Antigua Completes Construction of New National Library

Go Lean Commentary

Antigua ConstructionThis below article is an indictment of Caribbean governments and the Caribbean Diaspora: 40 years without a library.

The charge against the past governmental administrations is obvious. For this reason, the current administration of the Government of Antigua and Barbuda is to be applauded for this accomplishment announced in the foregoing news article; they have finally restored a basic requirement of modern societies: building/supplying/maintaining a national/community library.

“Man cannot live on bread alone – Bible quotation.

But why also indict the Diaspora?

Simple, they should have known better. They abandoned their homeland and turned a “blind eye” to even the basic needs of these previously-beloved community’s education. A library does not help the government, it helps the people; it guides the youth, infusing them with a love for knowledge, learning and imagination. We all have a responsibility, a duty even, to pass that “love” onto the next generation. For this, the Diaspora had failed, for 40 years!

So to you members of the Caribbean Diaspora who claim to love your heritage, but do not even look back to ensure that your former communities at least have access to books and information. Shame on you!

See the full news story here:

By the Caribbean Journal staff:
Antigua and Barbuda has completed construction on the country’s new national public library.

The completion of the project comes four decades after the country’s public library was damaged by an earthquake.

The 20,000-square-foot project on Hails Prominard Road succeeds a temporary library which had been operating on Market Street.

“Whenever we lament the weakness in literacy over the last four decades we should look back at how culpable we are as a nation in not providing the appreciation for books, for intellectual stimulation, which is a symbol in a national public library,” said Education Minister Dr. Jacqui Quinn-Leandro. “Any Antiguan and Barbudan forty years or younger would not have known or had the benefit of a properly, well run, well-resourced national public library. And I say without equivocation this is a burning shame, a disgrace and a national travesty. However, today is a historic day”.

The government said the library would become fully operational after completing finishing touches like custom-made shelving and special furniture.

“It is a key component of our drive to develop a pluralistic participatory and inclusive knowledge based society. Libraries are key institution in the context of achieving this goal. At the core of libraries are their missions to provide information, literacy education and culture,” said Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Dr. Baldwin Spencer. “This structure which we dedicate and which forms part of our mandate to the people to provide the greatest good to the greatest number of people will be the watering hole for individuals which hunger for free and equitable access to information be it in written, electronic and in audio visual form.”

Caribbean Journal Online News Source (Retrieved 04/10/2014) from:

School kidThe book Go Lean … Caribbean is published by the SFE Foundation, a community development foundation chartered to bring change back to the Caribbean. The book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). The foundation is comprised of Diaspora members of different Caribbean countries, who now seek penance. We have sinned in our abandonment. To those in the Caribbean homeland, we ask for your forgiveness, and consideration for the solutions now being proffered.

The Go Lean book identifies, qualifies and proposes the establishment of community libraries throughout the region (Page 187). The roadmap posits that these libraries can be a portal to the New World of Internet Communication Technologies (Page 197); a means to bridge the “Digital Divide” (Page 31) and a delivery outlet for many e-Government services (Page 168).

There are practical reasons why there was no national library in Antigua for 40 years. Primarily, the reasons are economic. So the Go Lean roadmap leads first with an optimization of the region’s economic engines. The book details how to pay for these changes (Page 101), then how to maintain a consistent well-funded governing engine (Page 172).

Now is the time for all Caribbean stakeholders (residents, Diaspora, government officials, educators, and book lovers alike) to lean-in to this regional solution for Caribbean empowerment.

We now urged everyone to lean-in to the Go Lean roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation. Let’s make the Caribbean a better place to live, work, learn and play. 🙂

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

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