(Press Release) Roseau, Dominica –…The Dominica Library and Information Service (DLIS) is observing Library Week 2018 from May 14 to 18 under the theme, ‘Notwithstanding, We Continue to Serve.’
As Dominica recovers from the impact of Hurricane Maria the focus is on the essential role of libraries in the rebuilding effort, the role of libraries as safe spaces for vulnerable groups and the response of the DLIS to support the information needs of citizens post disaster.
Major activities include informative sessions using online magazines and other e-resources, an online exhibition of the DLIS journey post Hurricane Maria, recognition of donors and Disaster Preparedness Day to be observed on Thursday May 17, 2018.
Due to the passage of Hurricane Maria the Library Service lost over twenty five thousand volumes of books and ninety-five per cent of its furniture and equipment. All service points of the DLIS were impacted with the Roseau Public Library and the Portsmouth Library sustaining extensive damages to physical structure. The roof of the Documentation Centre building that housed the National Archives sustained flood damage and a number of records sustained water damage.
Since then the DLIS has resumed services at the National Documentation Centre, National Archives Unit, the Portsmouth Library at Portsmouth Secondary School, the Roseau Public Library at the Documentation Centre Building providing reference, Internet, computer, and homework assistance and circulation of books to the general public, the Portsmouth Mobile Library on Bay Street, the Grand Bay Public Library at the Grand Bay Community Center and the Marigot Library located upstairs the village pharmacy.
The DLIS has also conducted an Art Therapy Workshop, sessions on Information Skills for Grade 6 students, a CARBICA Post Hurricane Consultancy & Workshop and provided technical assistance to school libraries.
Other new services launched by the DLIS in the past year include a new barcode-readable Membership Card, personal online accounts that contain reader history and the ability to reserve books and update accounts and access to E-Resources, online magazines and databases.
In the upcoming months the DLIS hopes to complete rehabilitation of the Portsmouth Library and re-establish sustainable services, reintroduce internet and computer services at the Marigot and Grand Bay branches, advance efforts to build a safer, modern and resilient Public Library in Roseau, continue the archival collection digitization project, enhance service provision to support students’ research needs through E-library platforms and enhance capacity of staff through training and specialization.
The Library Service wishes to thank the organizations and groups that supported its operations in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. The Getty Foundation donated $55, 000.00 and the Belize Development Corporation $23,983.93 towards restoration of Portsmouth Library, the Noble Caledonia Charitable Trust donated $60, 376.50, the Joshua-Jelly-Schapiro & Friends, $1, 162.10 and the Friends of Jamaica, $3, 000.00.
The DLIS also received a grant of $6, 460.14 from the Caribbean Association of Archives (CARBICA) for placement of UV protected glass windows at the National Archives Unit, $24, 605.56 worth of equipment and materials from the American Embassy, Barbados to support the American Corner, replacement of the Consolidated Index Stock by the UWI Cave Hill Campus, 1000 books from Mr Peter Dick and Friends of the United Kingdom and 2,131 from Book Aid International. An additional 1374 books were received through Private and Organisation donations and friends of the DLIS.