Let’s discuss

Let’s discuss Information and Computer Technologies (ICT’s) in libraries in Trinidad and Tobago.It was reported that Trinidad and Tobago is a Facebook Nation . What would the implications of this be for libraries?

Do you think that libraries stay abreast of ICT’s? If yes, what are some examples?

Do public libraries help to reduce the digital divide? You can see a definition of the digital divide and some interesting statistics in this document : The digital Divide Survey Trinidad and Tobago. you do not need to read the entire thing.

33 thoughts on “Let’s discuss

  1. It is said that the one thing that is constant in life is change. And Libraries are used to that. Libraries had to revolutionize in the 20th century from having closed access to open access of their resources. The 21 century is bringing another revolutionary change for libraries which is the advent of Information and Computer Technology (ICT).

    Libraries in Trinidad and Tobago is no different as having a “Facebook Nation” would mean having to provide for a user-centred society. ICT will have implications for libraries such as, adaptation to users’ behaviours and how they access information via web 2.0 technologies. Libraries would also have to have a paradigm shift from the having of control of information to how best to share information.

  2. According to TechTerms.com, ICT , “ Stands for “Information and Communication Technologies.” ICT refers to technologies that provide access to information through telecommunications. It is similar to Information Technology (IT), but focuses primarily on communication technologies. This includes the Internet, wireless networks, cell phones, and other communication mediums”(n.p).

    Libraries has been and will continue to play a part in providing ICT services for patrons who:

    Need it due to lack of affordability or access, to administer ICT learning and awareness to citizens and in developing an ICT culture that can bridge the gap within the digital divide which would include access to assistive technologies to differently abled patrons.

    Some of the ICT available at Libraries are:

    Internet and Wireless networks, Desktop and Laptop computers, Automatic payment machines using library cards, Digitization of resources e.g Digital Libraries, and the use of RFID ( radio Frequency Identification ) technology e.g use of barcodes on items and the RFID readers to name a few.

    For the differently abled:
    Internet access, JAWS for windows software, magic screen magnification software, Open book software, large print keyboards to name a few.


    “ICT.” (Information and Communication Technologies) Definition. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Feb. 2014. .

    • Before the term ICT’s became popular, Information Technology, or IT was the acceptable term. The ITU, an arm of the UN, recommended the inclusion of the word ‘communication’ so that this important aspect would not be overlooked. In addition to being in reference to communication technologies, the term “communication” is at the heart of the purpose of ICT’s.

  3. With approximately 142,000 young adults constantly engrossed in digital media daily, libraries need to be proactive in meeting these digital natives where they are, by providing remote products and services. Already these inquirers are not looking for librarians at the reference desk, and so librarians need to be at the opposite end of researchers’ keyboards to answer their queries.

    Libraries are indeed keeping up to speed, for example through addressing virtual reference services. Just examine the volume of e-mail reference inquiries received via ‘Ask a Librarian.’ The availability too of A/V and electronic materials such as CDs, DVDs, audio books, e-books, e-journals, and not forgetting appropriate hardware and software for the Visually Impaired patrons prove that they are still fulfilling Ranganathan’s laws.

    The libraries are in fact helping to reduce the digital divide through ‘virtual’ instructional programs via instant messaging and internet chat – such as Skype. Libraries are playing a crucial role in fulfilling this mandate, ensuring that all users – regardless of age, class, race, gender and physical / cognitive abilities – have equitable access to resources and information free of charge at all their libraries. NALIS’ Facebook account is also constantly updated, ensuring that users are kept au courant with activities and important happenings at the various libraries and in the society in general.


      • In my school we (the staff members) promote on-line resources to all the new form 1’s. We do an EBSCOHost presentation and encourage students who do not have a library cards to join the nearest public library in order to access on-line resources. Sometimes, I do one on one EBSCOHost training with students from form 5 and form 6.

      • Yes we do. I conduct orientation for the new Judicial Research Assistants which includes a detailed demonstration of the use of the WEBOPAC and its related links such as the various Legal Information Institutes (BAILII, AUSTLII, CANLII etc.). Additionally, there are periodic training seminars offered to the Judges & Magistrates on the proper usage of other databases like WESTLAW, LEXIS & CARILAW. Also, as the need arises, the attorneys and law clerks are given one on one computer literacy training.

  4. I believe that Trinidad is a facebook nation because whatever is going on around a person in trinidad they will always post a picture or a post like issues that are affecting the country like politics. More so, that technology has evolved in a tremendous way because in every one ‘s home there is a technological devices for each member of the family. In the library, an example is NALIS , they are now staying connected to ICT because they are in the process of digitizing their newspapers in pdf format for patrons to use and have access to. They also offer Computer classes for patrons so that they can know about NALIS OPAC database system and the use of EBSCOHOST.

  5. I am in full agreement with the statement “Trinidad and Tobago is a Facebook Nation.” I say this because even I haven fallen victim to the pulls of this social network. However, it must be noted that libraries play an important role in terms of ICT development. Libraries have accepted the trend of using technology to enhance it’s overall performance.

    Librarians teach online research skills utilising sites such as Ebschost,OPAC and digital libraries. They also offer computer literacy classes in some libraries. Patrons are encouraged to independently search for items through the online catalogue wherE they can reserve books and also see which locations they are available at.

    Our library at the National Commission for UNESCO is staffed by NALIS and so uses Alexandria as their ILS, patrons are encouraged to use the computers provided to make searches. However, due to the fact that this is a special library patrons are expected to have basic computer literacy skills so as to facilitate their information needs.

    We are also doing final adjustments before launching our website where a direct link to the library and it’s catalogue will be included.

    • Good, Amala. Your special library would have a different approach to using social media such as Facebook, compared to a Public library, but do you think that there is a place for it? Do you think that your library should have a. Facebook peg and if so what would it contain?

  6. Yes I believe that there is a place for Facebook at the Documentation Centre (library) here at UNESCO because it can be used to reach audiences to enlighten them on the tremendous work that we are doing here in Trinidad. It will also help in our communication with other agencies and individuals who work with us.

    When we launch our official website we will also launch our Facebook page where it will have a link to the Documentation Centre but I believe the Doc. Centre can also create a Facebook page with current events and projects, history of the National Commission of UNESCO, Partners and organisations that work with UNESCO, Special Observances and Awards etc.

  7. ‘Trinidad and Tobago is a Facebook Nation”………….Agreed!

    As is the case with the majority of nations worldwide, social media seems to be the fastest growing way to advertise, share information, connect with and encourage feedback from individuals.

    If each of the 97.3 % of persons in Trinidad who have a Facebook account log in once per day, their would be a surplus amount of information shared.

    Incorporating social media such as Facebook into ICT’s of local libraries will increase its user community and improve on customer service which will have resulted from consideration taken from the feedback given by users of the library of from persons visiting the library’s website.

    Providing forums for open discussions always provide healthy criticism and some libraries even get some great ides on how to modify or improve on services provided.

    Some libraries have been keeping abreast of the latest ICT’s by introducing new technology and providing means for patrons to learn how to efficiently use them. Free internet access, online reference services, digital collections, e-books and scanners are all examples of some of the technology used in many libraries today and help to make daily circulation functions much easier for both patrons and library staff.

    There are also services at NALIS for the physically challenged persons such as screen magnifiers, JAWS,braille embosser and talking books.


    I am in belief that public libraries do help to reduce the digital divide because many if not most public libraries offer free access to a computer, access to the internet and also provide classes to both junior and senior patrons to teach them how to use the technology.

    In my opinion, having a Facebook page aside from a formal website says to me “Hey! We value our patrons and want to get to know you better so that we can serve you better!”

    “The only thing we know about the future is that it will be different”
    Peter Drucker

  8. I strongly believe that our country is now a Facebook nation. This can be proven every day as persons young and old access this form of social media. Business are right to consider means in which they would be able to reach their target audiences through social media (Facebook). Most young people are now equipped with the latest technology and therefore spend most of their time online.

    To get to this particular audience, one must resort to doing exactly what needs to be done to attract them. And if that means making as much information available via social media then so be it. As the saying goes, if you can’t beat them, join them. Times are drastically changing and we all need to keep up or play catch up, otherwise we’ll be left behind with a rather unpleasant feeling.

    • I think that “Facebook nation” might be referring to all other social media such as twitter. I have to admit that I only recently became serious about it although I have had a twitter account for some time. I am finding it quite fascinating.

      • They are all quite fascinating especially with the number of things they allow you to do. But I strongly believe that as much as we need to keep up with the ever changing future, we need not forget the past and all that was. We have to keep in mind that as it was in the beginning…….well we all know how the saying goes.

  9. Trinidad and Tobago is most definitely a Facebook nation, even further to that Trinbagonians are hooked on social media; Facebook just being one aspect of it. This is a positive thing for libraries because this can be used to reach patrons at their level. No more will educators, parents, et cetera have to coax the younger generation to take an interest in something educational and physically visit a library. Technology has made great strides over the years and libraries can utilize this to their advantage by presenting colorful , eye-catching and interesting websites. So this brings me to what ICTs are? ICT stands for Information and Communications Technology. We can see examples of this throughout our nation’s libraries such as: book scanners, internet, various online services.

  10. Trinidad and Tobago have certainly become a Facebook nation. Libraries can benefit from this because patrons are now more reachable than ever before. This is more so with the ever changing advancement in technology in which people have more access to much needed information.

  11. In the Library world there are still a lot of Issues with regards to the use of Facebook in Libraries, for example at the Secondary School Library where I am employed, and also in School libraries across Trinidad and Tobago, the Ministry of Education has blocked access to Facebook.

    In light of the many technological advancement or web 2.0, there are still many issues regarding the ”Traditional libraries’ and Library 2.0. The question of how far libraries are willing to go in this transition needs to be addressed.

    Seeing that Facebook can be used both positively and negatively; for libraries to allow the use of Facebook in the School Library is cause for discussion, because children can use this as a tool to build and strengthen behavior that is not sanction in a school environment.

    So what are the implications of this for libraries? I honestly think that Facebook can be used as an information tool to market the Library; therefore the use of Facebook should be used in public and academic libraries. I am not sure if this can be recommended for Secondary Schools as yet, if this is to be implemented there needs to be a system of supervision for schools.

    Generally speaking, Facebook should be used as a tool to communicated and disseminate information because there are lot of competition from Google. In order for the library to have meaning and relevance it must be able to reach the people where they can be reached.

    • There are many teachers (in the US, not sure about T&T) use Facebook with their students for assignments, discussion, to keep in touch, etc. Because of the high percentage of teenagers using Facebook, it is felt that this should be used to advantage in a positive way.

  12. Facebook should be used in schools in a positive way. Even though it’s blocked now at secondary schools, teenagers still have access to Facebook via other forms of technology e.g phones etc. They will use it to do as they please whether they are blocked at school or not. Why then should we not make it available positively at school for those who will actually use it to better themselves or make their lives easier? I’m all for the access of social media at schools.

  13. I think facebook would act like as a supplement to library functions. It would be like a customer service something. It will serve the same purpose of what people do on Facebook but it will pertain to libraries. I think integrating or utilizing F.B. to assist with reference services is a great idea.

  14. Public libraries plays a pivotal role in helping to reduce the digital divide,and to add more to this statement not only the public libraries but also the school libraries .Libraries now has a lot of helping programs for example librarians at school libraries are required to teach research skills to the student this to me is a very great thing.With the increase in technology sadly their are some students that do not have access to the internet or a computer from a very recent experience in working at a school library I was saddened to see the computer literacy skills of some of the students in various forms classes! it is eye-opening! many of them do not know how to print from a computer, so yes libraries is such an important educational institution that helps to reduce the digital divide.

  15. If Trinidad and Tobago is a Facebook Nation then libraries will have to start expanding to all sorts of social media especially Facebook. In this way the library will remain connected with Information and Computer Technology (ICT’s).

    I do think libraries stay abreast of ICT’s. For example, the National Library of Trinidad and Tobago stays abreast by Facebook, twitter, blog, and YouTube all major social media sites that are infiltrated with millions of people from all over the world.

    I think libraries do reduce the digital divide just because they try to provide information and services for all, for person that walks into the library building or the digital native that access library information by means of social media networking sites or by directly accessing the library’s website. The Information is shared for all.

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