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RT Public Library closure: ‘Where are our priorities?’- John Lewis asks

- facility closed for some 7 weeks now
Television talk show host, Mr John Lewis has lamented the lengthy closure of the Road Town Public Library. Photo: You Tube
The Road Town Public Library has been closed from since around May 17, 2016. Photo: VINO/File
The Road Town Public Library has been closed from since around May 17, 2016. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Describing it as sad news in the Virgin Islands and one that concerns him most, television talk show host Mr John Lewis lamented the closing of the public library in Road Town while on the Speak Your Mind show on JTV Channel 55 last evening, July 9, 2016.

“Where are our priorities?” Mr Lewis asked, noting that he can remember a time when a popular past time in the Virgin Islands was going to the library.

“Now if we are to believe that we can leave the public library unopened for several weeks without any clear indication as to when it will be reopened then it speaks sadly for our community,” Mr Lewis said.

Library closed since around May 17, 2016

It was this news site that first and accurately reported on May 30, 2016 that the territory’s main public library in Road Town had been closed since from around May 17, 2016.

It was also discovered that the building had issues of mold, broken Air Condition (AC) Units and employees with medical conditions, which is being blamed on the undesirable working conditions in the building.

In the face of all this evidence and medical papers from some staff, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Culture Mrs Marcia Potter Phd., denied that there is mold in the building. She told our newsroom that she was not aware of mold therefore that issue [mold] had nothing to do with the closure.

She did admit, however, that there were broken AC Units which she said at the time, May 31, 2016, was being addressed.

Some seven weeks later, the Road Town Public Library is still closed and this has been affecting students and researchers. There is no sign of when it will be reopened.

People still require use of books

“We were a reading community and I don’t know if we are going to depend on the internet for our news or information. There are still people who are unable to have the latest in technology and they still require the use of books.

“I am asking and I am pleading with the powers that be to make whatever steps are prudent and necessary to have the Road Town Public Library reopened,” Mr Lewis stated.

The talk show host also said he can remember a time when there was much talk about using the area near to the Sir Briercliffe Hall for the building of a library and museum.

“Where are the dreams? Where are the plans? It is perhaps time, that if we are going to look at our history, if we are going to preserve it, it can only be done with the museums and the public libraries that we have in our country.”

36 Responses to “RT Public Library closure: ‘Where are our priorities?’- John Lewis asks”

  • wize up (10/07/2016, 14:22) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Looks like most of the NDP cronies beating up on them!! Wonder what his brother have to say about this
  • friends of the vip (10/07/2016, 14:35) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    Isn't that his government?
  • mychal tomas (10/07/2016, 14:36) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    A former NDP candidate will now get a piece of the pie.
  • ccc (10/07/2016, 14:52) Like (15) Dislike (2) Reply
    Just find out who the minister for that subject and you will see mvw is a failure
    • Education (10/07/2016, 15:57) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      These in government are not as educated as I had thought. Lack of leadership, I hope Dr Smith is embassy enough to not run again.
  • Wellsah (10/07/2016, 15:49) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    vino you all keep out of the NDP civil war funny man and lewis are peas in a pot
    • FYI (10/07/2016, 17:58) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
      kittitians and garruts don't get along
      • @FYI. U wrong. (10/07/2016, 19:39) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        @Fyi. Kittitians and Garrots get aLong very Fine. Its Garrot and Garrot and Kittitian and kittitian don't get along with each other..their is a Slavery grudge and jealous amongst those people of the same island
  • wize up (10/07/2016, 17:14) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    How come the rep for the 5 having this guy on 55 beating up on her political associates....that network is subsidize by NDP funding
  • SAY (10/07/2016, 17:16) Like (23) Dislike (0) Reply
    At the end of the day,who is getting hurt the most, the kids that depend on the library. That is a total embrassment and shows a lack of I don't care.
  • For true? (10/07/2016, 17:37) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    Sad state of affairs. As a taxpayer, I must ask about the accountability for employees' salaries, since it does not appear as if all of them have been adversely affected by the alleged mold in the building above Rite Way.

    I was always concerned about those monthly closures for the spraying that took place and felt it was only a matter of time before that, too, played negatively on employees' and patrons' health.

    I agree that this situation needs immediate attention.
  • kick backs for tall man (10/07/2016, 18:12) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    No money it gone to the wall and mold consultant
  • Dragon (10/07/2016, 18:46) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Hope we are not still paying rent for an unusable building.
    • wize up (10/07/2016, 20:22) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ dragon....thats a great question payment of rent might just have to ask mr malone
    • True (11/07/2016, 08:04) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      @dragon, I bet we are. Like the blogger said. Malone is the one to answer that question. Yes Malone be honest, is rent still being paid for the building, who is paying the rent, who is the rent money going to, it is a public library and the public have a right to know.
  • ??? (10/07/2016, 19:42) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Supermarket downstairs... Mold infested upstairs... Upstairs close for health reasons.. Downstairs moldless and healthy enough to sell food... How could that be? Who was managing upstairs?
    • for real (11/07/2016, 07:53) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      @???, they made sure the so call mold did not spread downstairs in the Supermarket.hmmm, isin't it funny how they manage to keep it from spreading in the supermarket but they could not control it upstairs. It is all about the $$$, maybe if the kids who use the library parents were paying for their children to use the library, the mold problem would be corrected.The supermarket is fine because the customers is the money pit. The library is messed up because they are not drawing money from the kids and other people who use the library. Shame, shame.
    • Hmm (11/07/2016, 15:36) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      You forgot rats at the library
  • bookie (10/07/2016, 19:49) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    But what about these wonderful books, and those that have donated them. Same in the schools. Toooooo much TV and internet.
  • Socrates (10/07/2016, 21:21) Like (94) Dislike (0) Reply
    Is the focus and urgency on fixing the library a harbinger to the soberness and attitude given to education? Is there any technician or company that can repair or replace an air conditioning unit? Is the delay in opening the library and no outcry from the community say that VI residents do not see the need for a library? Do libraries still add value to educational growth and development, research? Does the central library closure impact educational progression? Does anyone in government give a sh......t about the library being close for so long? Is detecting mold infestation a major task? Is it not government responsibility to provide a safe and healthful working environment? Should not educational growth be a top priority in the VI? Will the lengthy closure without any air conditioning damage books, magazines, historical documents.....etc? What does the Premier, MEC,......etc have to say about the library being close or it is no big deal?
    • thank you (11/07/2016, 04:13) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      Love your comment. One must really wonder if the lack of public outcry means that the community doesn't care for libraries anymore. I personally believe they don't because we live in a very lazy community where reading is taboo. To say one of your hobbies is reading causes you to be frowned upon. The adults who have kids don't read or even encourage their kids to read. Hence the lack of consideration for the library.
  • bojan (10/07/2016, 23:18) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    The premier has enough stress from them do as they like members and the monies not coming in as much as needed he let go the steering wheel. what happen happen I give up.
  • Look into The futute (11/07/2016, 05:51) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    I can see Smith, Ronnie, resigning. I can see Kendrick the leader of NDP. I can also see Fahid as an NDP.. I can see Myron with a new party...I can see Myron new party winning, I can see Myron as Deputy premier..I can see a new comer as Premier.. ..Remember this text. .. I have a clear view at the future... Things will get better...
  • Good boss bad leaders. (11/07/2016, 05:58) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    Isn't this guy from St. Kitts? Everything thing and everybody business he wants to be in. If he is not in charge he cannot perform... He don't no how to follow.. Just like MVW, RS, and CSC..That when people thinks that others are fools. They have to do it for it to get done right..... Good Boss. Bad leaders.
  • facts man (11/07/2016, 11:30) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Why Government don't borrow some money from S.S. to build it own building,they are going to rent from one of their cronies CTL ,from VIP to NDP ,thats all governments doing recycling money to their supporters and the majority of the country suffering.
  • mvw (11/07/2016, 11:47) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
  • Forwhat? (11/07/2016, 12:56) Like (1) Dislike (4) Reply
    Why would you deport John Lewis? He is married to one of our girls, so where you sending him? He is not a trouble to a soul for voicing his constitutional freedom of expression. Let me tell you who to deport:
    1. Deport all Philipinoes, except 6 men -- deport their wives, children and gul-friends. They will be our albatross in the next 25 years.
    2. Deport all the racist white South Africans, white English people, white Americans. They will be our albatross on our backs in the next 25 years.
    3. Deport all white people who cutting down blacks in their circles.
    3. Deport all the Arabs, Palestianans, Jordanians, Lebanese, and Ramalahyan, and Syrians, except Mr. Omar, Fatima, Jozef by high school and Mr. Ali sons. The rests will reap havoc onus later on.
    4. Leave the Caribbean brothers and sisters, they will mix and mingle and go home and come, come.
    5. Leave the Spanish, the women will continue to milk some of our stupid men and the Spanish men will milk the money the women get from our moo-moo men. They used to help our forefathers a long time ago, I heard.
  • Listen (11/07/2016, 15:40) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    All heard That have anything to do with the library need to be removed... from the Minster straight down to the Chief librarian... it have a local that is more qualitifed working at the library and they holding on to the present chief who does nothing for the department
  • 111 (11/07/2016, 20:37) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    BVIslanders need to study-up on the 1964 March and remember what propaganda looks like and hold-on to their wallets, pensions,etc. Beware of false promises.
  • Context (13/07/2016, 20:27) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    And how high up on the priority list should the library be, Mr. Lewis?

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