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Paulette Clunie

Paulette spent her entire working career in libraries and the arts, integrating both with the lives of communities and encouraging artistic creativity and expression, especially among young people. She retired in 2013 and since retiring, she has participated in a range of courses including, jewellery making, garden design and floristry. She also completed a diploma in horticulture. Paulette has volunteered in Jamaica and locally on gardening projects. Prior to her retirement, she volunteered at the Prince's Trust for a number of years.

Using her knowledge of library and information services, she has been supporting the development of the Dr. Louis Sterling reading room at the Louise Da-Cocodia Education Trust, Wesley Centre, Royce Rd, Hulme, M15 5BP. Paulette enjoys sourcing information, both printed and audio, and is a keen listener to audio books, especially when gardening. She is a member of the Royal Horticultural Society and Cumbria Wildlife Trust.

The Dr. Louis Sterling Reading Room

Thank you Judy, for that insight into Dr Sterling’s life, as I do not know him nor can I recall ever meeting him but looking at the volumes in personal library I have come to know him in some way. For example how religious was he, he owned a family bible, it is well thumbed in certain places in particular the Psalms, a hand written memo to himself referenced Psalms 24 to 35 to be read in the morning and Psalm 19 at night. Another curious insight, Jeremiah 30 Verse 17 which reads, “For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds” was he aware of his deteriorating health.

The Dr Louis Sterling Reading Room honours him and his academic contribution to sociology and education. There are around about 2 thousand volumes of books and sociology periodicals, and it is important that the collection remains together hence a reading room, rather than a library. The essential aim of the reading room is to bring people together to share a common space of learning, enquiry and the acquisition of knowledge through reading and conversation, the exploration our past, and in particular the effects of slavery, colonisation, empire, independence and migration.

Just to give a flavour of the content of the reading room, there are titles such as Caribbean Slavery in the Atlantic World, Slavery and Social Death, Caribbean Sociology, Family in the Caribbean, Labour in the Caribbean, and The Growth of the Modern West Indies. There is a fair section on Jamaica, his homeland, dealing with housing, education and the criminal justice system. There are volumes about other Caribbean countries, the continent of Africa and the subcontinent of Asia. No library is complete if it does not hold a copy of Walter Rodney’s How

Europe Underdeveloped Africa, another well-thumbed volume.

The migration section is extensive, dealing with the sociological impact and the knock-on effects of migration and immigration. There are volumes relating to ethnicity, racism, class, education, employment and housing.

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