Jamaicans Overseas Urged to Deposit Creative Works at National Library

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A report from the Jamaica Information Service.

Cultural artisans in the diaspora are being encouraged to make legal deposit of creative works with the National Library of Jamaica (NLJ).

The call comes from State Minister in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Alando Terrelonge, who said that this is important in preserving and promoting Jamaica’s rich culture.

Mr. Terrelonge noted that while such deposit by overseas nationals is not a requirement under the law “it is important that our writers and authors who are producing material outside of Jamaica make their contribution as well”.

“It is important because it does form a part of that cultural heritage that truly belongs to the people of Jamaica. It says that we continue to make an impact not only at home but also abroad,” he said.

He was speaking at the launch of Legal Deposit Month 2018 on Thursday (October 11) at the NLJ, downtown Kingston.

Mr. Terrelonge is appealing for locally based artistes to fulfil their legal obligation by submitting copies of their works to the NLJ. Failure to comply is an offence that attracts a fine not exceeding $50,000.

 “What we really want is for Jamaicans to comply… . We need your material for the benefit of the next generation, so we have a compilation of our culture/history,” he said.

 “Jamaica’s publishers, producers, self-produced authors, composers, playwrights, film-makers and artistes of all respects should make every effort to make their legal deposits,” he appealed.

Chairman of the Board of Management for the NLJ, Joy Douglas, said that the entity is on “an aggressive move to have Jamaicans abroad realise that their work must make it into the national collection of Jamaica”.

Ms. Douglas said the relevant ministries, agencies, embassies and high commissions are being encouraged to assist in this regard.

The NLJ is partnering with Fontana Pharmacy to organise a series of activities throughout October in observance of Legal Deposit Month.

These include a publishers and writers seminar on October 17 at the Medallion Hall Hotel, St. Andrew; and a reading, music and film session, dubbed ‘Lyrical Fuzion’, on October 31 at the Institute of Jamaica (IOJ) Lecture Theatre, downtown Kingston. These events will be held from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Legal Deposit Month seeks to raise awareness about the Legal Deposit Act, which was passed in 2002 and came into effect in 2004.

The law requires Jamaicans to deposit copies of their works with the NLJ. These deposits become a record of the nation’s published heritage.

For more information on activities of Legal Deposit Month, persons can contact the NLJ at: (876) 967-2494 or visit nlj.gov.jm.

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