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Library Service gets US$2m in project funding

Friday, May 09, 2014


THE Jamaica Library Service (JLS) has received US$2 million in grant funds from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to implement the 'JLS: Using Technology to Empower Individuals and Communities for Development' project.

"It will allow for the extension of technological opportunities in our libraries and other appropriate facilities throughout Jamaica," Minister of Education, Ronald Thwaites said as he addressed the House of Representatives during his contribution to the 2014/15 Sectoral Debate on Wednesday.

The project will also be used to boost public access to information resources and services with the installation of hardware and software.

Under this initiative, 127 public libraries will benefit from the Project; six mobile libraries will be provided; approximately 843 state-of-the-art computer systems will be installed; and senior citizens, persons from rural communities, the unemployed and persons with disabilities will be direct beneficiaries. The Project will be launched in November 2014.

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Meanwhile, the Jamaica Library Service is also the beneficiary of grant funding from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries under the Sugar Transformation Programme totalling $58 million.

This will be used to enhance library services in select sugar dependent communities. The projects include the construction and equipping of new infant school libraries, at the St John's and Savanna-la-mar Infant Schools in Westmoreland and Falmouth Infant School in Trelawny.

Thwaites also informed that the Alexandria Branch Library in St Ann will be upgraded with assistance from the Government of Japan.

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