The Jamaica Library Service (JLS), an Agency of the Ministry of Education provides information as well as recreational services through a network of public and school libraries. Over 65 years of operation, the JLS has established the institution as an internal part of the nation’s educational and cultural life providing a wide range of print and electronic resources.
The organization is the single largest provider of free access to computers and the Internet and is seeking to repositioning itself to empower communities through the provision of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for national development.
About the JLS Global Libraries Project
The Jamaica Library Service (JLS), an Agency of the Ministry of Education has been awarded grant funds of approximately US$2M through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Libraries Initiative supported by co-funding from the Government of Jamaica in the amount of US$1.1M.
This project will provide Jamaicans with increased access to Information and Communication Technology through the provision of additional ICT resources across 127 public libraries in Jamaica, new and enhanced programmes/services as well as training in ICT skills and other related areas for JLS staff and library users.
Jamaica – First and only Caribbean Grantee
Jamaica is the first and only grantee from the Caribbean to receive a grant through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Global Libraries Initiative.
Beneficiaries of the Project
The direct and ultimate beneficiaries of the project will be users and potential users of public libraries including marginalized groups, senior citizens, uneducated individuals, persons from rural communities, the unemployed and persons with disabilities including the visually-impaired – all finding opportunities to enhance their quality of life and able to have access to technology through membership/usage at public libraries.
Overall Objectives of the Launch
- To engage key stakeholders and advocate for additional support for public libraries.
- To raise increased awareness about the JLS brand and the value of public libraries in communities to build local and national support.
Objectives of the Project
- To provide Jamaicans with increased access to ICT services.
- To provide ICT training and other training programmes to promote personal, organizational and national development.
- To provide new and enhanced programmes and services responsive to users/non-users’ and stakeholders’ needs.
- To promote programmes and services to existing and potential users to increase library usage.
- To create greater awareness of the value of public libraries in communities in order to build local and national support.
Main Funder: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Global Libraries