The Honourable Symon de Nobriga MP and Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, with responsibility for the National Library and Information System Authority (NALIS), continued his tour of libraries and library construction sites on February 16.
On his way to tour the proposed Chaguanas Public Library, Minister de Nobriga took the opportunity to visit the existing Chaguanas Public Library, currently housed at 73 Ramsaran Street. Multiple times smaller than the future site, this library houses a wide collection of fiction and books, periodicals, computers for the public’s use and offers photocopying and free WiFi services. Michelle Garcia de Armesto, Librarian IV, North Region, provided the Minister with a guided tour of the Childrens’, Adults’ and Young Adults’ Sections and pointed to the collections of interest. The Minister was delighted to peruse a book about orchards which he indicated is his favourite flowering plant.
At the construction site located at Railway Road and Laing Street, Minister de Nobriga, along with Neil Parsanlal, Chairman of the Board of NALIS, members of the executive team of NALIS and MTS officials toured the mothballed building. The Diego Martin Central MP said that both locations were a revelation to him and that he was excited to see what is to come.
Thereafter, the group journeyed to the historic Carnegie Free Library, Harris Promenade, in San Fernando which is earmarked for restoration and the future location for the Prime Ministerial and Presidential Collections. This building, which has been a landmark in San Fernando since 1919, was once a vibrant part of the city, so much so that the area in which it is located is still popularly referred to as Library Corner. NALIS’ Larry Edwards, who provided a guided tour of the building, recounted the many library activities held over the years at the facility which were attended by many persons.
In addition to these visits, since taking office, Minister de Nobriga has visited the four libraries housed at the National Library Building, the Mayaro Public Library, the Beetham Gardens Community Library, the restoration site of the Old Heritage Library (where the Eric Williams Collection will be housed), and the proposed sites for the new La Horquetta, Mayaro and Toco Libraries. He also met with the Board and Management of NALIS to chart the way forward for libraries.