The National Library and Information System Authority’s (NALIS) Executive Director, Catherine Romain, laments the proliferation of fake news.
Speaking at the opening of the Barataria Community Library on July 16, Romain said, “There is a proliferation of fake news which librarians have always known as disinformation.” Disinformation, she further explained, “is a deliberate creation and or sharing of false information in order to mislead; the intention is to cause damage.” In response to this growing but disturbing culture of disinformation, Romain said NALIS will continue to teach library and information literacy skills, which will equip citizens with the tools to easily access, properly evaluate and use information ethically.
NALIS is charged with the responsibility to promote literacy skills and awareness in the use of library and information services within the community. Romain said, “Information is still core to national development through an informed citizenry.” She reported that last year NALIS trained about 15,000 citizens in various aspects of library and information skills. 131 persons graduated from its Youth Literacy (YouthLit) Programme conducted in partnership with ALTA and Bermudez Company and 119 students enrolled in the new intake of the YouthLit programme at 10 of NALIS’ Public libraries.
The Authority enhances the lives of citizens by its ongoing implementation of strategies and policies for effective delivery of library and information services to all stakeholders throughout its network of operations. This growing network currently includes the Heritage Library; 23 public libraries; three mobile libraries with 138 stops; four correctional institutions (situated at the Youth Training Centre - YTC, Maximum Security Prison - MSP, Women’s Prison and St. Jude’s School for Girls); services to 133 secondary schools, 486 primary schools, 48 libraries in the 27 government ministries and departments and the three public libraries under the Tobago House of Assembly.
The Barataria Community Library is the third co-located library opened by NALIS for this year. The first was opened at the Mt. Hope/Mt. Lambert Community Centre on January 25, in collaboration with the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts, followed by the Beetham Gardens Community Library on February 22, in collaboration with the Ministry of National Security. The Barataria Community Library is open to the public from Monday to Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm and Saturdays from 9:00am to 2:00pm.