During the week of January 21-24, 2019, librarians from the Mesoamerica Region gathered at SENDAS to receive training for OPALS, a library database management system used by more than 2,000 libraries around the world. OPALS (Open-source Automated Library System) will allow libraries at the eight Mesoamerica educational institutions to serve their students with one of the most efficient and advanced systems available today. The International Board of Education has generously offered to cover the cost of OPALS for all Nazarene institutions around the globe who wish to implement it.
Dr. Sharon Bull (Coordinator), Dr. Ruth Kinnersley (Trevecca Nazarene University), Helen Stocker (Nazarene Theological College, Manchester, England), and Sheryll Hampton (Northwest Nazarene University) were invited to lead the training on the OPALS system. Participating in the training were Kenneth Forde (Caribbean Nazarene College), Rosario Xuc Tut (Seminario Teológico Nazareno de Guatemala), Febe Tovar (Seminario Nazareno Mexicano), Gladys Vindas and Manuel Villanueva (SENDAS), and Ernesto and Altagracia Bathermy (Seminario Nazareno Dominicano). Rev. Carol Rittenhouse coordinated logistics for the event and provided interpretation services for all the IBOE trainers.
The only librarians missing were the ones from Séminaire Théologique Nazaréen D’Haiti (Haiti) and Instituto Bíblico Nazareno de Cobán (Guatemala). These individuals will receive training directly from Ernesto Bathermy and Rosario Xuc Tut, respectively. While training on the OPALS system was the main priority for the event, it was also a great opportunity to build rapport among the attendees and develop a network of support among them.
Regional Education Coordinator for the Mesoamerica Region, Dr. Rubén Fernández, recognized the importance of having regional libraries updated and better-equipped to serve. Dr. Fernández encouraged all institutions in the region to attend the training. “We are deeply grateful to Sharon Bull and the other international trainers for the OPALS system, as well as to our sister institutions in the U.S.A. and the U.K. that made their participation possible. We thank Dr. Dan Copp, Dr. Tammy Carter, and the entire IBOE team for their vision and leadership in providing a cutting-edge library system to our institutions at no cost. The fruit of this initiative will certainly endure the test of time,” said Dr. Fernández.
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