JIS News

The Jamaica Library Service (JLS), in an effort to bridge the digital and social divide, undertook strategic developments during the 2007/08 fiscal period.
As set out in a Ministry Paper that was tabled in the House of Representatives by Minister of Education, Andrew Holness on May 20, the plan enabled the organization to fulfill its mandate to facilitate and influence national development thus creating and supporting a knowledge-based society of life-long learners, by being customer focused, globally oriented and technology enhanced.
The JLS from May 1, 2008 provided free access across the island to computers and the Internet through public libraries. As a result, an increase in public access to computers rose from 292 to 625 with the assistance of the Universal Access Fund.
Additionally, the successful execution of a series of training seminars was undertaken for teachers/librarians, aimed at producing functional and effective school libraries and an active collaboration with Education Officers and Principals to ensure support for school libraries.
Discussion and orientation sessions were held with early childhood educators, which emphasised the centrality of functional libraries in the education process.
The document states that the National Reading Competition and Reading Fair saw the involvement of public participation and significant partnership co-operation with the private sector, government agencies, individuals and groups, both nationally and internationally.
An increase in the recruitment of librarians resulted in the reduction in vacancies in critical positions within the organization, while public awareness of programmes and services of the organization was boosted through consistent public relations and marketing programmes.
The development of reading and Information Literacy programmes for the general public, in public and school libraries saw strategic alliances with related organizations and civic groups.
Moreover, training was expanded in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for senior citizens and pupils in early childhood educational institutions.
The JLS aims to bridge the digital and societal divides of the country by creating an information-literate society, which will achieve universal access to information and knowledge.
This vision is to be achieved by: accelerating programmes to provide early childhood education resources for teachers, parents and students; increasing public access by the addition of 400 computers; implementing an Integrated Library Management System, while accelerating access to resources islandwide through the worldwide web; providing resources to Internet-enable all Mobile Libraries and establishing a dedicated Mobile Computer Training Laboratory. The company’s vision will also be attained through: increasing access to information for the visually impaired through the Job Access with Speech (JAWS) software; establishing model libraries in 39 early childhood institutions; establishment of JLS Business Centres to promote additional income generating activities and strengthening the income generating portfolio to include caf