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MONDAY MAN – Book talk

marciadottin, [email protected]

MONDAY MAN – Book talk

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ALONG WITH THE SCHOOL, the church and the hospital, a library is one of the cornerstones of a healthy country.
Libraries give people the opportunity to experience new ideas, explore great minds and experience great art, while at the same time providing a sense of place for gathering.
The library reflects the diversity and character, and the needs and expectations of our community. This organisation is often the only readily available source of comprehensive information needed by people for personal, family and job-related purposes.
In a nutshell, this is how today’s MONDAY MAN feels about libraries in Barbados. This is why, in March, Junior Browne, who has been a librarian in the faculty of law at the University of the West Indies for the past 16 years, joined other librarians to Revive, Rebuild & Renew the Library Association of Barbados, of which he is president.
Browne, whose organisation has the vision to unite librarians in Barbados, administer libraries and the training and developement of library workers, said the association had been dormant for a few years, but “it’s on its way back up” with lots of plans in store.
“I think Barbadians generally have a respect for the Library Service. People see libraries as a place where you can go and get books . . . and one of the most foundational places that you can use, especially parents, to help their children learn how to read and enjoy reading.
“But I don’t think the use of the library is explored as widely as it could be in Barbados.
“Yes, for academic purposes at university or community college; students use the library, but it could be wider,” he said.
To get Barbadians to start “widely exploring libraries across the island”, the president showed the DAILY NATION some of the work which he and his association planned to execute across the island.
“We have just signed onto a worldwide campaign called Campaign For The World’s Libraries. Some of its objectives include promoting the use of libraries and the work of librarians, and basically to let people know what we do within the libraries.”
“We just launched a poster competition on Wednesday, September 8, known as International Literacy Day. This poster competition is focussed on building stronger communities in libraries across the island. It is focussed on the seven age groups between seven and 14.
“And, through the poster, next year we are going to be trying to push the whole concept of making use of the libraries in Barbados,” said the librarian who holds a Master’s degree in Library and information science.
Browne, 39, who is a reserve officer and captain in the Barbados Regiment, praised the National Library Service for the outreach work in the island’s communities, but noted that much work still remained to be done on the nation’s children.
“Children’s reading capabilities and literacy are something that we are very concerned about, and we are going to be tackling this concern from a few different directions.
The Harrison College old scholar said that there was a lot for him and his association to do, “but we have to take it one day at a time”.