Exceptional people, extraordinary service
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