Caribbean Library Associations

  1. LIAJA – Library and Information Association of Jamaica:  The initiative to establish a library association was led by Mr. A. S. Bryant, the first Director of the Jamaica Library Service, as such a body was regarded as an ‘essential part of library organisation in the island.’ Accordingly in 1949, a year after the Jamaica Library Service was established, the Provisional Library Board approved the convening of a meeting of all persons working in libraries or having an interest in library development. The meeting was a success as 94 persons met at the St. Catherine Parish Library on July 14, 1949 and passed a resolution that the Jamaica Library Association be formed.
  2. ALJAS – The Association of Librarians in the Jamaica Library Service (ALJAS) was formed in 1975 by a group of “forward thinking” Librarians who sought to provide an avenue through which matters relating to the particular concerns of the group could be most suitably addressed.
  3. CIIP – The Cayman Islands Information Professionals (CIIP) is the first professional library and information science association in the Cayman Islands. It was founded in 2013 by information specialists, living and working in the Cayman Islands.
  4. ACURIL– The Association of Caribbean University, Research and Institutional Libraries (ACURIL) originated as part of a movement for Caribbean cooperation at the university level, initiated in the late l960’s by the Association of Caribbean Universities (UNICA). At that moment Sir Philip Sherlock, of the University of the West Indies, at Mona, Kingston, Jamaica, was its Secretary General.
  5. COMLA – Commonwealth Library Association: COMLA supports library associations in the Commonwealth by promoting the interests of libraries and librarians and facilitating networks for information delivery and exchange. Its membership comprises national library associations and major library institutions in countries that do not yet have an association. From 2002 librarians have been eligible to become individual members.
  6. LATT – The Library Association of Trinidad and Tobago (LATT) was incorporated by Act No. 11 of 1985, which was assented to on 21st March, 1985.
  7. CARALL – Caribbean Association of Law Libraries: Established in 1984, the Caribbean Association of Law Libraries [CARALL] continues to be the only forum that focuses solely on the Caribbean law libraries and law librarians. The Association is committed to regional co-operation and networking among the libraries. It gives the Law Libraries of the Caribbean an opportunity to forge links, discuss  common problems and the information needs of their clientele and create ways in which greater regional Law Library co-operation could be achieved.
  8. LAB – Library Association of Barbados:
  9. LAB – Library Association of Bermuda: an active organization of enthusiastic professional librarians and paraprofessionals from all types of libraries in Bermuda. Whether it’s a small or large library, school media centre, college library, law or medical library, the goals of the members are the same. The librarians in Bermuda strive to enhance learning and to ensure access to information for every person on the rock.
  10. NALIP – National Association of Library and Information Professionals – Saint Lucia:  NALIP seeks to promote the value of Libraries and information units. Facebook page

New Acquisition @NLJ:- The Bolt Supremacy

New Acquisition at the National Library of Jamaica.


Moore, Richard. The Bolt Supremacy: Inside Jamaica’s Sprint Factory. London: Yellow Jersey Press, 2015. Print.

Richard Moore’s work The Bolt Supremacy: Inside Jamaica’s Sprint Factory takes a different lane into discussions of speculations surrounding the success of Jamaican track athletes. Moore’s work offers some distinction from the general roar of the crowds skeptical of these success in that it attempts to distinguish “…facts and conjecture, opinion and evidence”. He holds firmly that success in sports can be achieved without performance enhancing drugs.

The Bolt Supremacy is among several other works featuring Jamaican sports available at the National Library of Jamaica. Visit their website and peruse their catalogue for other interesting works. Or come down to the NLJ at 12 East Street, Kingston.


NLJ's 2016 Distinguished Lecture


Save the DATE: Sunday, October 2, 2016

NLJ’s 2016 Distinguished Lecture

Title: Una Marson : Animating the archive of an extraordinary life.

Presenter – Alison Donnell, Professor of Modern Literatures in English, University of Reading, UK.


Hero’s are made each and every day.
Some we know, other’s, vanish in the fray.
To know one, is a thing of glory.
You’ll be amazed listening to their story.
“I’m not a hero, I just did what I had to do.
I’d do it all over again, be it for him, her or you”
In the distance, I saw a disaster.
I ran to save a life, that’s all I was after.
A life I was able to spare
For my own, I didn’t care.
Maybe, just maybe, that’s why I was put here,
So that tomorrow, my story you will share.
Maybe you’re a husband or even a wife
Doesn’t matter, for you, I gave my life.
I may be gone, my body still and cold.
You’ll never forget me, for eternity, I’ll live in your soul.

by Vincent Sacco

Source (Social Development Commission)

How to succeed as a new librarian

I was strolling throw Facebook when I saw this post.  I believe this may help new librarians coming into the field and even existing ones. Now this is one person’s view on the matter.  If you would like to add, please leave a comment below.


Bernadette Boucher Lear‎ – ALA Think Tank

Lately I’ve observed a lot of younger librarians frustrated with older librarians who seem averse to change/new ideas/technology. I earned my MLS at age 22 and even though I am pushing 40 now, I have always been the youngest librarian at my POW. So I know the “frustration” well. I am offering these survival tips that took me a while to learn. They are offered in the spirit of trying to help, not trying to shut anyone down. If you have additional tips, feel free to add them!
1). Particularly if this is your first full-time professional position: listen and observe, deeply and widely, before you speak. At least for 3 months. If some procedure seems odd to you, simply ask “why do we do it this way? How did this process evolve? What aspects of this process work well? What are the benefits for us and our customers?”
2). View everyone as someone you can learn from. Everyone. That “crusty librarian who doesn’t own a smartphone!” might have very deep knowledge of book publishers, community members, or something else that took years to learn.
3). Every stupid process is in place because it was expedient or made sense at one point. Find out the history. If all the reasons supporting the process have dissolved, it is easier to argue for change. If some reasons are still valid, rethink whether change is “worth it” and rethink the best approach.
4). Some people treat criticism as a tennis match – when you say something negative, they will automatically lob negativity back to you. So make sure your own behavior is irreproachable by every traditional measure. Always show up to work on time. Always pitch in. Always fulfill commitments. Always meet deadlines.
5). Ask yourself, is this a preference or a problem? For example, you might think it’s lame that your supervisor uses MS Word rather than an app to write up the weekly reference desk schedule. But if the schedule is posted on-time, there are no mistakes, and people feel that they are being treated equitably, does it really matter that the scheduler used oldskool technology?
6). It is not the workplace’s responsibility to cater to your preferences or make you feel comfortable. When it comes to preferences, at best it’s majority rules. At worst, the most senior vocal person rules!
7). Fully understand the problem before you offer a solution. Assembling quantitative data, especially in terms of UX or the financial bottom line, is always helpful. Either you’ll conclude that it isn’t as big a problem as you first thought, or you’ll have better ammunition in arguing your case.
8). Get to know your colleague as a human being before you try to have more difficult conversations. If you understand why (s)he enjoys librarianship, what tasks bring her/him joy, what aspects of the workplace are annoying on a daily basis, etc., you might be able to figure out good approaches for introducing change.
9). Age and close-mindedness aren’t always the same thing. “Baby Boomer,” “Generation X,” “Millennial” and other categories are only starting points or short cuts. Don’t deal in labels – get to know people as individuals.
10). Progressivism (or its opposite) in one situation doesn’t mean the person is progressive (or not progressive) in all situations.
11). When you must have difficult conversations, center them around customers and efficiency. Don’t bring up personal attributes like age, close-mindedness, etc. – this will only make your opponent feel personally attacked.
12). If there is a technological solution, make sure that it has no barriers to entry, is extremely reliable, is user-friendly, and has no bugs. Test it repeatedly, in many different circumstances, before promoting it to others. Don’t provide colleagues a technological excuse for rejecting technology.
13). Ask yourself, does this technology truly improve workplace efficiency? Or, are we just swapping one inefficiency for another? Also, does this technology enable us/our customers to do new things that we couldn’t do before? Or is it merely a different way to do the same thing? The most popular technologies (think eBay and facebook) are usually those that are free, easy-to-use, work on many platforms, and enable us to do entirely new things.
14). If you can’t get traction on *this* issue, work on something else. Most libraries have a million things to do and not enough people to do them. There are many ways you can rack up significant accomplishments.
15). Go where you’re celebrated, not where you’re tolerated. If you are encountering stick-in-the-muddism from nearly all your colleagues on nearly every question, accept it as part of that workplace’s culture. Update your resume and find another job where you fit in.
16). Remember, you will be the “oldster” someday. Use your colleague’s (poor) example as motivation to keep yourself up-to-date and open-minded.

Book Review: John Crow's Devil

by Yulande Lindsay

Excerpt from John Crow’s Devil

The Prologue: The End

No living thing flew over the village of Gibbeah, neither fowl, nor dove, nor crow. Yet few looked above, terrified should an omen come in a shriek or flutter. Nothing flew but dust. It slipped through window blades, door cracks, and the lifting clay of rooftops. Dust coated house and ground, shed and tree, machine and vehicle with a blanket of gray. Dust hid blood, but not remembrance.

Apostle York took three days to decide. He had locked himself in the office as his man waited by the door. Clarence touched his face often without thought, running his fingers over scratches hardened by clotted blood. The Apostle’s man was still in church clothes: his one black suit and gray shirt with tan buttons that matched his skin, save for his lips, which would have been pink had they not been beaten purple three days ago. Clarence shifted from one leg to the other and squeezed his knuckles to prevent trembling, but it was no use.

“Clarence,” the Apostle called from behind the door. “Pile them up. Pile them all up. Right here the roads meet. Pile them up and burn them.”

Men, women, and children, all dead, were left in the road. Those who scurried home with their lives imprisoned themselves behind doors. There were five bodies on Brillo Road; the sixth lay with a broken neck in a ditch where the bridge used to be. Clarence limped, cursing the hop and drag of his feet. At the crossroads he stopped.

“All man who can hear me!” he shouted. “Time now to do the Lord’s work.  The Apostle callin you.”

Faces gathered at windows but doors remained shut. Some would look at Clarence, but most studied the sky. Clarence looked above once and squeezed his knuckles again. A dove had flown straight into his face, splitting his bottom lip and almost scratching out his left eye. He felt as if more would come at that very moment, but the Apostle had given him strength.

“I talkin to every man who can stand. Heed the word or you goin get lick with friggery worse than any bird.”

Birds. They came back in a rush; in screams and screeches and wounds cut fresh by claws. “You know what my Apostle can do.”

Clarence knew the houses where men hid. He hopped and dragged to each one and hammered into the door.

“Sunset,” he said.

Three days before, when noon was most white, the village had killed Hector Bligh. Reckoning came swift, before they were even done. God’s white fury swept down on them with beaks and claws and the beat of a thousand wings.

But there were things the villagers feared more than birds. One by one they came out and the men threw the bodies on the bonfire.

This is a debut novel. A…DEBUT…novel. It is written with the assurance of someone who has been publishing for decades. It is written by someone who knows his people, knows his religion and who knows himself. John Crow’s Devil seethes with hate, fear, guilt and rage. Ostensibly about a spiritual battle between two men of God, better yet, between Good and evil, it is so much more. It examines the inner fears and desires of the people of Gibbeah, the small Jamaican town where the book is set. It lays open the need to follow the strongest among us, it exposes the petty craving for power or at least proximity to it. It is brutal, beautiful, chilling and redemptive. John Crow’s Devil goes on that list. You know, that list every avid reader has of their top ten books. It sits there…triumphant.

On the surface, the story centres on the spiritual battle of the soul of Gibbeah waged between the Rum Preacher, the disgraced leader of the church, endured contemptuously by his congregations and the newcomer the powerful fearless Apostle York who dismisses the former by means both spiritual and physical. Craving a strong leader, the members of the congregation led by eager Lucinda, a woman whose own inner darkness threatens to overpower her, quickly support and carry out the new leaders’ directives to isolate and reject any and all persons and activities that reject his teachings. There are signs and symbols, two headed calves are born and people are accused of evil acts and the use of obeah and punished in the most savage manner imaginable. Villagers are forbidden to drink, gamble or even fornicate with their lawfully wedded. The Apostle declares that it is only his word that need be followed and the name ‘Jesus’ is forbidden. Slowly, the village is cut off from the outside world as the Apostle orders the destruction of all communications – trucks bringing stone to fix the road and bridge are stoned until they are forced to flee, rediffusion sets are ordered destroyed.

I’m not going into a detailed analysis of the themes of this book because frankly that would take days and many, many pages.  However I do want to talk about a few things. First there is, in my opinion more than one battle going on. There are two secondary characters each representing one side of the battle: Lucinda and Widow Greenfield. I think it is significant, how James’ names these two women. The first, Lucinda, in the use of the first name is there a hint of contempt there? Lucinda is deeply flawed woman, who in recognition yet denial of these flaws seeks to whip them (literally) from her body and her soul. She is joyful when the Rum Preacher is tossed from the church and pledges herself fully to the Apostle. She refuses to acknowledge her sexual attraction to him declaring to herself that is a Sin. There are in fact, two Lucindas: Night Lucinda who obsesses about her sexual attraction to the Apostle and continues her forays into practices of obeah which she learned from her mother and Day Lucinda, ruthless in her righteousness and unwavering in her loyalties. The two sides are constantly at war.

The other woman is Widow Greenfield [Mary], who takes the disgraced Rum Preacher into her home. She is an angry woman bitter both about her marriage and the death of her husband. Even as she lends support to the preacher during his recovery and search for redemption, she rejects God and yet it is she in the end that is the key to the salvation of the village. Mary and Lucinda are old enemies, the latter a source of scorn for Greenfield and her gang as children and as rivals for the same man as adults. They are on opposite sides of this titanic struggle and their loyalties are a reflection of who they are. Lucinda follows the Apostle blindly unquestioning of his doctrine even when it strays into heretical territory: he questions the nature of the relationship between David and Jonathan and forbids the name of the Lord in the church declaring that to call the name of Jesus is a show of disrespect as it is his first name and if He is the Father who are they to call him by his name? She craves the power she feels the Apostle carries but she craves it not for her own salvation but for the same reasons she still practices the rituals of obeah: it is a weapon to be wielded against her enemies; it is an instrument of control. Mary, on the other hand, questions and curses and rejects anything that is of the Church. Yet it is her rough kindness that allows the Rum Preacher his redemption. It is through her that he is able to gain the strength to battle the Apostle.

The imagery and symbolism in John Crows’ Devil are powerful. Heralded by a flock of John Crows (vultures to non-Jamaicans) the true nature of Apostle York is immediately called into question. Is his ‘righteousness’ true? The people of Gibbeah may blindly follow but readers are more sceptical. The appearance of two-headed and otherwise deformed cattle presents a grotesque image and is used a tool to bring those who harbour doubts or choose not to follow in line. They are declared symbols of the Evil One, signs that dark arts are being practiced. In my opinion however, the most striking image is the appearance of the doves. In popular as well as religious lore, the dove is a symbol of peace. In John Crow’s Devil the dove is used both as a weapon and an instrument of hope. When they doves appear, they attack the people of the village, with the exception of the Rum Preacher and the Widow Greenfield. As the book ends they seem to obey the commands of the Widow.

There is so much to take in; it is a slim volume that reads like a much larger one.

Highly, highly recommended.

(Source: Reading Jamaica)

Library Wants Sustainability – Jamaica Library Service

Published:Thursday | April 2, 2015

 THE JAMAICA Library Service (JLS) Director General Karen Barton recently met with members of the newly established National Advocacy Committee (NAC) to brief them on the JLS’s thrust in advocating for the sustainability of public libraries.

This initiative is in keeping with the mandate of the recently launched Global Libraries ICT project titled ‘JLS: Using Technology to Empower Individuals and Communities for Development’.

The members will act as library advocates in support of the JLS advocacy campaign, in order to garner additional support from key stakeholders in various sectors.

In addressing the audience, the director general gave a comprehensive overview of the key milestones and deliverables of the project. She also extended sincere gratitude to the attendees from the various organisations who have kindly consented to becoming a part of the advocacy initiative. Barton further reiterated that their contribution to the advocacy campaign is critical in building additional support in the form of cash/kind from key stakeholders in both private- and public-sector organisations.

Importance Of

Public Libraries

She also emphasised the importance of public libraries to communities, based on a recently commissioned baseline impact study which indicated that 96 per cent of library users highly value free access to computers and the Internet.

Maureen Thompson, senior director of the JLS, said the ultimate goal of the advocacy committee is “to create greater awareness of the value of public libraries in communities in order to build local and national support”. She further said public libraries continue to impact lives in a positive way and urged committee members to become effective library advocates.

(Source: Jamaica Gleaner)

Report: LIAJA E-Resources Seminar

The report on the LIAJA E-Resources seminar held in November 2014 at the
Grandiosa Hotel in Montego Bay and the Pegasus Hotel in Kingston has been
published in the Journal of Electronic Resources Librarianship, volume 27,
issue 2 and is now available for viewing. You may either click on the link
below or copy and paste in a new address bar to access the document which
was prepared by the President, Mrs. Viviene Kerr-Williams.

Management 101, Part 1 – 5 Minute Librarian Series

by Jess

Back in October, there was a fabulous conversation on ALA Think Tank about what is Management 101. So many people participated that the comments filled up eleven pages! I enlisted my Director (thanks, Margaret!) to help me pull out the best of the best and trimmed it down to a two part series.

Today, we’ll focus on the first three categories:


  • Be a leader, not a manager.
  • Be professional, consistent and kind.
  • Be really aware of the power differential – people respond differently to you when you are their boss than they did when you were their peer. If you really want open dialog, you have to create an environment where people feel safe expressing their thoughts.
  • Be willing to own up to your own mistakes and shortcomings.
  • Be an active listener. Don’t rush to judgement.
  • Be willing to change your mind and make sure that your staff understands that it’s okay to change your mind.
  • Be compassionate – to everyone.
  • Be fair and back up your staff.
  • Be optimistic, be positive – but also be alert to the possibility that you’ll be inheriting a couple long-standing, under-addressed problems that you’ll be responsible for fixing.
  • Be honest, transparent, and consistent. Have integrity and start with yourself. Be the example.

For more click “Link” below

United States – St. Paul, MN – Head of Library Collection Services

St. Catherine University, St. Paul campus, invites applications for a fulltime Head of Library Collection Services to provide leadership and vision for the libraries’ Collection Services Department, including collection development, cataloging, acquisitions, and serials. The successful candidate will re-envision traditional technical services functions to enable the department to move forward in a complex environment of evolving collections, systems, and technologies. This work requires a keen understanding of the daily demands of the department as well as an enthusiasm for integrating its services into the libraries’ learner-centered environment.

View the full job posting for responsibilities, required qualifications, and to apply.