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    Managing research data at an academic library in a developing country.
    (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, 2017) Renwick, Shamin; Winter, Marsha; Gill, Michelle
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    The impact of the covid-19 pandemic on the Founders Library at St. George's University, Grenada, West Indies
    (Library and Information Association of of Jamaica, 2022) Renwick, Shamin
    Purpose: This paper describes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on operations of the Founders Library at St. George’s University, Grenada, West Indies. Non-empirical research technique: Personal observation and reflection on current events utilizing the authority/experience of the author were used. Findings: The Library closed physically and services were moved to online-only mode from mid-March 2020. Strategies by the University and activities undertaken by Library personnel during the initial response; the work from home period; and the subsequent phased reintegration of staff when the Campus reopened to limited in-person classes for students of the School of Arts and Sciences by mid-August 2020—are outlined. Research limitations/implications: This first-hand account, reflecting a management and leadership perspective and written whilst the pandemic is ongoing, is a unique reflection on events; thus, would necessarily reflect the sole perspective of the author. Originality/value: To date there are no other publications on the effect of the pandemic on Founders Library and few, if any, on its effects on the wider Caribbean. This article will serve as a primary source of information for analysis when post-pandemic research investigates its final effects on libraries in the Caribbean and should prove to be useful in terms of planning for situations of uncertainty, whatever the cause. Theoretical/Practical/Social/ Implications: An adaptation of project management’s urgent/important prioritization matrix on which to base selection of projects is proposed. It is recommended that ‘urgency’ and ‘impact’ may be more useful criteria for analysis under pandemic conditions and for contingency planning in emergency situations.
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    The Effectiveness of the National Library and Information System Authority of Trinidad and Tobago in its Role as a National Library
    (2018) Renwick, Shamin; Williams, Ruth
    The National Library and Information System Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (NALIS) aims to provide both the functions of a national library as well as a national library service. The objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of NALIS in its role as a national library. Utilising a qualitative approach, the study used mixed methods: semi-structured interviews with NALIS’ senior management; review of the International Organization for Standardization performance indicators; and comparative analysis of the strategic plans of the National Library of Jamaica and NALIS. Findings revealed that, despite NALIS performing the functions of a national library, key aspects of its services remain unfulfilled. Participants could not agree on the description of NALIS as outlined in the NALIS Act but 60% concluded that, in their personal opinion, NALIS could best be described as a public library which provides a national library service. Point score analysis determined that the most important function was ‘Central Collection of the Nation’s Literature’. The strategic planning of NALIS was found to be in alignment with the age of the organisation, as it is currently in an early phase of operation when policy formulation is critical. Given the turbulent economic environment and the many constraints that NALIS faced, it proved to be effective in the performance of national library functions and continues to strive for excellence in service delivery. It was noted that effective quality management was not adequately performed. Thus, in order to improve the level of service delivery, better quality management measures must be implemented.
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    Prioritisation of Food Security by Decision Makers in the Caribbean, a Study of Three Caribbean Territories: Trinidad and Tobago, Belize and Barbados
    (Caribbean Agri-Economic Society, 2015-08-28) Renwick, Shamin
    The consequences of global food and nutrition insecurity, for example, high and fluctuating food prices would have had an impact on individual countries worldwide. This vulnerability in the Caribbean is, in fact, reflected in the recognition that none of the territories are able to produce all the food that is required to feed their populations and ensure that people lead healthy and productive lives. The extent of this exposure is reflected in the high food import bills of many Caribbean countries. Do policymakers and those who most closely influence them, in terms of their decision making for national food security, identify the impact of global food and nutrition insecurity as a main constraint to enhancing national food security in their countries? Is food security the highest priority of the various objectives of the agriculture sector? Using a qualitative approach to answer the above questions, policy makers, planners and key persons who influence policy makers in three diverse Caribbean countries (Trinidad and Tobago, Belize and Barbados) were interviewed and asked to complete an Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) questionnaire to rank their priorities. This paper presents some early results of the AHP analysis in an ongoing PhD study. In terms of the criteria weightings, sustainability of the food supply was judged to be far more significant than the level of external dependency. And whereas economic trade-based food security was scored as the most important objective of agriculture, supporting producers and local agribusiness was the second most important surpassing food self-sufficiency and sustainability of the environment, as well as, maximising employment in the agricultural sector and production for the export trade. These results have implications for the plans and policies designed to enhance the level of food security locally and regionally.
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    Navigating the Pressures of Publishing in an Era of Predatory Journals
    (2014-03) Belfon, Renaldo; Wuddivira, Mark; Renwick, Shamin
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    Intra-Regional Transport for Agricultural Commodities: a regional public good
    (2012-03-30) Renwick, Shamin; Stewart, Robert; Howai, Niko
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    Assessment of Online Resources
    (2001) Renwick, Shamin
    In order to be an effective librarian, today, one has to provide access to the best online resources. With over 2 billion web pages available and search engines returning thousands of responses to queries, there is information overload on the World Wide Web. This as well as other facts like anyone could publish anything on the Internet, indicate that it is imperative that these resources be evaluated. This paper proposes to discuss how the traditional methods of assessment as well as new criteria particular to online resources can be used for evaluation. The main criteria to be discussed will be the content, usability and access of web pages with suggestions as to how to apply and where possible provide relative illustrations. Peculiarities related to certain types of resources as well as aspects of an effective website will be highlighted.
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    Current Trends in Agricultural Information Services for Farmers in Trinidad and Tobago/Caribbean
    (2010) Renwick, Shamin
    At present, farmers in the Caribbean are at the dictates and vagaries of the various trade agreements and government policies. Limited by colonisation and geographic location, in order to survive from an economic standpoint, trade agreements are being signed by Caribbean countries with surrounding and relevant countries/trade blocks which may work against the best interest of farmers, especially those who produce for export markets. Government resources are being committed to politically expedient policies and procedures which are often not holistic and do not take into full consideration farmer’s livelihoods, food security issues and the protection of the environment. In addition, the implications of climate change, reduced water availability, production of genetically-modified crops, and the mitigation of the effects of years of “green revolution” practices on agricultural production are some of the relatively new issues to be addressed. The information needs of the small farmers in this changing scenario, beyond that of merely traditional production and marketing information, should be recognised and addressed. To a large extent, authoritative, appropriate, factual information in a format and at a level that enables them to make wise pre-production, production and marketing decisions is not being made accessible to farmers. This paper discusses the sources of information for the Caribbean farmer including the traditional and the relatively new sources as well as those using ICTs. An overview of the current information providers, social networking efforts as well as barriers and constraints in the utilisation of agricultural information by farmers is provided
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    Knowledge and use of electronic information resources by medical sciences faculty at The University of the West Indies
    (2005) Renwick, Shamin
    Objective: The objective was to determine faculty’s knowledge of electronic resources, access to a computer, use of electronic resources (both number and frequency) available at the Medical Sciences Library (MSL), and the areas of training needed and to identify areas for further research. Methods: A survey was administered to faculty in medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, and veterinary sciences at The University of the West Indies. The questions covered computer literacy, computer access and location, knowledge and use of electronic resources, and training needs. Results: The response rate was 70%, of whom 97% were computer users. Seventy-three percent used computers daily, and 82% felt that their computer literacy level was average or beyond. Overall, it was found that faculty had high awareness of the electronic resources made available by the MSL but low use of MSL-specific resources supporting the suggested problem of underutilization. Many respondents felt that e-resources were important, and, though many felt that they were competent users, 83% were self-taught and many still expressed a need for training. Over 60% felt that a workshop with a hands-on component was the preferred format for training. It was recommended that there be greater promotion of the library’s e-resources.
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    CARIFORUM-EU EPA and the Book trade
    (2012-03-30) Renwick, Shamin
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    Health Risk Behaviours Among Adolescents in the English-speaking Caribbean: a Review
    (2009) Maharaj, Rohan G.; Nunes, Paula; Renwick, Shamin
    Background: The aim of this paper was to review and summarize research on prevalence of health risk behaviours, their outcomes as well as risk and protective factors among adolescents in the English-speaking Caribbean. Methods: Searching of online databases and the World Wide Web as well as hand searching of the West Indian Medical Journal were conducted. Papers on research done on adolescents aged 10 . 19 years old and published during the period 1980 . 2005 were included. Results: Ninety-five relevant papers were located. Five papers were published in the 1980s, 47 in the 1990s, and from 2000.2005, 43 papers. Health risk behaviours and outcomes were divided into seven themes. Prevalence data obtained for these, included lifetime prevalence of substance use: cigarettes-24% and marijuana-17%; high risk sexual behaviour: initiation of sexual activity . 10 years old-19% and those having more than six partners-19%; teenage pregnancy: teens account for 15.20% of all pregnancies and one-fifth of these teens were in their second pregnancy; Sexually-Transmitted Infections (STIs): population prevalence of gonorrhoea and/or chlamydia in 18.21 year-olds was 26%; mental health: severe depression in the adolescent age group was 9%, and attempted suicide-12%; violence and juvenile delinquency: carrying a weapon to school in the last 30 days-10% and almost always wanting to kill or injure someone-5%; eating disorders and obesity: overweight-11%, and obesity-7%. Many of the risk behaviours in adolescents were shown to be related to the adolescent's family of origin, home environment and parent-child relationships. Also, the protective effects of family and school connectedness as well as increased religiosity noted in studies from the United States were also applicable in the Caribbean. Conclusion: There is a substantial body of literature on Caribbean adolescents documenting prevalence and correlates of health risk behaviours. Future research should emphasize the designing and testing of interventions to alleviate this burden.
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    Protecting Intellectual Property Rights in the Agricultural Sector of Trinidad and Tobago
    (2010) Renwick, Shamin
    With the various trade agreements being negotiated and the globalisation movement that is currently in train, it is important that Trinidad and Tobago be cautious about the legal and binding commitments being undertaken, especially those regarding the agricultural sector. Intellectual property rights (IPRs) forms an obscure, but potent, part of the negotiations, and obligations in this area can have far reaching effects. It has been said that the CARIFORUM-European Union Economic Partnership Agreement provides for intellectual property protection that goes beyond the relevant Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights agreement in the World Trade Organisation. In the interest of food security in Trinidad and Tobago, it is imperative that IP is protected, for example, farmers’ traditional knowledge, local plant species and research emanating from the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture from the early 1900s to that of The University of the West Indies and the Ministry of Agriculture today. In order to do this, we must appreciate fully what we have, preserve and conserve it for future use in formats which are accessible by those who need it and ensure that they have the rights to do so. This paper reviews the issues in IP and the agricultural sector in Trinidad and Tobago.
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    What Caribbean Librarians Want from Caribbean Publishers
    (2002) Renwick, Shamin
    In this article, the Caribbean library market is defined as the Association of Caribbean University, Research and Institutional Libraries (ACURIL). The market includes academic, school, special, national and public libraries serving a linguistically (Dutch, English, French and Spanish) and culturally diverse population of over 40 million people. Each library has a unique profile based on differing levels of funding, information technology/Internet access, professional personnel, and collection development and purchasing distinctions. Common to all the libraries is the difficulty in selecting and purchasing Caribbean-focused materials authored or published by Caribbean people. In order to overcome this difficulty, Caribbean librarians request that publishers provide reviews, synopses, and bibliographies of Caribbean-related materials, publish works that will fill designated gaps in a collection, and stimulate writing on Caribbean biographies and achievements. In a broader sense, Caribbean librarians request that publishers develop better editorial and bibliographic standards, promote legal deposit activity, create awareness of monetary devaluations, customs, and foreign exchange issues, offer marketing and promotional support for individual libraries, and provide prompt and efficient customer service to all Caribbean libraries. Publishers and Caribbean librarians seek to work together to create a mutually beneficial relationship and ultimately better serve the large population of library patrons.
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    Access to Information in the English-speaking Caribbean
    (1996) Renwick, Shamin
    Considers the state of computerized information access in the Caribbean nations, with emphasis on cooperative developments. Fifteen databases that serve the region are described, from the early Caribben Information System for Economic and Social Planning (CARISPLAN; 1979) to the new Cultural Information System for Latin American and the Caribbean (SECLAC; 1994). UNESCO’s Computer Database Systems/Integrated Set of Information Services (CDS/ISIS) is in wide use, but MARC has not been generally adopted. Most special libraries in the area are automated, but other types of libraries are not, except for use of CD–ROMs. As in other regions, a fundamental question has to be faced: whether to invest limited resources in electronic files (difficult for many users) or hardcopy files (more costly). Another question is how to deal with inaccuracies and access problems of the Internet. All indicators point to a growing, rather than a lesser, role for librarians in the emerging information age.
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    Caribbean Digital Library Initiatives in the 21st Century: the Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC)
    (Manchester University Press, 2011) Renwick, Shamin
    As a result of evolving Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), digital libraries which allow for greater accessibility and preservation of information have been started in earnest in the last decade or two. Several digital initiatives have been implemented recently in the Caribbean, about 40 countries with diverse history, culture, language, religious and socio-cultural backgrounds. Affordable technology and infrastructure, networking and cataloguing expertise, enduring collaboration, workable governance mechanisms, intellectual property/copyright measures, adequate financing and ongoing an training are imperative for the sustainability of these projects. One of the more well-known and well-regarded is the trilingual Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC) which was established to provide greater visibility and accessibility to Caribbean materials in order to further Caribbean studies. Initial vision for the dLOC was outlined in 2004 at the Association of Caribbean University, Institutional and Research Libraries conference in Trinidad and Tobago. After successfully obtaining US Federal funding, four US Libraries and five Caribbean partners established a rather unique model of collaborative governance and collection building. With leadership, extensive technological development and preservation activities by several Florida Universities, the dLOC has provided support and training to its Caribbean partners and together have met many technological, intellectual and ethical challenges to Caribbean digital initiatives successfully to produce a user-friendly interface with extensive search functionality. The dLOC, now a multi-institutional project with international usage, appears to have implemented sustainable practices; has proven to be trustworthy, flexible, responsive, adaptable, proactive and empowering; and has demonstrated goodwill through humanitarian efforts.