About the Global Libraries ICT Project
Jamaica Library Service (JLS), an Agency of the Ministry of Education, Youth & Information is a proud recipient of grant funding of approximately US$2M from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Global Libraries Initiative for the implementation of the Global Libraries ICT Project entitled JLS: Using Technology to Empower Individuals and Communities for Development. In addition, Jamaica is the first and only grantee from the Caribbean, to receive funding through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Global Libraries Initiative. This Project is also co-funded by the Ministry of Education to the value of US$1.1M.
The Project was officially launched on Thursday, November 6, 2016, at the Kingston & St. Andrew Parish Library, Joyce Robinson Hall, 2 Tom Redcam Drive, Kingston 5 by the former Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald G. Thwaites, MP.
The major partners are Microsoft, Universal Service Fund, CHASE fund, EBSCO Information Services, Jamaica Public Service, Management Institute for National Development, Jamaica Information Service, The Gleaner Company Media Limited and RJRGleaner Communications Group.
Overall objectives of the Project:
- To provide Jamaicans with increased access to state-of-the-art ICT resources (desktop computers, laptops and tablets).
- To provide ICT training and other related programmes to both JLS staff and the public.
- To provide new and enhanced programmes and services responsive to library users/non-users and stakeholders’ needs.
- To promote programmes and services to existing and potential library users in order to increase library membership and usage.
- To create awareness about public libraries and its positive impact on communities.
Beneficiaries of the Project
The ultimate beneficiaries of the Project are library members and potential users of public libraries including adults, senior citizens, students at all levels, the unattached youths, unemployed and persons with physical disabilities including the visually-impaired – all finding opportunities to enhance their quality of life through the utilization of ICT resources.
Key Deliverables of the Project
- Commissioning of Needs Assessment and Baseline Impact Surveys.
- Acquisition of over 800 state-of-the-art computers for 119 public libraries across Jamaica.
- Installation of over 150 wireless access points across all public libraries which enable our library users to enjoy increased Wi-Fi access.
- Execution of a robust marketing campaign ( print advertising, radio advertising, television advertising, digital billboards advertising, bus wraps advertising).
- Unveiling of a new JLS logo.
- Development of a corporate slogan – JLS …. Transforming Lives, Empowering Communities!
- Extensive training for over 600 staff members in key areas such as; advocacy, Integrated Library Management software (Koha), basic computer training, training of trainers, Library leadership, managing library spaces and customer service.
- Establishment of advocacy committees at both national and parish levels to act as library advocates.