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Georgetown, Guyana – (June 15, 2017) First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger said that she is confident that the librarians, who completed the Guyana Library Association’s Library Management Workshop, yesterday, are now better equipped with the technological knowledge and skills pertinent to efficiently meeting the modern information needs of clients in a digital era. The First Lady made these comments at the closing ceremony of the workshop, which was hosted at the Education Lecture Theatre of the University of Guyana (UG), East Coast Demerara.

“The advent of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has demanded a shift to library and information science… inferring the merger of libraries and information. The fact is that libraries have to adapt to the communication age, not only in the administration of libraries, but also in the ways in which they acquire and lend books and offer services to the communities they serve,” she said.

The First Lady noted that librarians, who would have used hard copies of documents, magazines and other reading material and the Dewey system of cataloguing, must now upgrade their skills in order to remain relevant, while meeting the needs of current and future generations.

First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger presents a Certificate of Completion to Ms. Sereta Bhikhai at the graduation ceremony.

“Electronic cataloguing, storage and retrieval of priceless documents of national importance would make it more simple for borrowers to access the information needed, and the librarians, who are custodians of our national depositaries, can breathe easier that their valuable assets will not be maimed, disfigured or, horror of horrors, stolen from their respective collections. This is where librarians recognise the importance of information management, so that the process of acquiring, cataloguing and lending materials, as well as signing up new membership, is done electronically,” she said.

The three-day workshop, which started on Monday, saw participation from librarians attached to the Guyana Parliament, the National Library, the Bank of Guyana Library, the Guyana National Bureau of Standards, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Library and the University of Guyana Library. It is the first training workshop that the GLA has held since it resuscitated its membership in 2016.

Secretary of the GLA, Ms. Simone Bernard, said that the group was eager to capitalise on the opportunity to participate in the workshop as in Guyana, library science is a “dying” profession. “Changes in the library environment in recent years have resulted in the need for new skills, new abilities and new knowledge. This new GLA body hopes that workshops such as this one… and other types of training would help our local librarians and library workers to acquire new skills and knowledge that are required to do our day-to-day work, that are required to keep us relevant, that are required to make us useful to our users,” she said.

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President of the Guyana Library Association, Ms. Juneann Garnett presents First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger with a token of appreciation, during the graduation ceremony.

The workshop, which was held under the theme “Contemporary Issues in a Library and Information Management” covered topics such as strategic planning in libraries, leadership and quality assurance issues in libraries, all aimed at equipping the librarians with the skills needed to accomplish the goals of their various libraries. The librarians received Certificates of Participation at the closing ceremony.

The programme was chaired by Mr. Ian Castello, Assistant Librarian-Systems, UG. Ms. Jiselle Alleyne, Campus Librarian/Assistant Professor, University of The Bahamas, who facilitated the workshop, Dr. Fitzroy Yaw, Director of Strategic Initiatives, UG, Ms. Gwyneth George, Chief Librarian, UG, Ms. Emily King, Chief Librarian at the National Library and Dr. Terrence Smith, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Guyana and Ms. Juneann Garnett, President of the Guyana Library Association also attended the ceremony.

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