International Literacy Day “Reading is fundamental even though technology has come and put a twist on things, I think we still have to continue to read. If people are to stay literate, they must continue to read and develop a habit if reading too as long as they live,” says Deputy Chief Librarian Nadine Moore.Moore has been working at the National Library for the past 20 years and says Guyanese need to continue to read more. She added that reading alone is not all, rather when one reads they must be able to comprehend and the National Library has been ensuring that programmes are in place to teach the skill of reading and comprehending.The world celebrated International Literacy Day on Saturday under the theme “Literacy and skills development”. This year, International Literacy Day, according to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), explores and highlights integrated approaches that simultaneously can support the development of literacy and skills, to ultimately improve people’s lives and work and contribute to equitable and sustainable societies.Moore says that ILD is very important since it serves to remind leaders and the general population of the status of literacy and its importance in advancing a population. She said at the National Library, they have been providing free and equitable access to information to everyone, on various platforms, to help improve literacy.From left: Deputy Chief Librarian Nadine Moore, along with Senior Library Assistants Merle James and Dihanne SaulShe explained that one would think that a typical day at the library only involves them restocking and checking out books as well as offering advice but revealed that there are a lot of behind the scenes work that they are involved in.“We have to develop a collection based on demands and request of the general public as well as current affairs to keep our members informed so that is the first thing we try to put in place. We also have to acquire the materials in various forms and we have to process the materials and put them in the right subject so it is easily accessed. Apart from doing that we also have the behind the scenes work which is getting these materials shelf ready,” she explained.She noted that they are also preparing to go electronic by 2019.“In 2019 we will have resources with an online catalogue and have our rare books collection digitised… we have issues with bandwidth but that is being improved and we will provide advanced services to patrons with regard to resources and have staff technology ready,” Moore added.Additionally, the National Library has a number of continuous activities to promote literacy. Moore stated that over the years they have seen an increase in the number of young readers, adding that it shows that the younger generation is moving more to books despite the technological advancement.“We are really working hard to ensure that persons in the society are literate or become that way and reduce the level of illiteracy and the introduction of these programmes we would like to see a turn around the level of literacy. People really underestimate the power of reading and reading is fundamental… we have to read to be kept abreast with technology,” she advised.
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