Nat’l Library allows laptop use – for a fee
THE EDITOR, Sir: WITH REGARD to a letter to the editor published on December 1, 2016, captioned ‘Backward move, National Library!’, I believe there has been an error on Christine Clarke’s part, as the National Library of Jamaica (NLJ), located at 12 East Street, Kingston, which is Jamaica’s premier research library, undoubtedly recognises the need for library users to use their laptops while conducting research at our facility.
As such, the NLJ allows users access to plug in their laptops while on-site. In fact, the electrical outlets are strategically placed to facilitate this so as not to contribute to any tripping accidents that may occur as a result of the charger being strewn across the walkway. We, however, charge a nominal fee of $150, which guarantees usage for the entire day.
I believe Ms Clarke may have visited the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Library, which is part of the islandwide network of the Jamaica Library Service, which is a totally separate entity from the National Library of Jamaica. The National Library of Jamaica has one facility located at 12 East Street.
Based on the nature of our collection and the fact that all material must be used on-site and not available for lending, we require that persons register before using the library, and a check of our user database did not return a result for Christine Clarke as a registered user.
I have even gone a step further to verify if Ms Clarke had, in fact, visited our location in October and have found no record of this. I, however, would like to take this opportunity to invite Ms Clarke to visit our facility on her next trip to Jamaica, as we stand ready to satisfy her information needs, including the use of her laptop, which she is more than welcome to plug in for the entire day. WINSOME HUDSON National Librarian/CEO National Library of Jamaica