Director of Philipsburg Jubilee Library Monique Alberts (right) receiving the president’s gavel of the Association of Caribbean University, Research and Institutional Libraries (ACURIL) during the organisation’s annual conference in the Dominican Republic.
PHILIPSBURG–Director of Philipsburg Jubilee Library Monique Alberts received the president’s gavel of the Association of Caribbean University, Research and Institutional Libraries (ACURIL) for the year 2018-2019. The change of board took place June 7 during the annual ACURIL conference in the Dominican Republic.
Alberts represents the Dutch Caribbean Library association in ACURIL’S Executive Council. With the presidentship comes the privilege and responsibility for organizing several events, culminating in the 2019 annual ACURIL conference. Alberts will organize this conference in Aruba from June 2 thru June 6, 2019.
The conference will focus on the sustainable development goals which were adopted by the United Nations (UN) in 2015. The motto will be “Access and opportunities for all: how can libraries contribute to Agenda 2030.” At the event, Caribbean librarians and other information professionals will discuss how their institutions can contribute to the sustainable development of their societies.
In her acceptance speech, Alberts memorized the important role played by the Dutch Caribbean libraries in ACURIL since its inception in 1969, even though they represent by far the smallest language group in the association.
She referred to the modest, yet crucial, role of these islands. “We, Dutch Caribbeans graciously gave up our right to have the ACURIL conference sessions translated in Dutch but that does not stop us from conversing in Dutch, Caribbean English and our two creoles Papiamento and Sranan Tongo among each other in between conference sessions,” said Alberts.
In spite of, or perhaps because of their small sizes, St. Maarten, Aruba, Curaçao and Suriname often play a moderating and cohesive role in the ACURIL organization in the midst of the larger member states, said Alberts.
The first Dutch Caribbean ACURIL President was the late Maritza Eustatia from Curaçao, followed by Aruba’s Alice van Romondt in 1987.
St. Maarten contributed its first president in 1992 in the person of Philipsburg Jubilee Library’s icon Blanca Hodge. Other former presidents from Dutch Caribbean are Astrid Britten from Aruba in 2006 and Suriname’s Jane Smith in 2015.
ACURIL was established in 1969 and brings together regional librarians, archivists and other information professionals. Under the slogan “Unity in Diversity” the association organizes yearly conferences for information professionals on the different Caribbean islands a well as other professional development and networking activities.