By Cayman Islands Public Library Services
The Cayman Islands Public Library Services (CIPLS) held a reception on Friday afternoon (11 February) to celebrate the reopening of the Cayman Brac Public Library.
In his welcome remarks at the reception, CIPLS Acting Director Mr. Kevin Goring commended the Cayman Brac Public Library staff for their efforts to ensure its timely reopening. "I am impressed with the efforts of library branch manager Laticia Brown-Conolly and Library Assistant Janice Webb, who have worked tirelessly to preserve the library's entire collection of 7000 books, assist with the restoration efforts and restore operations," Mr. Goring remarked.
He further encouraged community members to utilise the newly renovated space that features freshly painted walls and newly installed floor tiles to replace the flooring damaged by accidental flooding in August.
Mr. Joel Francis, Deputy Chief Officer in the Ministry of Education, likewise used the opportunity to thank stakeholders for creating what he described as "an inviting space through which the public library's services can be delivered in Cayman Brac".
The Deputy Chief Officer also welcomed community members to share ideas on how to further enhance the library's effectiveness, stating, "A public library is only as vibrant and effective as the community within which it exists. I invite members of the Cayman Brac community, churches, youth groups, clubs and schools to come out and share ideas on improving literacy and education, developing culture and the sharing of information."
Minister of Education Hon. Juliana O'Connor-Connolly delivered the keynote address.
The Minister outlined the importance of public libraries to nation-building and shared plans to improve the library network within the Sister Islands.
"We will use this facility to springboard into greater programmes," Minister O'Connor-Connolly commented. "I look forward to expanding library services over the next three years to include a mobile library within the Sister Islands in an effort to further build our communities."
Several attendees expressed their delight at the library's reopening.
Community member Ms. Annie Rose Scott stated. "I am grateful and thrilled at the reopening of the public library after months of refurbishing. The new flooring and the paint job look superb and help create a welcoming atmosphere. As Brackers, we are proud to have access to a facility of this calibre and look forward to its continued development to meet the needs of our community.
Local poet Mr. Doug Ross provided the afternoon's entertainment with a well-received poetry recital.
Others in attendance included District Commissioner Mr. Mark Tibbetts, Deputy District Commissioner Ms. Chelsea Whittaker, other District Administration staff, the Cayman Brac Public Library staff, and other community members.