Saint Jean speaks of need for new library in Roseau

The public library in Roseau
The public library in Roseau

As Library Week 2016 begins in Dominica under the theme “Libraries Evolving,” Minister of Education, Petter Saint Jean, has underscored the need for a new library facility in Roseau.

At the launch of the week, on Monday morning, he expressed the government’s commitment to fulfilling the needs of the library.

“The government is committed to providing facilities and resources, to enable our libraries to continue to enhance the learning experience of our citizens…” the Minister said. “I look forward to the construction of a new facility to serve the city of Roseau, and surrounding communities, that will allow our library to evolve further, with the provision of adequate, modern space to entice and encourage every Dominican to use our library.”

Saint Jean noted that the current facility, in Roseau, is “in dire need of serious upgrade and/or replacement.”

The construction of a new library in Dominica has been discussed for years now. In 2011, after a visit to Azerbaijan, Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit said that discussions were held with officials from that Euro-Asian country on the possibility of it funding a national state-of-the-art library in Dominica. He said Azerbaijan was prepared to assist the government in the venture.

In 2014, Skerrit said movements were being set in place for the construction of a new library, however assistance from the public was being sought for an ideal location. He said he has received a designed for the new library, but he was not satisfied with it.

Meantime at Monday’s function Chief Librarian, Vernanda Raymond, commented that despite the technological revolution, libraries remain relevant.

“This year, through our theme: ‘Libraries Evolving’, we seek to inform that our libraries are working diligently to keep up with and push ahead of society’s curve, and dispel the notion that libraries are dying institutions,” she explained.

Notwithstanding several challenges, she said, the library has met its societal obligations.

“Our challenge of inadequate space and limited resources, our need for a new service area have not prevented us from responding to the direct needs of our clients, and becoming that place for people to continue to learn through shared experiences,” Raymond remarked.

Library Week serves to highlight the valuable contribution of libraries and to celebrate the efforts of libraries and library workers.

This year, activities will include open days, documentaries, lectures, launch of its new website, elocution contests, exhibitions, story hours, movies, and game days. Sessions on financial responsibility, parenting, and internet safety will also be featured.

The library is prepared to launch a website which provides twenty-four seven access to its collection through an automated catalogue known as the Dominica Library and Information Service (DLIS) Public Access Catalogue.

The service will be available on the government website.

Arlington James, Franklyn Georges, Peter Dick, Lennox Honychurch, Davina Jones, Anne Lewis, Magdelene Robin, Marcella Powell, and the Agricultural Industrial and Development (AID) Bank were honoured for their contribution to libraries in Dominica.

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  1. Face the Facts
    May 10, 2016

    I remember those days of my youth when I would go to that library to borrow books. It was somewhere to go too, to read in peace and tranquility. Since those days I loved to read and also write. I will admit, this is also hereditary. :lol:
    Every country should have a library. Not everyone has a computer or tablet, etc. Consider the overall cost of having one.
    The library could do more than it is presently doing with upgrades.
    Those without these technologies as also the elderly and students could utilize the Library’s computer system. If possible and not too expensive, there could be a system that those mentioned could utilize the computer to access the Internet for personal reasons as also job-hunting, sending and receiving email.
    There are many uses. The library is also a place of learning. It could be a quiet place to read books, magazines and newspapers.
    Never get rid of the library. If it has to be re-located/rebuilt, so be it.

  2. Jack
    May 10, 2016

    Hello MR St Jean
    Have you ever heard of history and heritage????
    Please preserve and protect the Architectural heritage of the city which is quickly disappearing and being replaced with UGLY new construction with NO island appeal!

    May 10, 2016

    In all honesty that effort should come from the Teachers, the schools and the educators in Dominica and the Diaspora all over the world should be contributing through donation of books, computers and finance toward the effort. The so call construction fraternity should be providing the labor and the government or the Educators can procure the material with donations. This is not a government only effort, that is a national effort.

      May 10, 2016

      The labour to build it should be free to build it. Because it benefits the entire country.

  4. Kingdom Connections
    May 10, 2016

    Dominicans think that this country is easy to lead? NOT AT ALL. That is like Moses trying to lead the Children of Israel.

  5. anonymous2
    May 10, 2016

    Get Queen Victoria’s building next door and repair it to it’s former glory and use it.

  6. Reallyunimportant
    May 9, 2016

    OH MY GOD! Thank You!

  7. Scoop
    May 9, 2016

    The current library is heritage architecture; one of few beautiful buildings left in the capital that has not been replaced by concrete. Do you plan on laying it to waste or preserving and doing something creative with it ?

    Can’t help thinking, however, that there are more pressing needs for investment in this country.

  8. Not a herd follower
    May 9, 2016

    Another empty promise from Skerrit. The man loves the role of Santa Claus so much he keeps making the same promises over and over without delivering on them.

  9. Dominican Passports
    May 9, 2016

    Instead of wasting tax payers money on koshone, why don’t you buy some more garbage trucks to deal with the influx of trash around the Roseau? Most of the time the garbage trucks are ill-equipped to pick up trash such old fans, stoves and other trash is left by the road to collect mosquitoes larvae…

    • May 10, 2016

      I agree with you that improved rubbish collection is very important, but come on, that doesn’t mean a strong public library is koshonee.

  10. mke
    May 9, 2016


  11. Erasmus B . Black
    May 9, 2016

    In 2014 the Dear Leader ” asked the public for suggestions for a location of the public Library and not necessarily in the capital city of Roseau. Will the Honourable St Jean please inform the Dear Leader about the dire need for a new library in Roseau please?

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