Regional Libraries Expected to be Fully Digital in Five Years


Libraries in Jamaica and across the wider Caribbean region are expected to be fully digital and automated in another five years, making them more user-friendly and information more accessible to students in the global e-environment.
This was noted by Librarian at the University of Technology (UTech), Hermine Salmon, at the 38th annual conference of the Association of Caribbean Research and Institutional Libraries (ACURIL), now underway at the Rose Hall Resort and Country Club in Montego Bay.
The five-day conference, which got underway on June 2, is seeking to examine leading-edge tools and techniques for information management and dissemination and explore strategies and practices that will allow information professionals within the system, to develop and use the technologies to the benefit of all users.
Ms Salmon, who is Co-chairman of ACURIL 38, told JIS News that, “the conference provides opportunities for Caribbean and North American members to come together to discuss issues and strategies in order to empower the organization for greater effectiveness.”
“The theme for this year’s conference is, ‘e-librarian, ideas, innovation and inspiration’, and the idea is to look at everyday issues in our various organizations and how we deal with them,” she said.
Acting Deputy Director of the Jamaica Library Service, Karen Barton, said it was clear that a lot of information was on the Internet and is stored digitally.
“Libraries are now going into the digital world, because we have to move with the times. It is no longer just about books, but we are now dealing with storing information digitally and electronically. Persons are now able to access library catalogues on line and so on. That’s the direction in which our libraries are going in this global world,” Ms Barton told JIS News.
Expectations of ACURIL are very high as, at the end of the five-day deliberations, participants are hoping that new ideas will emerge how to provide better service to users.
“We are expecting that the organization will be more educated on the use of the latest ITC equipment, such as Web20, BLOGS, RSSP, WICKIES and so on. how we can use them within our library environment to provide a higher level of service to our users. We must seriously consider how we can reach the young, because they are way ahead in technology,” Mavis Belasse of ACURIL Public Relations Department told JIS News.
“These are some of the things we will be looking at in the conference, so that we can go back to our libraries after the conference and apply these technologies to making them more effective,” she added.

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