Dilemma of development: School libraries in Jamaica

No Thumbnail Available



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This study focused on the development and existing status of school libraries in Jamaica, and attempted to place these developments within the economic, social, and educational perspectives of the country. In particular, it (a) traced the development of library and media services to primary and secondary schools in Jamaica; (b) assessed and examined, based on the Jamaican School Library Standards, the existing status of library and media services to primary and secondary schools, identifying needs and future trends; (c) examined the administration of library and media services; and (d) put school libraries in Jamaica into international and historical perspective, through comparison with school libraries in both developed and developing countries. Data were gathered through documentary analysis, questionnaires to 500 school libraries, interviews with persons in the field of school libraries and media, and observation of 20 school libraries in urban and rural Jamaica. Results of the data analysis revealed that: 1) school libraries in Jamaica were clearly at the developing stage, displaying inadequacies in funding, staffing, physical facilities, resources, and services provided; 2) the development of school libraries was greatly influenced by the economic realities of the country as well as the state of the education system; 3) although school libraries in Jamaica dated back to the mid-19th century, consistent and organized library and media services began in 1952, with the Schools Library Service and Schools Broadcasting Service respectively. The two services developed separately and along different lines because they served two different purposes within the education system; and 4) on an international level, school libraries in Jamaica shared certain characteristics with other developing nations, which were related to their economic development and the order of their national and educational priorities


Table of Contents