The National Library Service is adjusting its mandate to meet the demands of a swiftly changing world, Minister of the Creative Economy, Culture and Sports, John King said.
On Sunday, the National Library Service commenced celebrations for the organisation’s 172nd anniversary, where King showered library officials with praise for being a gateway to knowledge and culture in society.
“The resources and services they offer create opportunities for learning, support literacy and help to shape the new ideas and perspectives that are central to the creative and innovative society. They also help to ensure effective record of knowledge created and accumulated by past generations,” he said.
“In a world without libraries, it would be difficult to advance research and preserve the world’s cumulative knowledge and heritage for future generations. Whatever the cost of our libraries, it’s cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.”
The Culture Minister reflected on the year, 1847 which saw the Public Library Act passed. He however pointed out that since then, demands on the National Library Service have transformed from providing physical books to internet access, mobile service to assist schools in rural communities, photocopying, outreach initiatives, audio books for the visually impaired and access to e-books among other services.
He said library officials remained cognizant of the age of technology and are attempting to move Barbadians toward digital literacy by facilitating a number of discussions on key topics.
“In the near future, the library plans to host presentations on technological issues such as block chain, cyber security and social media. I encourage you to listen out for these events and support them with your presence,” King urged. (KS)
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