“People don’t realize how a man’s whole life can be changed by one book.”
– Malcolm X
Up a long steep flight of stairs, above a lively bar and next to a hairdressing salon, in the heart of all the St. George’s city action in the historical Arnold John building, opposite the cruise ship terminal is the Grenada Community Library.
The Grenada Community Library was founded by Caribbean author Oonya Kempadoo, The Mt. Zion Full Gospel Revival and social action collective Groundation Grenada. It was set up as a reaction to the sad reality that Grenada had no functioning public library since the closure of the Sheila Buckmire Public Library, over 4 years ago.
Since opening its doors the Grenada Community Library has attracted over 1,500 members(both adults and children), 1,036 of which patronise the general collection. Seventy percent of those members are teenagers. This shatters the myth Grenadians do not like to read. Not only does the library allow its members to borrow books, it also hosts a number of FREE literacy and creativity centred activities for children and adults, including a children’s creative writing group, story time, and adult literacy classes.
“This library began as a community effort and can only continue through that same spirit”
-Ayisha John Co-Director of the Grenada Community Library
The library has gained amazing support over the years, many books have been donated and transported from far and wide! Local and expat community members have volunteered their time and expertise. However, it is unfortunate that such a positive initiative set up in the heart of our capital city, St.George’s, is under threat of being closed due to a lack of funding.
“We have seen an incredible demand for the resources, programmes and the supportive environment we provide to our members. Grenada needs more of these spaces for learning and creativity, but the only way we can continue to offer this is if we get the support we need to keep our doors open.”
-Ayisha John Co- Director of the Grenada Community Library
Most recently the Grenada Community Library has closed its general collection in order to move to the Grenada National Museum on Young Street (Located right next to the House of Chocolate) and hopes to re open at that location in June 2016.
The Grenada Chocolate Fest wants to help, but we need your support. Here is how:
A colouring story book written by the children’s creative writing group of the Grenada Community Library will be officially launched at the the Chocolate Gala on Thursday 19th May, 2016 at the La Luna Resort. Although, if you have been going to our activities so far you would have seen it by now and many of you have already gotten your hands on a copy. All proceeds from the sale of this book will go towards keeping the doors of the Library Open. Also part of the proceeds made at the Gala itself will go to the Library.
There will be a silent auction at the Chocolate Extravaganza Last Day Party (May 21st) at True Blue Bay Resort’s Dodgy Dock. All proceeds from this auction will go towards keeping the doors of the library open.
Items and Experiences being auctioned include:
Hand Painted Calabash with Cocoa Beans
Rococo Chocolate Book
Painting by local artist Doliver Painting by local artist and illustrator Stacey Byer
Chocolate Festival coffee mug set
Deluxe Day Pass at True Blue
Weekend Villa Stay at True Blue
House of Chocolate Voucher
Box of Hand Crafted Chocolates from Great British Spiced Chocolate Challenge winner Zara Snell
Art Fabrik scarf
Ceres Mix Case of Juice
Cocoa Silver necklace with earnings
Book from Oonya Kempadoo ( one of the Founders of the Grenada Community Library)
Tub of Chocolate ice-cream from local handmade ice cream company Oui Papa Sheets from Sunshine Stores
Kettle from Sunshine Stores
Monetary Donations can also be made at any time to the library!
With its move to a new location the library is able to save on rent, but, due to the amazing demand for having a space for creativity, curiosity, lively critical discussions and reading it has become necessary to employ a full time librarian, and, of course, electricity is a necessary amenity, the expense of which the library also must meet.
But don’t take our word for it, listen to what the librarians and library members have to say for themselves