JIS News

Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Anthony Johnson, will give the inaugural lecture in a series to be presented by Diplomats in Washington under the auspices of the Hispanic Division of the Library of Congress, located in Washington.
In a meeting with the Honourable Olivia “Babsy” Grange, Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, at her offices today (March 3), Ambassador Johnson said that the lecture series came about as a result of discussions with the Library of Congress for that institution to impart more information about various countries.
Ambassador Johnson will deliver his lecture in April 2009 on the topic, “The History of Education in the West Indies.”
He explained to Minister Grange that, “the Hispanic Division of the Library of Congress found that the Diplomats were a tremendous source of knowledge and saw that we needed to be involved in the academic life of Washington, not just the social and diplomatic activities.”
He said his colleague diplomats will get the opportunity to share about their countries.
Ambassador Johnson said he was part of a drive to improve the relationship between the Commonwealth Caribbean and the Library of Congress and to expand the Caribbean’s collection of literature in the Library. “Our contribution to literature and the arts should be reflected in the Library’s collection,” he said.
He added that already he had presented the Library with eight (8) of the 10 books he had authored, among them Jamaican Leaders, Kingston – the Portrait of a City”, City of Kingston Souvenirs, Parts 1 and 2, Ocho Rios” and “Kingston College, Parts 1 and 2.
Minister Grange and the Ambassador agreed that they would “partner” on various cultural activities. She presented him with samples of Jamaica Information Service (JIS) publications and promised to provide books and periodicals from Jamaica for the Library, including a complete set of The Jamaica Journal from the Institute of Jamaica.
“Jamaican material will be donated to the Library through our Mission and we will work closely to initiate other projects,” Minister Grange said.
She requested of Ambassador Johnson assistance in sourcing grant funds to undertake reprints and organizing of catalogues of Jamaican publications and writings “as well as putting in place the kind of infrastructure that would enable us to distribute the material worldwide particularly to libraries and educational institutions.”
“It is absolutely essential that we work together to provide information on Jamaica to promote the country and its history,” the Information Minister told Ambassador Johnson.
Minister Grange also briefed Ambassador Johnson on the overseas aspects of a new operational plan that she will announce shortly for the JIS.
The Library of Congress is the United States’ oldest cultural institution and serves as the research arm of the US Congress. It is also the largest library in the world with millions of books, recordings, photographs, maps and manuscripts in its collection with its mission being to make its resources available and useful to Congress and the people.

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