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Planning Institute of Jamaica wins 2017 OCLC Award for Innovative Cooperation Initiatives in the Caribbean

Odean Cole-Phoenix accepting the award from Daniel Boivin
Odean Cole-Phoenix accepting the award from Daniel Boivin

The Planning Institute of Jamaica has been named winner of the 2017 OCLC Award for Innovative Cooperation Initiatives in the Caribbean for its work to provide virtual reference service through libraries in Jamaica.

The OCLC Award recognizes and distinguishes a school, academic, public or national library for an innovative accomplishment in the planning and implementing of a collaborative program or service, ideally using technologies, for the benefit of its clientele or community.

The goals and objectives of the Jamaica Virtual Reference Service Consortium project at the Planning Institute of Jamaica are to seek to connect library users to knowledge by establishing a national virtual reference consortium.

The project requires the contribution of many libraries in Jamaica so they can together offer virtual reference services to patrons across the country. It is a collaborative project that makes it possible to provide longer hours of services to patrons who need information. The service, powered by OCLC's QuestionPoint virtual reference management system, can be delivered regionally, nationally or even with or through international digital network partner libraries.

"With this project in place, libraries are delivering timely service to the decision makers, policy makers and researchers using virtual reference service," said Daniel Boivin, Executive Director, OCLC Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean. "To accomplish this, excellent planning, the use of proper technology and cooperation between libraries was necessary to reach out to the entire Jamaican community which in return has improved library services, research and literacy."

Boivin presented the award to Odean Cole-Phoenix, Technical Information Manager, Planning Institute of Jamaica during the 2017 Association of Caribbean University, Research and Institutional Libraries (ACURIL) conference in Puerto Rico.