Greetings by Senator, the Honourable Ruel Reid
At Jamaica Library Service 70th Anniversary Church Service
Andrews Memorial Seventh Day Adventist Church,
29 Hope Road, Kingston 10
11:00 a.m. May 19, 2018
I was glad when they said unto me let us go to the House of the Lord…And today is a good day to join in worship and celebrate with the Jamaica Library Service family as you mark 70 years of service to the people of Jamaica.
For centuries libraries across the world have played a central role in the education of people from all walks of life, providing a window to the universe through books, pamphlets, journals and other printed material. For many Jamaican children, the public library service has been the channel through which their earliest appetite for reading has been nurtured and fed. The headquarters of the JLS on Tom Redcam Avenue in Kingston is a landmark for many Jamaicans who can recall long hours spent researching material for school projects or just digging through newspaper archives for information to satisfy personal curiosity. For others it was a regular place to find new reading material which their families may not have readily at hand.
For those outside of Kingston, your mobile service has enabled many children to have access to a wider range of reading material than they would perhaps have in their particular locale.
Happily, the JLS has kept pace with developments in information communication technology by providing users access to research material through the use of onsite computers.
With 13 parish libraries, an islandwide network of 118 public and 899 school libraries plus a mobile library service catering to some 370 communities islandwide, the Jamaica Library Service is an invaluable partner in Jamaica’s education sector. With free access to computers, internet and other electronic resources to enable persons to utilize a range of informational, educational and recreational resources, you are indeed helping to educate the nation.
We note that over the past two years, the JS has been on a campaign to increase public appreciation for the value of libraries through increased access to technology. This has been boosted by a US$2-million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Libraries Initiative, and US$1.1 million from the Government of Jamaica, through the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.
We applaud this initiative and encourage you to spread the word. Modern technology has not made libraries redundant. In fact, their role is all the more important given the multitude of bits and pieces of information available in cyberspace. We still need help to navigate our way to the desired information.
So ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, there is much to give God thanks for as we Celebrate the Journey and continue to shape the future. We give thanks for the dedication and commitment of the JLS staff who have served the public with diligence, most times away from the glare of publicity. We commend you for your public service.
Long may the Jamaica Library Service continue to be a channel of education for our people. To God be the glory.
Thank you and may God bless us all