LETTER TO THE EDITOR: A proposal for the use of the Public Library building

A roof-less Roseau Public Library since the passage of Hurricane Maria in 2017

Dear Sir,

I add my voice on the future of the Public Library on Victoria Street, a building whose apparent neglect by the government since Hurricane Maria in 2017 has been in the public spotlight.  The building has been further damaged by two recent fires.  What’s the future of the building? Should it be rehabilitated to serve once again as Dominica’s main library?

My own view is that the building should be rehabilitated and expanded a bit to serve as a cultural and reading centre, persevering its historical architecture.  Activities in this centre would include poetry performances, paintings exhibitions, authors doing public readings of their works, folklore tales and other stories being read to children, small lectures on the creative arts, reading rooms, workshops on both traditional and contemporary art forms and on public speaking and presentations of self, et cetera.

I trust that reason will prevail and the people of Dominica will be given an avenue to nurture their potential creativity, advance their creative works and appreciate art.  Development is not only about meeting economic material needs; it is also about deepening people’s cultural and spiritual sensibilities so that they can become fully alive persons― meaning, solidly grounded and fully engaged in their respective worlds.

With respect to the library, the construction of a new library fully equipped with appropriate up to date technologies to capably serve the nation should be a priority of the Ministry of Education.

 

Michael Norris

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13 Comments

  1. Looking close
    September 7, 2020

    the building should be rehabilitated and expanded a bit to serve as a cultural and reading centre, persevering its historical architecture. Activities in this centre would include poetry performances, paintings exhibitions, authors doing public readings of their works, folklore tales and other stories being read to children, small lectures on the creative arts, reading rooms, workshops on both traditional and contemporary art forms and on public speaking and presentations of self, et cetera.

    LO OK THEN, SORRY BUT THE HOTEL AND PRESIDENT NEED PEACE AND QUIET.

  2. September 7, 2020

    These kleptocrates ( what we refer to as government ) are not interested in any rehabilitation or restoration of the public library.
    There’s no personal gain or money making in it for them. It’s obvious to see.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
  3. Roger Burnett
    September 7, 2020

    In response to an earlier commentary by Dr. Finn, I suggested that the State House serve as the new library and the restored historic Carnegie library building serve for government receptions.

    I am sure that visiting dignitaries would be impressed by being entertained in a restored building of architectural and historical significance, and they would be equally impressed by what would then be an impressive new multipurpose library building across the road.

    This arrangement would help to solve the parking problem for library users and the vulnerability of housing irreplaceable art and artifacts in the original library building.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2
  4. Just asking
    September 7, 2020

    There is a major development close by > I wonder if they remember to add parking facilities to the behemoth, or they’re eyeing the library area for annexation for parking using their mega influence while we’re asleep? 🤐 just asking for a friend.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0
  5. Viewsexpressed
    September 7, 2020

    Well said Michael Norris. Please be ay that this overstayed Failed Prime Minister is not visionary and lacks focus and attention to details of Socioeconomic development processes.
    I concur that the Library needs to be rebuilt as an up to-date Educational institution for all of our people. Please do not swallow this pill of Skerrit and his failed Labour government, but attempt to promote the need to have our Institution up and functioning again.
    Skerrit is a blind politician, he has no knowledge of Socioeconomic development, let alone socio-economic development.
    We need to be visionary to build up our Dominica. This will not happen under this failed incompetent Questionable inmature Skerrit.
    We need change in our Dominica, we went the decent professional honest UWP, under trusted competent professional trustworthy formidable UWP leader, Hon. Lennox Linton.
    My people of Dominica please wake up.
    God’s grace 🙏 Blessings and Guidance.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
    • September 8, 2020

      where have you been

  6. Me
    September 7, 2020

    This building too is part of our heritage and worth preserving. Further destruction and its eventual disappearance through wanton neglect is not acceptable.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0
  7. Jonathan Y St Jean
    September 6, 2020

    I’m wondering what happened to the proposal by the souceh cell Baronesses for the library, following hurricane Maria. Skerritt should answer that one

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
  8. Garvey
    September 6, 2020

    Mr Norris I strongly agree that the library should be preserve from an architectural standpoint it’s a plus and also a house of learning the Roseau boys school built in the 1700’s in Newtown should be also.Their preservation can be a tourist attraction Jean Rhys home has been demolished but the others that are standing can be saved,but my feeling is they won’t be because our people and most of all the leaders/leader know’s nothing about history is also your foundation.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0
  9. Lynn Ouellette
    September 6, 2020

    Love this idea!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2
  10. En Ba LA
    September 6, 2020

    all other buildings razed DBS radio current building razed. Incorporate the space besides DBS open this area up green space fountain for cooling the area and shady trees proper benches – wide sidewalks. Make use of the sea breeze in cooling and views. both inside the building and outside.

    The architectural design should not be any of these technology based designs. An architectural design which represents the time period in which the donor lived or when the donation was made with aspects of Dominican flavor – bois caraibe flowers etc in the masonry. This new building should resemble a hand drafted designed detailed building.

    I am BIM certified and I have nothing against revit but we should have a building that will last the next 100 years and beyond in architectural design.

  11. En Ba LA
    September 6, 2020

    The public library building should be preserved. For architectural and historical purposes. In as much as it was and hopes still continues to be the main library site I am of the view that the facade should remain for architectural purposes but a new structure should be incorporated or be an extension of the building.

    The original structure should remain as an atrium or main entrance to the library with hardwood floors for artists exhibits/paintings an escalator for upper floors with the library collections. The back should be new with children section, reading etc. A new structure should be built as an extension with a cafe with elevators, security and information offices and upper floors books, conference or media hall, above the collection area chief librarian office(facing the sea-offices) documentation center, archives and last floor GIS and National radio station. Roof green plants solar powered – educational purposes. GREEN building solar powered,

    • M
      September 7, 2020

      No, it should be restored to its original design but incorporate modern facilities. Too many architects keen to show off their prowess. Go and replace that ugly monster block Where government holds sway if you must.

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