Ex­cep­tional peo­ple, ex­tra­or­di­nary ser­vice

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS -

IAM pleased to join Ja­maicans in ob­serv­ing Li­brary and In­for­ma­tion Week 2016. The Li­brary and In­for­ma­tion As­so­ci­a­tion of Ja­maica (LIAJA) recog­nises this week as a time to cel­e­brate the con­tri­bu­tions of our na­tion’s li­braries and in­for­ma­tion units and pro­fes­sion­als, and to shed light on the im­pact they have on na­tional devel­op­ment. This year’s theme, ‘Li­braries Mat­ter: Har­ness­ing In­for­ma­tion for Na­tional Devel­op­ment’, stems from the fact that our coun­try’s li­braries and in­for­ma­tion units and pro­fes­sion­als serve as key con­nec­tors in com­mu­ni­ties, bring­ing to­gether di­verse user groups, in­for­ma­tion re­sources and part­ners.

Ja­maican li­braries and in­for­ma­tion units have proven them­selves as strong com­mu­nity part­ners for devel­op­ment and so­cial trans­for­ma­tion in our beloved coun­try. The Govern­ment of Ja­maica has made an in­ter­na­tional com­mit­ment to use the post-2015 devel­op­ment agenda to en­sure that all Ja­maicans has ac­cess to, can un­der­stand, use and share the in­for­ma­tion that is nec­es­sary to pro­mote sus­tain­able devel­op­ment. Li­brary ser­vices and pro­grammes are de­signed to bol­ster such com­mit­ments through en­hanc­ing lit­er­acy rates, fos­ter­ing a cul­ture of read­ing for devel­op­ment, em­pow­er­ment and so­cioe­co­nomic devel­op­ment. These func­tions place li­brary and in­for­ma­tion units and pro­fes­sion­als at the very heart of the coun­try’s plans for devel­op­ment.

LIAJA is res­o­lute in its

Jol­lette Rus­sell com­mit­ment to sup­port the goals of the Lyon Dec­la­ra­tion and en­cour­age all mem­bers to in­clude them in their devel­op­ment plan­ning frame­work, thus play­ing our part in sup­port­ing sus­tain­able devel­op­ment and im­prov­ing the lives of Ja­maicans. Li­braries across the is­land ex­ert a crit­i­cal im­pact on so­ci­ety by fos­ter­ing equal op­por­tu­ni­ties and pro­vid­ing eq­ui­table ac­cess to life­long learn­ing and ed­u­ca­tion, re­search and in­no­va­tion, cul­ture and re­cre­ation for all. We are de­vel­op­ing vir­tual de­liv­ery of ser­vices and re­sources re­gard­less of ge­o­graph­i­cal lo­ca­tions, while si­mul­ta­ne­ously re-imag­in­ing our phys­i­cal spa­ces to sup­port our di­verse com­mu­ni­ties that rely on our ex­per­tise. In so do­ing, we are con­tribut­ing to build­ing stronger com­mu­ni­ties and coun­try. We un­der­stand that our role in the na­tional sce­nario is more than sim­ply de­liv­er­ing ser­vices, but plan­ning and de­vel­op­ing them to­gether with all our stake­hold­ers.

I, there­fore, call upon all li­brary and in­for­ma­tion-sec­tor work­ers to hold true the core val­ues that will con­tinue to in­spire, in­form and guide our pro­fes­sional prac­tice for gen­er­a­tions. We share the sen­ti­ments of our in­ter­na­tional coun­ter­parts that val­ues such as ac­cess, di­ver­sity, democ­racy, ed­u­ca­tion and life­long learn­ing, preser­va­tion, in­tel­lec­tual free­dom, pro­fes­sion­al­ism, so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity and ser­vice are ex­tremely cru­cial in the shift­ing par­a­digm of our pro­fes­sion.

SPREAD THE WORD

On be­half of the Li­brary and In­for­ma­tion As­so­ci­a­tion of Ja­maica, I want to thank our pa­trons for their kind sup­port and in­vite all cit­i­zens of Ja­maica to cel­e­brate with us through a com­mit­ment to visit any one of our li­brary and in­for­ma­tion units. We have an is­land­wide net­work span­ning na­tional Li­brary, school, aca­demic, pub­lic and spe­cial li­braries; wher­ever you are, I guar­an­tee you will find one close enough. Again, we urge you to sup­port our ‘Li­braries Mat­ter 2016-2017’ cam­paign and spread the word that li­brary and in­for­ma­tion units are key to achiev­ing the na­tion’s vi­sion for 2030. The de­mand for qual­ity and re­li­able in­for­ma­tion is grow­ing, mak­ing us your most rel­e­vant source in this age of tech­nol­ogy.

The best news is that prac­ti­cally all these re­sources and pro­grammes are free of charge. Af­ter all, we are the ‘The Best In­for­ma­tion Sources around!’ #Ilovethatli­braries­mat­terja JOL­LETTE RUS­SELL Pres­i­dent LIAJA

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