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Visit of libraries in Grand’Anse

Visit of libraries in Grand AnseThe FOKAL library program visited the libraries of its network in the department of Grand’Anse, at the end of October. The aims of this visit were to train the local staff and to install mobile computer «Mini-Labs». Three libraries were visited by the program staff members: the René Belance library of Corail, where a Mini-Lab was installed, the Jean Brière library of Pestel where the staff followed a workshop on the introduction to computers and Internet, and the Centre Numa-Drouin library where a seminar on the use of PMB was given by the coordinator of the program, M. Eric Toussaint.


Installation of the Mini-Lab at the René Bélance library

The FOKAL Mini-Lab project was started with the aim of giving the network libraries computer equipment and an Internet connection to increase access to free information through the use of new technologies. The René Bélance Library is the second in the department to benefit from this project, after the Jean Brière Library of Pestel. The René Bélance Library already had a weak cyber centre, as only three of its computers were functioning. The installation of the Mini-Lab will increase its capacity. A mobile Mini-Lab is comprised of five computers, a projector, a WiFi router, a modem and a printer. This equipment will permit the library’s cyber centre to continue its computer and Internet initiation program for its members and the town’s teachers.


Skill upgrading workshop at the Jean F. Brière library

FOKAL gives a lot of importance to the training of the library staff in its network. It offers technical training in library animation and cataloging in order to provide better service to members. It also helps them to adapt to computer technologies and communication that constantly modify the routines of the profession. Those workshops are offered according to needs identified during exchanges between libraries and the library program. The Pestel staff followed the first module of a training in initiation to computer and Internet use by beginners and an upgrade for the other staff. The second module was unable to take place because of the passage of hurricane Sandy. This second training session will be given by the technicians of the René Bélance Library cyber centre who were already giving training to teachers of the zone.


Upgrade seminar in PMB at the Centre Numa-Drouin

The Numa-Drouin Centre is the second library supported by FOKAL to have a computer system installed, after the Monique Calixte Library in the FOKAL cultural centre in Port-au-Prince. The software used is PMB, a free integrated system, of library management. Because of some glitches with the server, the system was out of service for some ten months. Once the system was re-established, it was necessary to offer the staff an upgrade. A day long workshop was given to the staff. The staff asked all the questions related to the day-to-day running of the software. It was also the occasion to evaluate, correct and make plans to standardise the content of the data base.


We hope that with this visit, the three libraries will be better able to improve services to their members and thus to the country in general.


Erick Toussaint

Library Program