The first library was a classroom lined with bookshelves and it was situated in an old building in Hercules Street, Suva. The year was 1972. In June of 1973, the seminary was transferred from cramped Hercules Street to this lovely present site along Queen Elizabeth Drive, and the library and its contents began to grow gradually, but with no full-time librarian to organize the collection.
It is interesting to note that for a while part of this present library was once used as the first Chapel, so we feel t is quite special.
In 1982, Sr Loyola, s.m. joined the seminary staff as its first ever full-time librarian, and she managed to create order out of chaos (with the help of a Brother Jack), by organizing the collection according to the DDC System. The library continued to improve and to grow after Sr Loyola had to leave in 1986, under the supervision of Rev. Fr. Joseph Pusateri, s.m. Since then the library has always had the services of trained librarians who continued to make improvements along the way and today you can see the fruits of their labors when you enter the library.
Athena Library Software System
For over a decade the Pacific Regional Seminary library used the Athena Library Software System. It was a very good system, easy to use, and sound and reliable, but for the past several years we were having problems with the backing up of records, and, with networking between the various library computers. Also, Athena was no longer being updated by the manufacturers.
Koha Library Software System
In early 2012 we were approached by Mr. Hans Arns with a proposal. He and Catholic Mission Australia had been discussing the adoption of a common open source library system for the use of seminary libraries, and had chosen Koha as being the ideal one. They were looking for a seminary library which could be used and set up as a demonstration, and Hans suggested using the PRS Library. After lots of correspondence back and forth it was agreed that it was a very good system and PRS eventually agreed to the changeover from Athena to Koha, using a hosting service provide by Prosentient Systems Australia.
Sharing the Word
The project for seminary libraries comes under the name, Sharing The Word and full information is available on the newly developed site: http://sharingtheword.info/
Sharing the Word Project came into being to answer the many problems faced by Catholic seminary libraries in the 21st century, especially in developing countries. These problems include isolation, poverty of resources, and a lack of funding and of trained library staff as well as the inability to make full use of the possibilities opened up by the Internet and access to digital resources. An initiative, sponsored by the Pontifical Society of St Peter the Apostle, is now under way to address these problems by bringing Catholic seminary libraries together into an alliance for sharing resources and knowledge and to make the most of limited financial means. To access our Koha library catalogue click on the following link: http://prs.intersearch.com.au/
Pacific Regional Seminary has been offering training for the Roman Catholic priesthood for the various dioceses in the Pacific and for religious congregations with houses affiliated to the seminary since 1972.
During this year, 1973, we are celebrating our 40 years at the present site at Nasese, Suva Point. The celebration is centred on the last weekend of August, 23rd to 25th August with three day of presentations on the documents of Vatican II as they relate to seminary formation and to priestly life. All former students and faculty are invited to join in the celebration either by coming in person or joining in spirit from the different parts of the world. The same invitation is expressed to former staff members.
If you are coming, please notify us by email to firstname.lastname@example.org , if possible by early July. [Alternatively by mail which can be sent to Private Mail Bag, 79, Suva, Fiji]