BVI News

Gov’t commissions review of designs for modern library in Road Town

Nearly three years after the closure of the territory’s primary public library in Road Town on Tortola, government has commissioned a review of the previous designs for a modern, “state-of-the-art” facility.

Premier and Minister of Finance Andrew Fahie made that announcement on Tuesday while delivering his Budget Address for the upcoming 2020 fiscal year.

“It is anticipated that we will be able to secure donor funding for this vital project during this budget year,” Fahie said.

Libraries to receive attention

In the meantime, Premier Fahie said libraries territory-wide will be given some attention next financial year.

“Looking forward to 2020, your government recognises the importance of satisfying the informational, educational, cultural and historical needs of the public. The Library Services Department is, therefore, looking forward to the reopening of its branches on Virgin Gorda, East End and Anegada with upgraded services,” the Premier said.

He continued: “We expect to provide a combination of traditional library services to the public, as well as utilising the latest library technology available which would include the use of artificial intelligence.” 

“Building a knowledge-based society has to start from early, and education must be relevant to the BVI context. That is why your government will ensure that our young people, from as early as pre-school age, are taught about tourism so that they are prepared to thrive in their BVI. We will take steps to have an appropriate curriculum developed in time for the September 2020 school year,” the Premier further said.

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  1. Selah says:

    Looking forward to the Library.

  2. Dman says:

    A viable and energetic library is a key component of a viable and energetic community. Coupled with community churches, a strong path forward can be paved for the Territory’s true soul.

  3. Supporter says:

    If there is an opportunity to build a “State of the art Library” it should be in a facility called BVI Cultural Centre and include the National Archives! Save money with a Multipurpose Building instead of paying rent all over the place! It could house a library, the national archives and a theatre for the performing arts with cultural showcases. This would be great as a tourism attraction!

    Like 13
    • Jane says:

      Love this idea. We need a cultural hub: a place to celebrate local food and crafts and arts. The idea of a traditional library is an anachronism in the internet age, yes we need need a library but we need it to fit this modern age.

  4. E. Leonard says:

    A well-stocked, well-staffed, well-funded, well-equipped and effectively functioning central library should be a national priority. Nonetheless, for the past 3 years the Road Town Library has regrettably been closed. A central library should have been an integral part of the build out of Road Town area. It was not done but it is needed. Where can the library be sited?

    In September 2017, monster (cat 5)hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated the Elmore Stout High School(ESHS), requiring major reconstruction. In a twisted way, the storms damages provided an opportunity to redesign and reconstruct the ESHS differently from what it was pre Irma/Maria.

    Thus, IMO, the ESHS structure should have been razed, resited, redesigned and reconstructed. The new ESHS should include classrooms, laboratories, cafeteria, gyms……etc. Moreover, perhaps a joint public/ESHS library could also have been constructed within the footprint of the ESHS.

    • RealPol says:

      @E. Leonard, real out the proverbial sand box forward thinking, turning a disaster into different and improved state. Clearly, educational investment should be a top national priority but the government has a wack of things on it’s bucket list. Though you floated this idea before, do not see this proposal getting any traction. The MEC has already spent a wack of money reconstructing the Adorothy Turnbull Wing of ESHS to pre storm likeness.

      Buildable land in the BVI is limited/scarce so land use should be maximized. Agree that the library should have been in the Road Town strategic planning. Wickhams Cay could have been an architectural marvel. Instead it is a jungled mess with a bunch of boxes fling together. Noel Lloyd and PAM protested to wrest ownership from Kenneth-Bates Hill and put in local hands. In protesting, they were arrested, jailed, brutalized, scorned, ostracized…..etc. Today, it (WC) is a royal mess.

  5. Hmm says:

    We also need the post office relocated back to Main Street, its central and ideal. The Government owns the building.. Fix it!! Tourists enjoyed having the post office centralized to post out their postcards etc. All this silly rent paying needs to be eliminated. We have facilities, restore them to working order!
    On top of that, please do not tie our national library into a lease agreement. No landlord should have that power over any country or government. Get to building, make it modern. Take a page from Barnes and Nobles book. Coffee bar, seating areas, etc..

  6. Hmm says:

    Whatever you do… no cramped spaces and no second floors. Libraries need to be wheelchair accessible!

  7. Bviabe says:

    Paul Wattley made a scale model of a National Library and Archives building in 1986. Where is it now?

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