Caribbean Libraries of the 21st Century

Mike Freeman (West Midlands CILIP, Coventry, UK)

New Library World

ISSN: 0307-4803

Article publication date: 16 May 2008




Freeman, M. (2008), "Caribbean Libraries of the 21st Century", New Library World, Vol. 109 No. 5/6, pp. 298-298.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

This is a well laid out and substantial book giving an “in depth and wide ranging look at libraries and librarianship in the Caribbean”. Clearly, this geographical area is of some importance geopolitically nowadays (particularly when Castro dies), yet it has been relatively little covered in the LIS professional press. This American book sets out to remedy this deficit – and does it well.

It contains a catholic and ably chosen range of articles by LIS professionals ranging from Jane Smith of the University of Suriname Library through to Annette Wallace of the Trinidad and Tobago National Library. The entire Caribbean region and its libraries are undergoing sustained change and the two young editors are to be congratulated on their energy and vision in putting together this “broad brush” overview of LIS practice there.

The book contains well crafted and helpful articles on topics such as academic publishing at the University of the West Indies, a study of Information Literacy standards, College Library networks in Jamaica and services to the blind and print disabled clients in Trinidad and Tobago. Willamae Johnson writes a clear accessible and interesting account of the founding and development of the College of the Bahamas Library and of the Library of St George's University in Grenada. Clearly, with so many small and needy nations scattered about the Caribbean Sea and with Dutch, Spanish, French and English colonial influences, the opportunities for cooperation and association in the LIS world are many and necessary, and the book gives some good examples of this type of cooperative effort (e.g. ACCURIL, COLINET).

All in all, a well‐chosen and timely book dealing with a little covered area of LIS work. Well produced, it has a good, clear index and a useful list of acronyms.

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