New-look libraries - JLS rebranded to offer technology-driven programmes and services
The 119 public libraries in Jamaica have been transformed with the implementation of more than 1,000 state-of-the-art ICT resources, including desktops, laptops and tablets outfitted with the latest Microsoft applications.
The public libraries now also offer access to a number of technologically driven programmes and services for users.
The transformation of the Jamaica Library Service (JLS) was done through the Global Libraries ICT Project, which was co-funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Ministry of Education.
At a recent JIS think tank session, JLS director general Karen Barton said, "the overall objective of the ICT project was to improve ICT resources and offer new and enhanced programmes and services to library users as there is a global trend where library users are demanding more technologically driven ICT programmes."
According to Barton, "public libraries are more relevant based on the findings of a recent Impact Study which revealed that 90 per cent of library users view the public library as important, and 60 per cent of library users read more because they have access to advanced technology in public libraries."
Barton noted that through an aggressive membership drive, the JLS was able to register 15,729 new members between April 2016 and February 2017.
In the meantime, marketing and communications manager for the Global Libraries ICT Project, Andrea C. Whyte, noted that during the project the JLS introduced a series of first-time marketing and rebranding strategies designed to promote the innovative programmes and services being offered at public libraries across Jamaica.
According to Whyte, the JLS was rebranded to create greater awareness about its work and the relevance of public libraries.
"Some of the strategies implemented included the unveiling of a colourful new-look logo and a corporate slogan, 'JLS: Transforming Lives, Empowering Communities', which depicted the transformation of public libraries from the traditional books to a more technology-driven environment."
The major partners of the rebranding project were Microsoft, Universal Service Fund, CHASE Fund, EBSCO Information Service, Jamaica Public Service, Management Institute for National Development, Jamaica Information Service, The Gleaner Company (Media) Limited, and the RJRGLEANER Communications Group.