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Caribbean Libraries

Back in June I had the distinct pleasure to speak at the ACURIL conference in Montego Bay Jamaica. Librarians from all over the Caribbean attended this quite dynamic and wonderful conference. (I was expecially happy to discover wireless right on the beach. I got a sunburn to prove it but I also got a book chapter written in style!) I met quite a few people there includinig one of the co-editors of this amazing book.
Caribbean Libraries in the 21st Century: Changes, Challenges, and Choices
Edited by Cheryl Peltier-Davis and Shamin Renwick
“Here is an in-depth and wide-ranging look at libraries and librarianship in the Caribbean region today. Editors Cheryl Peltier-Davis and Shamin Renwick set out “to document the state of Caribbean libraries in the 21st century by examining the responses of these institutions to the changes, challenges, and choices in an increasingly electronic and virtual information environment.” More than 40 practitioners joined in the effort, contributing 25 chapters that address the myriad obstacles and opportunities facing Caribbean libraries.
The book begins by providing essential historical perspective followed by coverage of trends, projects, and issues in library management, innovative services, integration and impact of information technology, cooperation and resource sharing, training library users, distance education, and the role of the 21st-century librarian. This remarkable work is certain to inspire any information professional or LIS student seeking to understand how librarianship can and is flourishing in challenging environments.”
I finally got a chance to read through it during my flight to IFLA and around the world in the past month. This book is quite the collaborative effort of many library folk in the entire region. It is a great description of the state of an emerging excellent library system and network struggling with many issues and still making huge differences in every country. Sometimes those of us in privileged situations forget (or never knew) what it’s like to build from scratch, nation build and meet the educational and academic needs of an entire region and do so with passion and uphill. The 25 essays in this book are inspiring.
Information Today publishes it and priced it very well at $49.50 US. (Hardcover, 387 pages)
Sometimes you need to read about library challenges from outside your own personal experience to truly remain connected to what’s important. I found this book interesting and useful. If you or your library operation has any relationship with this region or its population, give it a read.

Posted on: September 16, 2008, 9:44 pm Category: Uncategorized

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