‘Friends’ To Source Books, Furniture
By Kingsley Emmanuel
AN inadequate number of books at the Vieux Fort Public Library, coupled with an uncomfortable physical environment, has prompted the formation of an organization which intends to give the facility the semblance of a modern library.
The organization, Friends of the Vieux Fort Public Library Association intends to create the positive change by donating to the library books on a wide range of topics, furniture, and video games among other things.
The association comprises a professor and students of the International American University College of Medicine (IAU) and members of the community, including students of primary schools.
Professor Latelle Barton, a member of the association, said he observed the library was woefully short of books after visiting it out of curiosity.
“The library needs a lot of books. Every society needs to have a library with a well stock of books where people should be able to sit and read in comfort,” Barton said.
He said the association has already begun supplying the library with books and will be providing many more in the future.
“We will be providing the library with books on a wide range of topics, some of which will come from overseas,” he said.
According to Barton, when he goes home on holidays he will be returning with books which he said are easily obtainable.
“I can mobilize people to get books overseas. It will not be difficult for me,” he said.
Barton said he will also be approaching local hotels to assist the library by donating both books and furniture to it, adding that the comfort of persons using the facility also needs to be improved.
Barton said some of the books the association will be donating will be bought by the association.
Jesus Medina, another member of the association said: “There are many old books at the library which the students have been using for decades. It is essential that they get more modern books to read. They can be our future doctors, physicians, astronauts…”
He said he found out about the situation at the library after speaking to the librarians there.
Commenting on the initiative, senior librarian at the Vieux Fort Public Library, Grace Emmanuel, said: “It is a good gesture…because our aim is to provide quality service in a user-friendly environment, and in order to do so, not only do we need the relevant resources in terms of books, computers, etc, but also equipment that will make the users more comfortable at the library.”
Over the years, the Vieux Fort Public Library has suffered the loss of numerous books after the passage of storms over the island. During such a time the physical structure of the library was in a deplorable state, giving rise to much concern among library users.