Chief Librarian of Antigua and Barbuda Dorothea Nelson, was recently succeeded by Ryllis Mannix (well, so was my understanding in early summer when this was originally posted), upon her retirement from this all-too-important role. I learned the hard way, having held a summer job at the Public Library as a teen under Nelson’s predecessor Phylis Mayers, that library work is not all sitting around reading the day away (Had it been that I might have stuck with it when Ms. Mayers, still one of my favourite bosses to date, encouraged me to do so). The Antiguan and Barbudan librarian has the added challenge of functioning under very trying circumstances given the cramped quarters downtown that serve as the library facilities while the library building project continues to drag on (the library’s woes began with the 1974 quake which did irrepairable damage to the old library at the bottom of High Street ). These committed ladies though made lemonade out of them sour lemons. So, as she takes her bow, we say “big up” to Ms. Nelson who, based on my interviews with her in my capacity as a journalist, made digitizationof library stocks and services, and community outreach priorities during her 10-year run. Read more about her here You’ll note that the article ends with some of her writing; here’s some more.
For perspectives on the library building project and an interview with new Chief, check out the Spring 2011 edition of the Friends of Antigua Public Library’s newsletter.
POST NOTE: A subsequent article on uncertainty surrounding the Chief Librarian position. You’ll know more when we do.