Office of Senator Janette Millin Young
Capitol Building, P.O. Box 1690, St. Thomas, VI 00804
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SENATOR MIILIN YOUNG JOINS PUBLIC OUTCRY DUE TO LACK OF LIBRARY SERVICES ON ST. THOMAS
Following a tour organized for senators and staff of the public libraries on St. Thomas earlier Friday, Senator Janette Millin Young expressed continued dismay regarding the lack of access for library services on the island.
"Librarians, students, teachers and parents are in their right to voice their disappointment due to the closing of the Enid M. Baa Public Library and the challenges hindering the opening of the Charles Wesley Turnbull Regional Library,” Senator Millin Young said.
Since last December, Commissioner Alicia Barnes of the Department of Planning and Natural Resources, announced that the Division of Libraries and Archives would close on December 8, 2012 through January 22, 2013 to allow for the transition of the library's staff and collections to the new Charles Wesley Turnbull Regional Library. The Turnbull Library was then re-scheduled to open by the end of this month. The commissioner reassured the public of this latest opening schedule at a senate hearing last month.
However, Senator Millin Young said, due to the challenges found during today’s tour, the library's projected opening date by the end of March seems impractical and improbable. She said that the library is understaffed, there are flooding issues, sections of the library’s bookshelves are bare of books, children rooms are not outfitted with computers or books and there's no apparent security yet in place to ensure the safety of the public or staff,” she said.
The Senator said library services are imperative to all sectors of the community, especially our students. It is not only essential for research, but also serves as a great source for internet access to students who do not have ready access to technology at home and are limited at school.
The Senator has been reaching out to DPNR officials and meeting with librarians since her last term to address the issues identified with the opening of the new library and the lack of access to these services for children in town and the western side of the island. “I will continue to reach out to Commissioner Barnes, our territory's librarians and Friends of the Library organizations to address this serious issue.
I'm also calling on interested persons who would like to offer their suggestions and efforts toward this cause, to contact my office or Commissioner Barnes' office directly,” concluded Senator Millin Young.
March 08, 2013
Contact: Ivan Williams