Road Town, Tortola
British Virgin Islands
(upstairs of Rite Way, across from A&L Hotel)
Telephone No. 284-494-3428
Fax No. 284-494-3495
Click here to see the map
HOURS OF OPERATION
Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Saturday 9:00 a.m. - 1 :00 p.m.
The Library Services Department was established in 1943 and directed by Mr. T.D. Green, Supervisor of Education with the assistance of volunteers and a Clerk/Librarian. Ms. Loubelle Penn was employed as the first library worker to assist Mr. Green. The library was housed in the J.E.W. Georges building on lower Main Street, Road Town which also served as a Senior School. In 1945, an arrangement was made with the Supervising Librarian of St. Thomas Public Library, the late Enid M. Baa, to borrow books periodically to supplement the small stock at the Virgin Islands Public Library. Only children's books were borrowed in the early stages.
In 1944, Ms. Yvonne McKetney was appointed the first Clerk Librarian and then in 1946 as Librarian. Two years later, the library moved to the Road Town Methodist Church Hall which allowed more room for the required sections.
In 1956, deposit stations were established at schools on Tortola, Anegada, Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke. Monthly visits were made to Jost Van Dyke and around Tortola, while visits to Virgin Gorda and Anegada were made once per term. A boat named the Lady Kate transported the Librarian to these stations. According to Mr. T.D. Green, Monroe Donovan made a large box to hold 60 or 70 books that was sent on the "Lady Kate" to Anegada, North Sound, The Valley, and Jost Van Dyke. Sometimes the Librarian stayed overnight, sleeping on board the boat or in the Vestry of the church or in Captain Angiste George's house.
In 1965, Ms. Verna Penn was appointed Librarian, and during this time the library hosted the territory's first Creative Arts Festival and established an art gallery for local paintings.
In 1986, Mr. Peter Moll was appointed first Chief Librarian. In that same year the library became the focal point for the OECS Information Network Project, and the Caribbean Studies Unit was established in the Penn Building.
In 1988, Mrs. Bernadine Walters-Louis was appointed Chief Librarian and in September of the same year, the Road Town Library relocated to the Malone Building on Flemming Street.
In 1993, the Library celebrated its Golden Jubilee.
In March 1999, the Library started to offer a Internet Service for the public
In September 1999, the Library published its first local READ posters, which featured people in a variety of careers.
In 2001, the Library started to host an Annual Workshop on 23 April, to commemorate World Book and Copyright Day.
In 2003, the Library celebrated its 60th Anniversary, activities included:
v The launching of the Diamond Poster Series in Spanish and English
v An Essay Competition on the Bookmobile
v Production of a 2004 calendar
v Honorary ceremony for past Librarians at the Moorings
v Established a new weekly service for challenged persons at the BVI Services
v Production of a 60th Anniversary Booklet.