Information Officer II
The Public Library Service of the Virgin Islands has confirmed plans to relocate the Road Town Library to Pasea Estate and to begin offering new services to the general public.
Relocation plans include retrofitting the new location at the building which previously housed Clarence Thomas Limited in Pasea Estate.
Cabinet approved the relocation of the library last month due to the need for more space and expanding services.
Minister for Education and Culture, Honourable Myron V. Walwyn said, “The Government’s vision is to have our Public Library Services as the first stop for the Territory’s information needs. A new location and value added services are just what is needed to fulfill that mandate.”
Chief Librarian, Ms.Suzanne Greenaway said, “The main library located in Road Town grew and developed over time; programmes and services were expanded and the size of the collections increased. Consequently, the library outgrew its location. Moreover, the public expressed a desire for added services and hence, the Ministry of Education and Culture is in full support of the relocation.”
The library chief also said the new location will offer usual access to the cultural heritage database, the online catalogue system, VILIBCAT, collections such as: local and Caribbean, gender, adult and junior reference, adult and junior fiction and non-fiction, multimedia, foreign language, as well as newspapers, magazines, and services including internet, printing, and photocopying.
As for new services, Ms. Greenaway said, “Our goal is to formally document the public’s needs, not just at the new Road Town location, but all branches. This will be done through a survey that will be launched later in the year.”
In the interim, effective October 24, the East End/Long Look Library branch is extending its hours, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday to Friday. The branch will also offer scanning services.
Other services offered at the East End/Long Look Library include internet access, printing and photocopying. Collections include fiction and non-fiction books for adults and children, magazines, adult and junior reference and West Indian.
Patrons who have library cards for the Road Town Library can borrow at the East End Library.
Patrons requiring specific books are advised to call the East End/Long Look Library at 468-6128 to confirm whether or not the book is available because the collections at that library branch are smaller.
Also in the interim, Grade 12 students with ID cards will be allowed to borrow books from the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College’s Learning Resource Centre. The centre’s opening hours are Mondays to Thursdays 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Fridays 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturdays 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and Sundays 2:00 to 6:00 p.m.
The Public Library Service was established under the Public Library Service Ordinance in 1974 to be the legal depository for all government annual and departmental publications, and any other publication published in the Virgin Islands.
The Public Library Service evolved from being just one library established by Mr. T. D. Green in 1943 in the J.E.W. Georges building on lower Main Street, Road Town which also served as a Senior School, to a library system which consists of five libraries. There are presently two libraries in Tortola, one each in Virgin Gorda, Anegada, and Jost Van Dyke.
The Ministry of Education and Culture is committed to ‘Creating a Culture of Excellence’.