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  • The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has donated US$2 million to implement the Jamaica Library Service (JLS) project .
  • Under the project, the US$2 million will be augmented by co-funding of US$1 million from the Government of Jamaica (GOJ), which will enable the JLS to install 800 state-of-the-art computer systems in 127 public libraries islandwide and in six mobile libraries.
  • The beneficiaries will include marginalized groups, senior citizens, persons from rural and inner city communities, the unemployed and persons with disabilities, such as the visually impaired and ordinary citizens seeking information about self improvement.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has donated US$2 million to implement the Jamaica Library Service (JLS) project entitled: ‘Using Technology to Empower Individuals and Communities for Development’.

This was disclosed by Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, in a Statement to the House of Representatives on November 25.

Under the project, the US$2 million will be augmented by co-funding of US$1 million from the Government of Jamaica (GOJ), which will enable the JLS to install 800 state-of-the-art computer systems in 127 public libraries islandwide and in six mobile libraries. The project is being implemented over three years (2013 – 2016).

“We anticipate that some 750,000 users of public libraries will benefit from the installation of this Information Communication Technology (ICT) system,” Rev. Thwaites said.

The beneficiaries will include marginalized groups, senior citizens, persons from rural and inner city communities, the unemployed and persons with disabilities, such as the visually impaired and ordinary citizens seeking information about self improvement.

Rev. Thwaites noted that public libraries are expected to link users with personal advancement opportunities, such as the high school diploma equivalent, being delivered by the Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning (JFLL), as well as the promotion of entrepreneurship among young people by the Junior Achievement Programme.

Computer training will be delivered by librarians and other staff members at all 13 main libraries and 46 branch libraries. The training of trainers has already commenced with 50 JLS staff members. Training of users will also be on-going and will become a normal part of the offerings of the public library.

 

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