public library project

Author: By Athaliah Baker
Title: Project to Increase Access to ICT Services Receives $123 Million
Date published: March 3, 2015

The article reports on the allotment of $123 million in the 2015/16 Estimates of Expenditure by Jamaican Parliament to a project to increase access to information and communications technology (ICT) services. Part of this project involves increasing Jamaica's public library usage and installing computer and other technologies within public libraries. Other details of the project are mentioned including activities to be undertaken such as the completion of a needs assessment survey and baseline study, as well as the training of 45 staff members. Also mentioned is that the project is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and implemented by the Ministry of Education.

The Technology to Empower Individuals and Communities for Development Project also aims to provide ICT and other training programmes to promote personal, organisational and national development; and provide new and enhanced programmes and services responsive to the needs of users, non-users and stakeholders.
It also seeks to promote programmes and services to existing and potential users to increase library usage; and create greater awareness of the value of public libraries in communities to build local and national support. 
For the new fiscal year, it is anticipated that computers and other technologies will be installed in all 128 libraries islandwide; training programmes for staff and users will be implemented; and marketing campaigns will be conducted.

Jamaican public libraries get children books on epilespy

Author: By Rochelle Williams
Title: NHF Provides $51.8 Million in Drug Subsidy for Epileptics
Date published: February 11, 2015

Article reports on the Jamaica Library Service (JLS) receiving 500 children books on epilepsy from  the National Health Fund (NHF). The NHF Chief Executive Officer, Everton Anderson, is reported stating that this donation of books is intended at changing cultural attitudes towards persons living with epilepsy. Also stated is the total cost of the books donated to the island-wide public library network.


Mr. Anderson was addressing a function held on February 9, at the Jamaica Library Service’s (JLS) Tom Redcam Drive headquarters in Kingston, where 500 children’s books on epilepsy were handed over to the JLF. 
The NHF provided $360,000 for the purchase of the books, which will be distributed through the JLS’ island-wide library network.
Entitled ‘Way to Go, Flash,’ the publications are intended to raise awareness of epilepsy and help to lower the stigma against children and adults with the condition. Epilepsy is one of 15 chronic health conditions covered by the NHF.