JIS News

The Government will be undertaking the renovation of the National Library of Jamaica (NLJ) as a Jamaica 60 legacy project.

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, in making the disclosure, said that the aim is to stablish a “purpose-built” facility.

“The building will be retrofitted with multiple research/writing rooms, a business hub, a community theatre and garden space, all surrounding the highly secured treasure troves of the National Collection,” she said.

Ms. Grange was speaking at a ‘World Poetry Day: Jamaica 60’ celebration held on Tuesday (March 21) at the Little Theatre, 4 Tom Redcam Drive in Kingston.

The Minister praised the work of the NLJ in promoting Jamaican poetry at home and abroad.

“Through its efforts, the National Library of Jamaica continues to dispel the notion that in the age of technology, libraries are becoming obsolete,” she argued.

She noted that Jamaica’s literary heritage has come alive through poet laureate programmes such as the Jamaica Poetry Archive, Poet Laureate Panels, poetry grants and prizes, school education tours and various forms of social media engagements.

Minister Grange thanked current and upcoming poets for “keeping the flame burning”.

“Today, we celebrate our great Jamaican poets who continue to inspire, excite, beautify, delight, challenge and confound us,” she said.

She also recognised Jamaica’s current Poet Laureate, Olive Senior, a master poet, who has been designated to lead the charge to develop Jamaican poetry.

The World Poetry Day event featured the Poet Laureate Prizes for Poetry and a Poet Laureate Panel Discussion titled ‘Writing Jamaica’.

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