No Date For Reopening Of Public Library

BVI Platinum News
July 09, 2018 7:18 am AST
Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
After being closed for two years, government is still unable to give a date as to when the much needed Road Town Public Library will be reopened.

Further, government will be expending some $520,000.00 to allow for the relocation of the library from Flemming Street to the old Clarence Thomas Limited (CTL) building at Pasea Estate.

The amount of the annual rent payments for the new location of the public library is $379,200.00 annually or $31,600.00 monthly.

Last week during the sitting of the House of Assembly, Hon. Myron Walwyn, Minister of Education and Culture was questioned by Opposition Leader, Hon. Andrew Fahie on the prolonged closure of the library.

“The scheduled date for reopening of the Road Town Public Library is not available at this time. The contracts were signed and sent to Treasury for processing of first payment on August 31st, 2017, but no payments were processed because of the hurricanes,” the Minister said.

He added that with the catastrophic hurricanes in September 2017 devastating the largest secondary school in the Territory, a decision was made to use the proposed library space at the CTL building located in Pasea Estate for housing the Elmore Stoutt High School on a shift system.

“This space will continue to house the Elmore Stoutt High School until the rebuilding of the old campus is completed,” the Minister said.

Minister Walwyn further stated that given the key role the library has in preserving the heritage and culture of the Territory for future generations, he is certain that no one will agree that it is in the best interest to have the Road Town library closed.

He saidwhile the Ministry of Education and Culture understands the significance of having library services re-established in the Road Town area, it is not without doubt that a suitable facility to house such seems impossible at this current time.

“The Chief Librarian and her staff are working diligently to provide the majority of services from the East End Library branch. Arrangements were also made for the public to have access to the library at the Community College. Clients are encouraged to utilize the services offered and to note that requests can also be made by telephone,” he explained.

Hon. Fahie then queried, “So all the functions of the public library that was in Road Town, we can go to the library in East End and get those same services?”

Photo Credit: Melissa Edwards/BVI Platinum News
Minister Walwyn said that this is not the case.

“I wouldn’t say all because we would obviously have cost, space constraints in East End...Not the size of what we have been accustomed to in Road Town.”

“But certainly, some of the services are available there and the good folks at the college were able to extend themselves after a request, to allow members of the public to use the library as well,” Minister Walwyn said.

Meanwhile, it was explained that the books and resources of the Road Town Public Library are stored at the Elmore Stoutt High School campus in building labeled Block F. They are stored in four rooms, one room on the ground floor and three rooms on the second floor.

Hon. Walwyn said that he has been informed that that while there was some damage during moving a few books, the books are in good condition except for dust. The rooms where they are being stored have been fumigated to ensure rodents are kept out.
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