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It is a priority of my Ministry to promote the importance of reading and developing literacy skills, not just among school students, but among people of all ages.

Hon. Alden McLaughlin, JP

Published 24th October 2006, 5:50pm

Residents of East End have regained use of their community library following seven months of post-Ivan renovations. Hon. Alden McLaughlin, JP, Minister of Education, Training, Employment, Youth, Sports & Culture, who has responsibility for Public Libraries, was thrilled to see this community service become fully operational once again. He said, "It is a priority of my Ministry to promote the importance of reading and developing literacy skills, not just among school students, but among people of all ages. These are the fundamental prerequisites for acquiring all knowledge and as such, they are crucial to lifelong learning and personal-development." He added, "I am delighted that the people of East End can reap these benefits once again, and I thank them for their patience whilst necessary work was carried out." Mrs. Conolly, the library director, outlined the scope of the improvements, which include an expanded collection of more than 5,000 books; ADSL links for transferring electronic files, and a complimentary hotspot Internet connection, provided by Cable & Wireless. The library's relationship with the community development officer has also been revitalised, with the intended provision of after-school activities. Library Management Committee Chairman Michael Pilling, encouraged district residents to use the library facilities by playfully reminding guests that, "At a cost of $2.00 per year for adults, library membership is the best value in the Cayman Islands!" Children's membership continues to be free. East End MLA, Hon. Arden McLean, acknowledged the building's importance to the people of the district, explaining that since its construction in the early 1900s, it had been used as a civic centre, a school and a library. After hurricane Ivan, it was fitted with a generator and reverted back to its traditional use - as an interim district school until renovations were completed. The renovations, which were supervised by the Public Works Department, entailed changing the roof, mould-remediation treatment and replacing carpets. Following an impressive show of songs and poetry by East End Primary School students, the ribbon was cut by district historian and author Mr. Will Jackson. Among others attending the event were the ministry's Chief Officer Mrs. Angela Martins, JP; Bodden Town MLA Osbourne Bodden; Director of Public Libraries Benedicta Conolly; and other library staff. Like all the outer district libraries, East End's flexible opening hours are designed to cater to the needs of residents. The library is open Mondays and Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.