NALIS of Trinidad and Tobago wins OCLC Award for Innovative Cooperation Initiatives in the Caribbean
NALIS project supports Trinidad and Tobago's efforts to realize United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
DUBLIN, Ohio, 18 August 2023—The National Library and Information System (NALIS) of Trinidad and Tobago has been named winner of the 2023 OCLC Award for Innovative Cooperation Initiatives in the Caribbean for its work to create and promote co-located libraries along with a wide range of digital library services to underserved communities. NALIS' Co-located Library Project supports Trinidad and Tobago's efforts to realize the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
The award was presented to Beverly Ann Williams, Deputy Executive Director, NALIS. Daniel Boivin, Executive Director, OCLC Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Edwar Delgado, OCLC Library Services Consultant, Latin America, presented the award during the Association of Caribbean University, Research and Institutional Libraries (ACURIL) 2023 Conference in Jamaica in June.
NALIS was established "to provide a national library and information service, easily accessible to the public in order to facilitate the cultural, economic, educational, political, and social development of the people of Trinidad and Tobago." Co-located libraries are smaller, flexible spaces in the heart of communities. Different than public libraries, these libraries are intentionally situated within already existing community spaces, such as Community Centres.
The value of this dynamic, sustainable model was recognized by the government of Trinidad and Tobago. In 2019, co-located libraries were first established at the Mt Hope/Mt Lambert and the Barataria Community Centres as well as the Inter Agency Task Force (IATF) compound at Beetham Gardens and in St Helena. Initial collaborations have been with the Ministry of Sport and Community Development, and the Ministry of National Security and the Kiwanis Club of St. Helena.
The Belmont Community Library was opened in 2022 and the San Fernando North Community Library in 2023. Additional government ministries were included in the rollout of this project, with an expanded mandate for a wider range of services for underserved communities. These new partners include the Ministry of Digital Transformation and the Ministry of Youth Development and National Service.
"These cooperative efforts allow all stakeholders to amplify their influence, increase impact and output at the community level, and facilitate greater use of scarce state assets by providing concentrated services in earmarked communities," said Betty Ann Sieudath, Librarian IV Research, Planning and Development, who prepared and submitted the NALIS nomination.
Sieudath added, "NALIS will continue to set up community libraries with a focus on developing a range of services and products to facilitate online access to information and e-resources, reference and research queries, and training and programming to help instill digital literacy in the community. This project reflects NALIS' vision and mission and clearly demonstrates the distinguishing role libraries play in Trinidad and Tobago's development."
"Development Goals provide a diverse range of products and services tailored to meet the targeted needs of communities, promoting lifelong quality learning opportunities, accelerating the pace of digital literacy, and generally enabling members of underserved communities to be successful in business, education, and employment," said Boivin. "NALIS is very deserving of this recognition for their outstanding work."
The OCLC Award for Innovative Cooperation Initiatives in the Caribbean 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 community.
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