Queen Wilhelmina Library marks 100th anniversary

Saba’s Queen Wilhelmina Library celebrated its 100th anniversary with an open house on Thursday. Commissioner of Culture, Sports and Education Eviton Heyliger said in his address that the library stands as a testament to the island’s enduring love for knowledge.

“Today we not only celebrate Queen Wilhelmina Li­brary’s rich history, but also its resilience and adaptability and unwavering commitment to foster the love for learn­ing within our community,” said Heyliger. He said the library had recently embraced the digital age, completing a transition to computerisation sometime after 2010. All library members now carry digital mem­bership cards.

Heyliger also told library staff that they are not just keepers of books, but guardians of an entity that shapes minds and connects hearts.

Commissioner of Culture, Sports and Education Eviton Heyliger (second right) addresses attendees at Queen Wil­helmina Library’s 100th anniversary celebration.

Queen Wilhelmina Library Director Tiffany Zagers said a collection of ebooks has arrived to attract more young readers, and that digitalisation activities are being planned for older persons.

At the library’s open house on Thursday, new registrants only paid US $1 for a library card. This was a one-day op­portunity for the library’s 100th anniversary.

Long-time patrons who attended the open house shared testimonies and praised former staff members, such as the recently retired Joanna Simmons, who dedicated 33 years of her life to Queen Wilhelmina Library.

The public libraries in Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Maarten all opened their doors on November 23, 1923. Saba’s library was named in honour of Queen Wilhelmi­na of the Netherlands during her silver jubilee celebra­tion. The library, which was first housed in the govern­ment’s guest house, journeyed around the island several times before ending up in its current location in Carmen Simmons Cultural Complex in The Bottom.

The Daily Herald.

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