JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Residents of Alexandria and surrounding areas in St. Ann will have access to a new and improved public library, before year-end.
  • The initiative received an injection of $6 million from the Embassy of Japan, through its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects.
  • The new two-floored building will boast modern amenities and is expected to accommodate 50 persons.

Residents of Alexandria and surrounding areas in St. Ann will have access to a new and improved public library, before year-end.

The initiative, which is a joint venture among several organisations, on Wednesday, March 19, received an injection of $6 million from the Embassy of Japan, through its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects, to complete the building.

Other partners in the undertaking include the residents of Alexandria, who have already built the foundation, and Noranda Jamaica Bauxite Partners, which donated the land and computers.

Also, the Jamaica Library Service (JLS) will provide furniture, books and librarians; the Alexandria Community Development Committee will provide free labour for construction; the Social Development Commission (SDC) is to implement the project; and the St. Ann Parish Council will supervise the project.

The new two-floored building will boast modern amenities and is expected to accommodate 50 persons, a cyber resource centre, which offers internet service, printing and scanning, among other things.

Speaking at the grant contract signing ceremony at the Embassy of Japan, in Kingston, Charge d’Affaires, Koji Tomita, said the project exemplifies genuine commitment by the Government of Japan to further enhance the education and literacy levels of children and adults in the community of Alexandria.

He added that through Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) policy, projects which contribute to empowerment of people through education and lifelong learning opportunities are undertaken in several countries.

“It is my sincere wish that the project will be completed expeditiously and on time,” he added.

Mayor of St. Ann’s Bay, Councillor Desmond Gilmore, informed that once the procurement guideline aspects are completed, the work will begin and should be completed shortly.

Expressing gratitude for the contribution, Chairman of the Board, Paul Lalor, said the building will eliminate the need for mobile units in the area.

He noted that it will also complement the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) project being undertaken by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, based in Seattle, United States of America.

The project will enable the JLS to significantly improve the quantity and quality of ICT resources in public libraries, provide additional training for staff and users, enhance programmes and services, and support a comprehensive advocacy and marketing campaign.

The library will replace the structure that was destroyed by fire in St. D’Acre, Alexandria, in January 2007.