Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment

CDD

Little Libraries Launched

The Community Development Department is one of the partners of an initiative intended to reverse the decline in literacy in Barbados. It’s the Little Libraries project, which was launched on Tuesday, 7th November, 2023 at the Parkinson Resource Centre in the Pine, St Michael.

The stakeholders in the Little Libraries project at the Parkinson Resource Centre.

Acting Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, Hon. Davidson Ishmael, M.P. said more mini-libraries will be placed at several community centres and other locations across Barbados in an effort to boost literacy. The project, called “Barbados is Blooming”, involves the Prince Godwill D. Fomusoh Foundation Inc, project sponsors, the Massy Foundation, the Community Development Department and The Barbados Community College.

Director of the Massy Foundation, Dawn Layne called the initiative a defining moment for Barbados.

Director of the Massy Foundation (Barbados) Inc. Dawn Layne speaking at the launch.

“We believe that a balance must be struck between the instant gratification that the digital age offers and the lasting enrichment which the pages of the books can provide,” she added.

Minister Ishmael further stated that the Barbados Blooming Initiative is about making literacy material more accessible to Barbadians and he expects it will benefit a wide cross section of the population. “The first mini-library is being installed here at the Parkinson Resource Centre in the Pine, St. Michael and I am happy to announce that there will be similar libraries at various community centres throughout the island, with the aim to reach all sectors of the Barbadian population,” Minister Ishmael remarked.

Acting Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, Hon. Davidson Ishmael, M.P.

He also added that the Ministry has conceptualized the project as a likely foundation for the formation and revival of reading clubs which will have the knock-on benefit of ensuring the sustainability of these mini-libraries. “Through its various agencies the Ministry commits to offer those reading clubs technical and financial support, and I am confident that our various partners who are with us today will pledge similar support,” he added.

Minister Ishmael cut the ribbon to officially open the first Little Library, noting that its impact could be far reaching.

Minister Ishmael cuts the ribbon on the first Little Library.

The cost of the project is 125,000 dollars and when finished 15 mini-libraries will be established across Barbados, including one at The Ann Hill School.

Photography by CDD/Blue Iron Media Productions. Story by Peter Thorne.