Latest mini library at Rockfield Community Centre

The Rockfield Community Centre in St Lucy is the latest venue to feature a mini library.

The small house-shaped structure holds 80 books geared towards those aged four to fifteen. It is the eighth such installation out of a planned ten by PGDFF Caribbean in partnership with the Community Development Department and Massy Foundation.

Managing director of PGDFF Caribbean, Anita Sundaram, said the locations of the final two mini libraries were yet to be determined but this did not mean there would not be a future agreement to provide more.She said the books were free for the public to take and would be restocked as necessary.

Acting chief community development officer Yolande Skeete said there was the possibility of every resource centre having a mini library. She said the books would be available as long as the centre was open, from 8 a.m. to midnight, though the mini library would be locked and those wishing to take books would have to contact the key keeper at the centre and a record would be logged.

During her presentation, Skeete said the Rockfield Centre had been in a dilapidated state and was closed for repairs in 2017, reopening in 2022 looking better than ever. She also spoke about the importance of reading.

“The inability to read translates to the inability to articulate and develop the requisite problem-solving skills needed to navigate the intricacies of social interactions. Reading also ensures there is a transfer of knowledge . . . in an era where distance very often divides,” she said, adding a boost in literacy augured well for Barbados.

Member of Parliament for St Lucy, Peter Phillips, also emphasised the importance of reading, which he said built language and context. He encouraged the PGDFF to expand the project to even more locations.

Minister of Community Empowerment Charles Griffith praised the initiative.

“This is the essence of community development. This is a holistic project which would not only benefit schools, but also seniors who may not have access to a library. I hope it expands to all our other locations.”

Griffith also said he hoped the mini libraries would spark reading clubs and competitions at the centres in which they were located.

The opening ceremony included a ribbon cutting with the first books given to students of the Ignatius Byer Primary School. (CA) 

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