In celebration of the National Library Service’s 175th anniversary, the Holetown Branch Library has created a time capsule.
During a ceremony on Wednesday to mark the storage of the capsule at the Holetown, St James branch, Acting Director of the Library Service Jennifer Yarde said staff at all the libraries were given the opportunity to highlight and promote their respective branches with an activity of their choice.
She said the supervisor of the Holetown Branch, Adrian Archer, saw it fit to store for posterity the memories of that branch library.
“Every library tells its own unique story. These stories awaken not only an appreciation of the past but also the realisation that what happens today is tomorrow’s history.
“The Holetown Branch Library has a rich history, some of which has never been heard of because it was never documented. This time capsule will store some of these stories and memories for future generations,” Yarde explained.
She said the Holetown Branch Library, which continues to play an important role in promoting culture, literacy and lifelong learning, was officially opened on February 27, 1756, and served the St James and St Thomas communities over the past 66 years.
She said, from its early beginnings in a little chattel house to its present building, the branch library provided services to the homebound, the institutionalised in the geriatric district hospital, and to children, the youth and adults in the community.
“This was one of the branches with the largest numbers of visitors, who not only patronised the branch but also donated large numbers of current novels and magazines.
“This led to people coming from all over Barbados to borrow books from the Holetown Branch Library because they would be assured of getting a new title almost every week. This library was rated as one of the best branches in the system,” Yarde said.
While delivering remarks, Permanent Secretary, Division of Culture, Prime Minister’s Office, Hughland Allman, described the capsule as a manifestation of Barbados’ intangible cultural heritage, telling the story of the Holetown Branch Library through the memories of patrons, staff members and even visitors to the island.
He said safeguarding activities must always involve the communities, groups, and individuals.
“It means making sure that intangible cultural heritage remains an active part of today’s generation that can be handed over to tomorrow’s generation. Our libraries, pivotal as they remain, provide a bridge, drawing the communities closer together through meaningful activities and learning experiences,” Allman said.
The Permanent Secretary also suggested that the COVID-19 pandemic story should also be recorded for posterity.
During the ceremony, children of the Holetown Branch Library delivered a poem highlighting their love for books and reading, while winners of the National Library Service Poetry Slam 2022 – Akeem Chandler-Prescod, Theo Greenidge and Shamona Forrester – engaged the audience with their spoken word piece.
The capsule will be kept in the library for the time being, until a permanent home is found for it, and will be opened in 2047. [email protected]