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Story Highlights

  • Residents of two towns in the parish of Trelawny are now enjoying new library facilities valued at $26.8 million from funds acquired under the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries’, Sugar Transformation Programme (STP).
  • The Falmouth Infant School Library ($8.8 million) and the Clarks Town Branch Library ($18 million) were officially opened by Portfolio Minister Hon. Derrick Kellier and Minister of Education, the Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites on Friday, May 15.
  • This brings to five the number of libraries that have been constructed at a cost of over $65 million under the aegis of the Sugar Transformation Programme in collaboration with the Jamaica Library Service.

Residents of two towns in the parish of Trelawny are now enjoying new library facilities valued at $26.8 million from funds acquired under the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries’, Sugar Transformation Programme (STP).

The Falmouth Infant School Library ($8.8 million) and the Clarks Town Branch Library ($18 million) were officially opened by Portfolio Minister Hon. Derrick Kellier and Minister of Education, the Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites on Friday, May 15.

This brings to five the number of libraries that have been constructed at a cost of over $65 million under the aegis of the Sugar Transformation Programme in collaboration with the Jamaica Library Service.

The STP which is aimed at developing the physical infrastructure and human capital in sugar dependent communities is funded by the Accompanying Measures for Sugar Protocol of the European Union.

The newly constructed Falmouth Infant School Library will serve 220 students and is equipped with reading and information material, new technologies including electronic games, interactive software, multimedia projector and a television.

In Clarks Town, the multi-purpose facility features a research centre, computer room, meeting room, kitchenette, store room, an office, lunch room, staff and public bathrooms.

In addition to providing traditional library services, the centre will also offer free computer and internet access, as well as adult literacy, computer training and the High School Equivalency Diploma programme.

Minister Kellier noted that the partnership between both Ministries “exemplifies what can be achieved when you have a joined up government approach to development.”

“So I look forward to even greater collaboration with the Ministry of Education as we continue to improve our rural communities through the development of (their) residents,” he stated.

He also noted that with the unset of the information age, public libraries have become even more relevant and have a critical role to play in the development of the country.

“It is important that we build a knowledge-based society and that everyone has access to information sources which are crucial to foster proper decision-making, to make wise decisions in building our country and our communities,” he stated.

For his part, Minister Thwaites urged the residents of both communities to take care of and make full use of the library facilities. He also challenged users to become proficient in their use of the English language.

While pointing out the virtues of using patios in colloquial speech and in drama to good advantage, Rev. Thwaites challenged the residents “to be adept in the English language and to know reasonable mathematics.”

“Those are the foundation blocks. Those are what you can improve (upon) here at the library,” he stated.