Government librarians ramp up training to become 'cybrarians'

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Government librarians ramp up training to become 'cybrarians'

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Government librarians are equipping themselves with the research and analytical skills to curate credible resources and create ready-to-go vetted information packages that will serve the needs of their online patrons.

That was the message of the speakers at the September 22 symposium of the Government Libraries Information Network of Jamaica held under the theme, "E-Librarians: Strengthening Virtual Library Services in Jamaica and the Caribbean".

Coordinator of the Government Libraries Information Network of Jamaica, Odean Cole Phoenix said librarians need to be research consultants and cybrarians who provide labour intensive knowledge services for customers. She said the network is expanding the training for librarians to adapt to working from home and extracting required information from metadata in online databases.

Supporting the move, regional sales manager for the EBSCO Information Services, Damien Satterthwaite noted that librarians contribute to development by comprehensively evaluating the credibility of resources, such as articles and journals, before they are shared with academic and business researchers and students.

He urged the librarians to be gatekeepers by stating, “Use subject indexes that support precision in resources and scholarly analytics; focus on the criteria that are used to evaluate those resources before sharing them. Ask who are the publishers and what are the credentials of the editors? Are there repeated cases of plagiarism? Is the content pseudo-science or are there claims of false indexing?”

The National Library of Jamaica is the focal point for the Jamaica Libraries and Information Network, with a membership of seven library groups. Delivering remarks at the symposium, The National Librarian, Beverly Lashley, said that the National Library had rolled out additional virtual services such as Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) information sessions for students.

Lashley said the pilots had proved popular, and additional sessions will be staged during National Library and Information Week later this year.

Now in its 40th year of existence, the government libraries network, with a membership of 50 libraries across the public sector, is the second largest library network after the Jamaica Library Service, which has 119 fixed locations.

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