Mrs. Amy Blanche Robertson (1926 - 2007) - The National Library of Jamaica

Mrs. Amy Blanche Robertson (1926 - 2007)

Mrs. Amy Robertson was born on August 26, 1926 in the parish of Hanover. She was educated at the Montego Bay High School, Loughborough College and the University of the West Indies. Amy Robertson is one of the first Jamaicans to receive formal qualification as a Librarian and served for more than fifty (50) years in the field of Librarianship. Her career began as a volunteer at what became the St. James Parish Library, where she served in various capacities for 26 years (1946-1972). Her most notable position in the Jamaica Library Service was as supervisor of the School Library Service. Mrs. Robertson became an expert in the field of school librarianship and traveled to many countries to promote the value of school libraries.

She is also a founding member of the Jamaica Library Association, renamed Library and Information Association of Jamaica (LIAJA). Mrs. Robertson was elected a President of LIAJA in 1974.   She was also a member of the team that launched the International Association of School Librarianship in Jamaica. Mrs. Robertson served as president of the International Association of School Librarianship for two, consecutive, three-year terms.

From 1972 – 1992, Mrs. Robertson worked as Documentalist at the School of Education, University of the West Indies (UWI). While at UWI, she developed a library for the newly formed School of Education. Other professional positions held by Mrs. Robertson include part-time lecturer in the Department of Library and Information Studies and external examiner for the Teacher Librarian Course in Teacher’s Colleges. Following her retirement Mrs. Robertson continued her contribution to the field of Librarianship by serving a part-time librarian at the Jamaica Library Service and the National Library of Jamaica.

Mrs. Robertson in collaboration with Hazel Bennett and Janet White compiled the Select Bibliography of Education in the Commonwealth Caribbean which was a well-needed resource for educators. Other publications to her credit include School Libraries in the British West Indies and Libraries for Youth with Special Reference to the Commonwealth Caribbean as well as publications in journals, particularly on the subjects of children literature and school librarianship.

In 2005, the Council of the Institute of Jamaica awarded Mrs. Amy Robertson the Bronze Musgrave Medal for merit for her contribution to the development of libraries in Jamaica.

Other awards received by Mrs. Robertson include the Centenary Medal of the Institute of Jamaica; Professional Societies Association in Jamaica Medal for excellence in Performance, 1994; Department of Library and Information Studies Prize named in honour of Mrs. Robertson for the best B. Ed. Graduate Student