SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - With the unveiling of the new library name, the new logo, and the launching of the website, Sint Maarten Library celebrated its 99th anniversary. Honored by the attendance of our Governor his excellency Mr. Ajamu Baly, LLM, and with the support of many representatives from the community, Sint Maarten Library presented its new identity. The Mistresses of the ceremony were Ms. Marcelia Henry and Ms. Glenderlin Holiday.
After the invocation by Mrs. Agnola Wyatt, Mr. Tyler Percival performed the Sint Maarten Song on the steelpan. Dame Ruby Bute treated the audience with two powerful poems and with her remembrance of her first storytelling in the library. Ms. Jeanina Dupersoy, secretary of the board, welcomed the audience and shared the importance of this milestone.
Interim Dean USM and former Board member Mr. Wycliff Smith addressed with his keynote speech the importance of having a library in the community. Sint Maarten library celebrates 99 years, but the library as an institution goes back 5,000 years. The library is not only a source of information and knowledge but also a public safe place where people can meet and relax. The Sint Maarten Library now also offers innovative community-oriented activities and tops it off with its 21st-century-level extensive digital library service. Since 2020 it has also established links to the digital library of the Royal Library and recently with the Digital Library of the Caribbean dLOC for its patrons and visitors.
In the absence of Minister Drs. Rodolphe E. Samuel who is away on a working visit, Mrs. Shermina Powell, the Secretary General of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth, and Sport in her brief address complimented the board, management, and staff and shared that the meaning of the number (99) signifies the end of evolution and that this leads into the beginning of the next cycle. Therefore, as of this date, the Sint Maarten Library has started a new phase in its existence and pledged her support as SG and wished the library much success in its endeavors.
Project manager Mr. Pieter Lucas introduced the process that the task force went through. He explained that first of all it was decided that the new logo should reflect that the library is not only about Philipsburg but of all people in Sint Maarten. Hence, the new name became Sint Maarten Library. The combination of the name and the pelican serves as a recognition of the ownership of the people of Sint Maarten and the Library's acknowledgment of the importance of the island’s national symbols.
While the new logo was unveiled, the secretary of the board, presented a toast and invited the audience to join her. Following this Mr. Pieter Lucas and Ms. Francia Housen, the Library ICT coordinator, guided the audience through the most important parts of the website. The animated pelican captured the audience's attention and the audience received a quick tour through the home page and other important sections such as the latest news, the upcoming activities, available resources, current services, and the library team. It can now be said that the countdown to the 100th anniversary started and again the need for a new building is extremely evident.
Participants in the program received a certificate of participation in honor of their steadfast reading practice. The seven patrons were four years old Amara Richards, the teenager Nathan Sagnia, the juveniles Shandreigia Marsham and Keziah Williams, the adults David Sandreen and Honore Richards, and the senior Angele Brill were presented with their new Library card by His Excellency A. Baly, the Board Secretary and the Director of the Library. Together they read more than 700 books within a year. To close off this section all staff members received their new uniform polo shirts of six different colors with the new logo.
During the vote of thanks, the director, Mrs. Glenderlin Holiday, expressed appreciation to the Ministry ECYS for the monthly subsidy to the library and Flow for their sponsorship of the entire network system, which allows the Sint Maarten Library to offer not only patrons but also visitors the best quality FREE WIFI available on the island. In addition to those two main sponsors of the library, several stakeholders, such as R4CR, NPower, USM, AUC, Litmoon, BDO, Telem, the schools, and the parents and friends of the library were also thanked for their support of the library in kind or otherwise.
The director ended by expressing great praises to the staff for their years of service and invaluable contribution to the accomplishment of these 99 years of library service to the island of Sint Maarten. In her final word she assured the audience and the public that the Sint Maarten Library will continue to promote, encourage, and stimulate active reading, whether it is a book, an e-book, or any other legible material. As of today, November 23, 2022, newly registered patrons and patrons that pay their annual fee will receive the new library card, a phased implementation of the new cards for especially the schools will take place over the next months.
In closing, the mistress of the ceremony Ms. Henry thanked the director, the staff, and the board for selecting her to lead this very momentous occasion” The Sint Maarten Library 99th anniversary ceremony.”