Curtains come down on UG reading programme

7th August, 2017 0 comments

THE curtains on Friday came down on the University of Guyana (UG) Library’s thirteenth annual “Reading is Fun” programme when participants were presented with certificates and prizes at the institution’s library at its Turkeyen Campus.

The programme was sponsored by Courts Guyana Incorporated for the past eight years to date and will continue to receive sponsorship. The programme had formerly run on its own for five years until Courts decided to give full sponsorship.

Customer Experience Manager of Courts, Shona Barker, said that “we’re happy to say that we were able to obtain a remarkable number of students and also able to meet with this programme as it continues to grow.”

At the ceremony there was a list of items portrayed by the youngsters who were registered as part of the programme. These items include dramatic poetry, an acoustic, a song and a skit.

“Items on the programme are used to show what they have gained and developed and to aid us in an evaluation of how we can do it [the programme] better” pointed out Gwyneth George the Chief Librarian at the University of Guyana.

George also pointed out that the programme targets what they call ‘vulnerable children’. For the past 13 years they have been working with the Sophia community of children whose ages range from 5 to 13. “The basic thing is reading but the programme does not only center on reading” George said.

The other activities which the programme aid in are health tests, educational tours, computer knowledge and creative work such as poetry. The youngsters were placed into a number of groups and they worked alongside skilled resource individuals who are exemplary in literacy and reading. These individuals consisted of members of the library staff and members from the department of humanities and education. The programme which runs three days per week for three weeks registered approximately 50 youngsters this year.

However compared to the numbers from the first two years when it had just begun, there has been a decline.

Article adapted from:

First Lady commends librarians on completion of Library Management Workshop

19th June, 2017 0 comments

Georgetown, Guyana – (June 15, 2017) First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger said that she is confident that the librarians, who completed the Guyana Library Association’s Library Management Workshop, yesterday, are now better equipped with the technological knowledge and skills pertinent to efficiently meeting the modern information needs of clients in a digital era. The First Lady made these comments at the closing ceremony of the workshop, which was hosted at the Education Lecture Theatre of the University of Guyana (UG), East Coast Demerara.

“The advent of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has demanded a shift to library and information science… inferring the merger of libraries and information. The fact is that libraries have to adapt to the communication age, not only in the administration of libraries, but also in the ways in which they acquire and lend books and offer services to the communities they serve,” she said.

The First Lady noted that librarians, who would have used hard copies of documents, magazines and other reading material and the Dewey system of cataloguing, must now upgrade their skills in order to remain relevant, while meeting the needs of current and future generations.

“Electronic cataloguing, storage and retrieval of priceless documents of national importance would make it more simple for borrowers to access the information needed, and the librarians, who are custodians of our national depositaries, can breathe easier that their valuable assets will not be maimed, disfigured or, horror of horrors, stolen from their respective collections. This is where librarians recognise the importance of information management, so that the process of acquiring, cataloguing and lending materials, as well as signing up new membership, is done electronically,” she said.

The three-day workshop, which started on Monday, saw participation from librarians attached to the Guyana Parliament, the National Library, the Bank of Guyana Library, the Guyana National Bureau of Standards, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Library and the University of Guyana Library. It is the first training workshop that the GLA has held since it resuscitated its membership in 2016.

Secretary of the GLA, Ms. Simone Bernard, said that the group was eager to capitalise on the opportunity to participate in the workshop as in Guyana, library science is a “dying” profession. “Changes in the library environment in recent years have resulted in the need for new skills, new abilities and new knowledge. This new GLA body hopes that workshops such as this one… and other types of training would help our local librarians and library workers to acquire new skills and knowledge that are required to do our day-to-day work, that are required to keep us relevant, that are required to make us useful to our users,” she said.

The workshop, which was held under the theme “Contemporary Issues in a Library and Information Management” covered topics such as strategic planning in libraries, leadership and quality assurance issues in libraries, all aimed at equipping the librarians with the skills needed to accomplish the goals of their various libraries. The librarians received Certificates of Participation at the closing ceremony.

The programme was chaired by Mr. Ian Castello, Assistant Librarian-Systems, UG. Ms. Jiselle Alleyne, Campus Librarian/Assistant Professor, University of The Bahamas, who facilitated the workshop, Dr. Fitzroy Yaw, Director of Strategic Initiatives, UG, Ms. Gwyneth George, Chief Librarian, UG, Ms. Emily King, Chief Librarian at the National Library and Dr. Terrence Smith, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Guyana and Ms. Juneann Garnett, President of the Guyana Library Association also attended the ceremony.

Article adapted from:

Book on Indo-Caribbean Feminist Thought to be launched at Turkeyen and Berbice campuses

6th May, 2017 0 comments

Indo-Caribbean Feminist Thought: Genealogies, Theories, Enactments is a new collection of essays that will be launched at the University of Guyana’s Turkeyen Campus on May 11 and at the Berbice Campus on May 12, 2017. The book is being launched in tandem with UG’s new Institute of Gender Studies, now in its setting up phase and in partnership with the Women & Gender Equality Commission (WGEC). The book seeks to answer the question of how Indo-Caribbean descended women and men are drawing on the negotiations of earlier generations. The publication brings together explorations of Indo-Caribbean and dougla women’s involvement in literature, art, education, biography, Mariamman puja, carnival, baby albums, celebrity, online identities, activism as well as discussions of Indo-Caribbean masculinities and international rapper Nicki Minaj, to show just how this is happening.

The book was edited by Dr Gabrielle Hosein, Head of the Institute of Gender and Development Studies at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad, and Dr Lisa Outar, an Independent Scholar based in the United States, but originally from Port Mourant, Guyana. It features essays by three generations of scholars and activists working both in the Caribbean and in the Diaspora. The collection looks at a whole range of thinking about gender and feminism from the time of indentureship to present, and focuses not on relationships to India but rather on the unique versions of Indianness and feminism to be found in the Caribbean. It offers perspectives from Guyana, Trinidad, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Canada, the United States and Mauritius. This book is the first to trace a genealogy of the contributions Indo-Caribbean women have made to Caribbean feminist epistemology and to post-indentureship feminist thought.

According to Dr Lisa Outar, “The collection takes on big questions such as the ways in which Indian feminism is shaped within broader Caribbean feminist movements, the roles that religion and religious education have played in creating agency for women, and how Indo-Guyanese women shape their identities in New York.” The book explores how music and literature have presented Indian masculinity and what the legacies of the plantation are for Indian men. With regard to the role of the arts, it looks at how artists use the power of visuality to present their perspectives, how Indo-Caribbean women in the Diaspora return to the region for carnival and even how pop icons like Nicki Minaj play with the category of dougla. Dr Outar further stated that, “the collection therefore also provides space for the ways that dougla and mixed-Indian women have shaped their own understandings of feminism and Indian identity, and how young Indo-Caribbean women come to understand themselves in relation to the generations that came before them. Finally, bringing in contemporary concerns, it explores how sexuality and gender identity are experienced and negotiated in relation to ideas about cultural identity, as well as the links between the different parts of the indentureship Diaspora.” Dr Eudine Barriteau, author of The Political Economy of Gender in the Twentieth-Century Caribbean and Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, states, “Indo-Caribbean Feminist Thought constitutes a ground-breaking, boundary-shifting body of work in Caribbean feminist thought. Drawing on transdisciplinary locations and fluid identities, the contributors displace the polarity of a hegemonic, diaspora-centred location by employing transnational, transoceanic and transdisciplinary analytical tools.

A most exciting turn is their insistence that to privilege the diverse particularities and trajectories of Indo- Caribbean feminist thought is not an attempt to escape being situated in a broader framework of Caribbean feminisms.”

The event will feature an interview with the two editors and will be of interest to scholars, writers, artists, students, and members of the public with an interest in Caribbean feminisms, Indo-Caribbean and dougla gender negotiations, and studies of both past and the present day Caribbean.


With a current enrollment of some 8,000 students, The University of Guyana (UG) has graduated more than 20,000 students who have gone on to successful careers locally, regionally and internationally. The University is also a major contributor to the national economy and to business and industry. Established in 1963 on a part-time basis with shared space at Queens College, UG moved to its own campus at Turkeyen in 1970 and expanded in 2000 with the addition of the Tain Campus. It now offers more than 60 Under- graduate and Post-graduate Programmes including the Natural Sciences, Engineering, Environmental Studies, Forestry, Urban Planning and Management, Tourism Studies, Education, Creative Arts, Economics, Law, Medicine, Optometry and Nursing. Several online programmes are available and The UG also offers extra-mural classes at four locations through its Institute of Distance and Continuing Education (IDCE). The UG also offers the opportunity for student engagement in debating, sports, and cultural, religious and professional activities.

Public Relations Division
May 6, 2017

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