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Regional Librarians in CI

(L-R) Attorney General the Hon. Samuel Bulgin, QC; CARALL Vice President Ms Lynette Isaacs (T&T Attorney General’s Chambers); Secretary Ms Janette Bailey Powell (Jamaica Supreme Court); Chief Justice the Hon. Anthony Smellie

Nearly 40 regional law librarians in public and private legal institutions and firms began their three day annual meeting Monday morning (8 July 2013), with an opening ceremony at Grand Court I in the Courts Building.

Members of the Caribbean Association of Law Librarians (CARALL) have gathered, for their annual conference, which is being held in the Cayman Islands for the first time. The main conference, which focuses on continuing education and professional networking opportunities, is being held at the Truman Bodden Law School, across from the Courts.

Keynote speaker, Cayman Islands Attorney General, Hon. Samuel Bulgin, QC, JP, noted the significant role that law librarians play in the success of legal institutions and the practice of law. Despite the growth of online activity, law library professionals are intrinsic to the proper functioning of legal institutions, he emphasised.

Given the importance of precedents in English Law, the opportunities that librarians facilitate for research and the dissemination of knowledge have a beneficial impact on seasoned law practitioners, faculty members and law students alike, he said.

Lauding the theme of the conference this year, which is “From place to platform: Taking Caribbean law libraries to the next level,” the Attorney General also voiced his appreciation of the association’s proactive approach to ensuring that all members are able to embrace the technological advances that the profession increasingly faces.

Chief Justice of the Cayman Islands, Hon. Anthony Smellie, stated law librarians over the years have contributed significantly to the success of law graduates and practitioners who are leaders in all spheres of life in their countries. Using technology to make libraries accessible is the best way to maximise library resources across the region and internationally, he remarked.

CARALL President Mr. Thomas Borkowski outlined the association’s commitment to promoting law libraries throughout the region. While separated by geography, librarians in the region were united by the objective of enhancing professionalism, promoting information sharing, continuing education and professional networking, he added.

Noting the similarity in the root of the words ‘librarian’ and ‘liberty’, Court Administrator Kevin McCormac commented on the importance of the availability of information in establishing and increasing personal freedoms. “The challenge now is not so much about ensuring information is available as about identifying what is reliable from the vast quantity that can be found.”

He added the association was very important both in enabling the law to be more accessible throughout the Caribbean and in providing a way for librarians to build strong relationships with one other and increase mutual support in their challenging and demanding roles.

Caymanian Bar Association Treasurer Mr. Brett Basdeo offered greetings as well.

Mrs. Gomatee ‘Sandra’ Lakhram, from the Trinidad and Tobago Supreme Court Library, thanked conference sponsors and echoed the praise from other speakers for local organisers’ hard work in planning and hosting the conference, in particular Truman Bodden Law School Librarian, Mrs. Beverley Speirs.

A product exhibition forms a part of the conference. Additionally, members will elect the next executive at their annual general meeting on Wednesday, 10 July 2013.


For further information contact: Bina Mani