Professor Daphne Douglas (1924- ) - The National Library of Jamaica

Professor Daphne Douglas (1924- )

Professor Daphne Douglas was born on September 26, 1924 in the parish of Kingston to Rev. and Mrs. Thomas Edson Douglas. Her early education was at St. Hilda’s High School, Brown’s Town and Suthermere Commercial School, St. Andrew. Her library education began in 1954 with a Jamaican Government scholarship to the Eastern Caribbean Regional Library School, Trinidad, where she completed requirements for elections as an Associate of the Library Association (ALA) of the United Kingdom. In 1957/1958, a Jamaica Library Service scholarship took her to Leeds College of Commerce School of Librarianship, England, which led to her election as a Fellow of the Library Association (FLA). Later, she was awarded a three-month UNESCO fellowship to the Danish School of Librarianship (August to November 1968) to pursue studies in Library Education. In 1974 she attained the Master of Library Science Degree (MLS) from the University of Pittsburgh where her outstanding work culminated in her election to membership of the International Library Service Honour Society, Bet Phi Mu. 

Professor Douglas’ first post as a librarian was with the Jamaica Civil Service (1944-1956) where she also served as Stenotypist and Secretary. She joined the Jamaica Library Service in 1956 and served until 1971. Professor Douglas’ first librarian position was as cataloguer and this was followed by the position of Regional Librarian of the St. James Parish Library. She then held the position of Principal Librarian and Training Officer. Professor Douglas also held the positions of Chief Librarian at the Library of the Institute of Jamaica (1961-1963) and Librarian at the Permanent Mission of Jamaica to the United Nations (1963-1964).

On the establishment of the Department of the Library Studies, University of the West Indies, she was appointed a lecturer in 1971, then head of the Department from 1976 to 1980 and from 1982-1993.

Professional Affiliations include Jamaica Library Association, renamed Library and Information Association of Jamaica and Association of University, Research and Institutional Libraries (ACURIL).

She was Professor of Library Studies from 1984-1994 and made Professor Emeritus in 1994 and was Chairman of the Board of Management of the National Library of Jamaica 1997-2011.

 Honours and Awards received by Professor Douglas: 

  • Silver Musgrave Medal for contribution to Library Development – 2005
  • Junior Chamber of Commerce, Liguanea Chapter special award for outstanding service to community – 1993
  • Member of the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander conferred, by appointment His Excellency, the Governor General of Jamaica in recognition of services in the field of Librarianship – 1992
  • Award for Outstanding Service in the field of Librarianship, by the Association of Librarians in the Jamaica Library Service – 1991
  • Special Tuition Grant awarded by the University of Western Ontario
  • Woman of Distinction: National Award for distinguished service in Librarianship and unbroken service in the field of Library Education –  1976-1985
  • Institute of Jamaica Centenary Medal for Meritorious Service in the Field of Librarianship and Library – 1979
  • Bet Phi Mu (International Library Science Honour society) – 1974
  • OAS Fellowship to the University of Pittsburgh – 1973/1974
  • UNESCO Fellowship to the Danish School of Librarianship – 1968
  • Jamaica Library Service’s scholarship to Leeds School of Librarianship –1957/1958