Back­ward move, Na­tional Li­brary!

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION&COMMENTARY -

Ja­maicans re­alise the lies spewed from del­e­gates don’t match their re­al­ity, the re­al­ity be­ing the no­table ab­sence of the mem­bers of par­lia­ment in com­mu­ni­ties, and not just there, but in the par­ish coun­cils and the par­ishes. Then, as soon as one party comes in, they blame the other party. Ja­maicans are no longer fooled by prom­ises, pa­tron­age and thinly veiled po­lit­i­cal threats. Kevin O’Brien Chang on CVM made a point that con­nected: Ja­maicans have ac­cess to things to make them com­fort­able, thus the need for the politi­cians is void. It is pos­si­ble that Ja­maicans think the coun­try is fine, but Ja­maica can­not be all right when US dol­lar is suf­fo­cat­ing ours, the Gov­ern­ment wanted to spend $600 mil­lion on pos­si­bly free de­bush­ing and peo­ple need ac­cess to good-pay­ing jobs. Mr Chang rightly said that Ja­maicans pre­ferred to go to the dance, de­spite ev­ery­thing else.

There­fore, the sit­u­a­tion begs the ques­tion: What do Ja­maicans ac­tu­ally want? Ja­maica is small com­pared to the US, Bri­tain and South Korea, all who have peo­ple demon­strat­ing for ac­count­abil­ity from their gov­ern­ments.

I am not go­ing to blame the vot­ers; their si­lence, or rather the lack of inked fin­gers, spoke vol­umes. Ja­maicans ex­ist in a vac­uum; it is they and then the Gov­ern­ment. Each suc­ces­sive gov­ern­ment has forced the peo­ple to fend for them­selves, and they have suc­ceeded, qui­etly re­duc­ing de­pen­dence. There is no need to rely on the politi­cians.

CO­LETTE CAMP­BELL THE EDI­TOR, Sir: I FEEL the need to take a mo­ment to share a re­cent ex­pe­ri­ence I en­coun­tered while vis­it­ing my beau­ti­ful is­land for a week in Oc­to­ber. I do this out of gen­uine con­cern with the hope that it will ef­fect some pol­icy change for other users.

I am a stu­dent in North Amer­ica, and on a re­cent trip back home dur­ing a se­mes­ter break, I needed the ser­vices of one of the li­braries to sub­mit a pa­per that was due. I called the li­brary be­fore my visit to as­cer­tain the rules, dress code and fees if ap­pli­ca­ble and was pro­vided with the in­for­ma­tion. Great, I thought.

Upon my ar­rival with lap­top in hand, I found a nice, quiet space to be­gin my work, only to be ad­vised to my ut­ter shock that while I was al­lowed to use the lap­top, I was not al­lowed to plug it in; I must in­stead come with a fully charged com­puter.

IN­VES­TI­GATE THIS RULE

Na­tional Li­brary of Ja­maica, come on now!

I would have felt bet­ter be­ing asked to pay for use of the ser­vices and even be­ing told be­fore­hand that this is the pol­icy, but never in my wildest imag­i­na­tion would I have ever thought to ask – if I could.

I beg, I be­seech the pow­ers that be to in­ves­ti­gate this rule as there must be a more suit­able ‘best prac­tice’ that can adopted to ac­com­mo­date users.

I see that Min­is­ter of Sci­ence En­ergy and Tech­nol­ogy, Dr An­drew Wheat­ley is mov­ing as­sid­u­ously to in­crease free Wi-Fi zones, and so on my next, visit, I hope it will be bet­ter; how­ever, for those stu­dents in com­mu­ni­ties that just need a quiet place that a li­brary should pro­vide, clearly, this is some­thing well worth in­ves­ti­gat­ing and chang­ing.

CHRIS­TINE CLARKE

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