The community of Alexandria in St Ann now boasts a new branch library provided through the collaboration of the St Ann Parish Council, the Jamaica Library Service and the Government of Japan.
Funding for the project ($6 million), was made available under the Government of Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project, while the land on which the building is located was donated to the St Ann Parish Council by Noranda Bauxite Partners.
The building was equipped and furnished by the Jamaica Library Service, with Food For The Poor providing appliances for use by the staff.
Addressing residents of Alexandria at the official opening and handover ceremony last Wednesday, Japanese Ambassador to Jamaica Masanori Nakano said that ventures under the project are aimed at improving the welfare and security of beneficiaries, with priority being placed on providing educational opportunities and facilities.
“Through education, we learn and develop personality, mental skills, moral and physical powers. We know that educational and learning resources are indispensable in pursuing education for every self-motivated individual, young or old, in the quest for knowledge. In this sense, a public library plays a very important role in serving this purpose,” he said.
Ambassador Nakano also handed over books and magazines to the library.
For his part, Mayor of St Ann’s Bay, Councillor Desmond Gilmore, underscored the importance of libraries which, he said, are the cornerstones of a healthy community. He called on residents to cultivate a culture of reading.
“The onus is on us as stakeholders, community leaders and residents of the Alexandria community and its environs to bridge the gap between the information-rich and the information-poor,” the mayor said.
Meanwhile, member of parliament for South Western St Ann, Zavia Mayne, emphasised the importance of a public library to the community.
He said the new facility will be of great benefit to all residents of Alexandria and surrounding communities, particularly the children.