Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Betty Alleyne- Headley, cutting the ribbon along with Principal of the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology ( SJPI), Ian Drakes while librarian Julia Ward looks on. (Photo: SJPI)

The former library at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology (SJPI) has now been transformed into a modern Media Resource Centre (MRC) and will be aiming to share its resources with other tertiary institutions across the island.

Principal of the SJPI, Ian Drakes, revealed this on Friday as he declared the MRC open, following its consecration by President of the Barbados Evangelical Association, Rev. Dr. Nigel Taylor.

While stressing “these are exciting times”, Mr. Drakes welcomed the gathering that included Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Betty Alleyne-Headley, and other tertiary level officials to the “modernised and transformed” facility.

The principal noted that come February 28, students could look forward to indulging in knowledge that would allow them “to think big” and have the institution continue on its path of producing “globally competitive citizens for the world that faces us in this modernised era.”   

Also referring to the centre as “futuristic”, Mr. Drakes noted it consisted of books and technological devices, as well as an internet café. 

He said: “I know when we say this is a state-of-the-art media resource centre, that’s what we mean. And, by that we mean providing services like laminating, bookbinding, book repairs, and also we will be looking at doing computer repairs as we look to the future with our library, our e-books.”

He disclosed that the institution would be working with its industrial partners and educational institutions such as the Barbados Community College, the Erdiston Teachers’ Training College, the Barbados Vocational Training Board, the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Council, The University of the West Indies and the Barbados Institute of Management and Productivity to facilitate students’ work.

Elaborating, the Principal said: “Anyone who becomes a student of those institutions I have mentioned will get the opportunity to be an annual member of the SJPI’s state-of-the-art e-library, e-resource centre in Barbados. So, I am taking up not just the challenge; I am taking the whole pie and dividing it; so that all partners involved in the storing, in the imparting of knowledge can share with excitement.”

While adding that he shared the vision for modernising and digitising, he outlined that such students would be able to use SJPI’s facilities and their own facilities remotely for the downloading of e-books and the purchasing of those books, while the mature, older students would still have access to the technical books in the hard-backed format, which would also be repaired by the SJPI.  

“So, we are offering you a myriad of services and that’s why it’s the Media Resource Centre… We have knowledgeable library assistants and librarians and they are going to have that knowledgeable conversation with those parties that I have spoken about because we want to form MOUs [Memorandum of Understanding], Articulation Agreements….,” he further revealed.

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