About the School Library Network


The School Library Network has the responsibility to serve 901 schools inclusive of both primary and secondary libraries on behalf of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information through six Regional offices as follows:

RegionsParishesNo. of Schools
Region 1Kingston & St. Andrew 127
Region 2Portland, St. Thomas & St. Mary 155
Region 3St. Ann & Trelawny 105
Region 4St. James, Hanover & Westmoreland 147
Region 5Manchester & St. Elizabeth149
Region 6St. Catherine & Clarendon 218
Total as at March 2017901

Library service is provided to the 901 schools through the following:

  • The selection, purchase, cataloguing, classification and distribution of material resources
  • Consultation on the design and layout of library facilities
  • The organization of library resources
  • The training of teacher-librarians and other school library personnel through seminars, workshops as well as ‘on the job’ programmes
  • Conduct activities and programmes that promote literacy, reading and the use of libraries
  • The inspection of school library facilities and the provision of guidance on best practices
  • Conduct book exchanges

Programmes done in the schools to promote the reading habits include:

  • Story Hour Sessions
  • Reading Sessions
  • Literacy Intervention
  • Quiz Competitions
  • Career Talks
  • Presentations on various topics
  • Displays and Exhibitions

The Infant School Libraries Development Project

The School Library Network serves 29 infant schools which cater to children ages 4 to 6 years.  Through the Infant School Libraries Development Project ten of the 29 infant school libraries were refurbished while three new libraries were built and fully outfitted with furniture, equipment, books and other resource material.

 The objectives of the project are to:

-       Create state-of-the-art library spaces for children at the early stages of their development

-       Foster an appreciation of libraries in children from an early age

-       Provide library resource material to support teaching and learning

 

During the first phase of the Project, six schools benefitted from funding received from the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service through the Ministry of Education in the amount of $6,000,000.00. This was for the period April 2009 to September 2010.  The schools that benefitted were:

  • Alpha Infant                           Kingston
  • Central Branch Infant          Kingston
  • St. Anne’s Infant                    Kingston
  • Porus Infant                           Manchester
  • Bethabara  Infant                  Manchester
  • Lucea Infant                           Hanover

 

The second phase of the Project was funded by the Culture, Health, Arts, Science and Education (CHASE) Fund in the amount of $6,064,120.00 during the period March 2011 to March 2013.  The schools that benefitted were:

 

  • Alley Infant                            Clarendon
  • May Pen Infant                     Clarendon
  • Cambridge Infant                 St. James
  • Brown’s Town  Infant          St. Ann

 

The Sugar Transformation Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries funded the third phase of the Project in the amount of $29,950,980.00.  The funds were allocated to build, furnish and equip three school libraries.  The schools that benefitted were:

  • St. Johns Infant                       Westmoreland
  • Savanna -la-mar Infant          Westmoreland
  • Falmouth Infant                      Trelawny

 

 

Under the Project the renovated and newly constructed school libraries were provided with furniture that included an issue desk, tables, stools, chairs, a computer workstation, a computer, printer, scanner, multimedia projector and screen and a television as well as resource materials inclusive of books, a globe and electronic games, a carpet and stuffed toys. Each school library also received a catalogue card cabinet, whiteboard, filing cabinet, notice board, display board and periodicals displayed.

Children and their teacher engage in a fun activity at the St. John’s Infant School Library

 

 

Cozy Corner

 

A cozy corner was created in each library with accessories such as an alphanumeric carpet, stuffed toys, cushions and floor puzzles provide a comfortable area for reading.

Porus Infant School Library

 

 

 

 

Project Status

Currently, the infant school libraries under the Project are being utilized to meet the needs of the students.  The teacher-librarians are actively engaging the students in a number of activities such as reading and storytelling sessions. The school libraries are visited by staff from the regional offices and the headquarters of the School Library Network to conduct library programmes and to ensure that they are maintained and are being fully utilized in the teaching and learning process. Books are loaned to students for home reading and parents are encouraged to assist their children in the selection of material.  The multimedia projector and screen are used for interactive learning and books on DVDs are also used in the libraries.

Reading session being conducted by the teacher-librarian at the Falmouth Infant School Library

 

Project Impact

 

The Project has made a positive impact on students through exposure to interactive methods of learning with the use of multimedia equipment and electronic games which make learning more fun and enjoyable.  Students from other infant schools without a library have access to the facilities at the Falmouth Infant School Library occasionally.

A reading session being conducted at Central Branch Infant School Library by staff from the School Library Network, Headquarters 

 

Future of the Project

Thirteen infant school libraries were impacted by this Project.  The Jamaica Library Service will continue to seek funding for the remaining 16 of the 29 infant school libraries through proposals to donor agencies. The Jamaica Library Service is committed to early childhood development and through the Infant School Libraries Development Project, a number of students and teachers now have access to state-of-the-art school libraries that are well-equipped.

 

Status of School Libraries

The status of school libraries is classified as Active, Partially Active, Inactive and Schools without Libraries.  Schools without Libraries are further classified as schools that give Access to the Collection and those that provide No Library Service.  The criteria for each classification is provided below:

Active School Libraries

-     Designated library room

-     Personnel in charge of the school library

-     Access to the collection

Partially Active School Libraries

-     Designated library room

-     Personnel in charge of the library

-     Limited access to the collection

 

Inactive School Libraries

-     Designated library room

-     Personnel/no personnel in charge of the library

-     No access to the collection

Schools without Libraries (No Library Room)

-     Access to the Collection

-     No library Service

The table below indicates the number of schools served by category and classification
CategoryActivePartially ActiveInactive ActiveSchools Without Libraries - (Access to Collection)Schools Without Libraries - (No access to Collection)# of Schools Served
Infant19116229
Primary325615512030591
All Age489917992
Primary & Junior High59448277
High87471099
Technical High810009
Special400004
Total550807615243901