The aim of the C. A. H. Public Library facilitates the promotion and diffusion of knowledge and Information by acquiring making available to the community books and other materials.
The evolution of the St. Kitts Public Library can be said to have parallel the socio-economic pattern of the country. The St. Kitts public Library had its origin in the private subscription clubs which began in 1818. Books and magazines were provided for members only. By ordinance 4 of 1890 the governor Sir William Haynes-Smith was authorized to establish a Public library in Basseterre and one in Charlestown. The Library at that time was managed by a Board of Directors.
The first Chairman was the Hon G. C. Johnson and the clerk, Ms. E. Burt. At that time a government grant of £100 annually was awarded for running of the Libraries. In 1911, when Nevis was made an independent concern, the grant was divided between both libraries. Reading clubs were also established in the rural districts. One of the first to be set up was the Cayon Reading Club in 1932. Since then the Public Library has had book depots in Cayon, Lodge, Molineux, Verchilds, Saddlers, Dieppe Bay and Sandy Point. 1894, the Library was housed on East Independence Square.
In 1982, a fire destroyed the entire building. From 1985-1997, it occupied the premises at Shirley house, Mitchell street and in August 1997 found permanent residence in a new building at Cunningham street.
We recognise that if we are to provide an effective service the library must be taken to other people. The service points are organized as follows:
- Administrative headquarters at Basseterre (Cunningham Street)
- 1 Branch Library at Sandy point which opens from 9am-8pm. (466-2216)
- Book Centres at Cayon, Molineux and Saddlers which opens on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3-6pm. (No phones on premises)
Coordination of these service points is done from Basseterre. We are responsible for:
- Selection, purchasing, cataloguing of books and
- other materials for distribution.
- In house training of staff
- Supply of stationery, equipment and other goods to branch library and centres
- Display Services
- Reference, Research and Information Services
- Publication of a Newsletter
- Professional and technical advice to other institutions
- Photocopying Service
- Internet service
- Lending for home reading
- Updates on Caribbean Trade via Internet
All library centers and the Branch Library help to promote outreach activities which encourage the reading habit and stimulate interest in other areas.
- Easter Reading Clinic
- Summer Programmes
- Book displays
- Story hour
- We are finally housed in a modern building. We have seen the establishment of:
- A Branch Library in Sandy Point
- A good volunteer programme
- Improvement in the size of the collection and
- the quality of service offered to the public
- Plans for the erection of a new building for Molineux have already been drawn up
- Tiny tots section for children 0-4 years is in operation
- Cayon Centre moved to new premises in the Community Centre
The purpose of the documentation Unit is to keep records of Government Documents such as:
- Gazettes - which consists of Acts (Laws passed by the Government), statutory Rules and orders, ordinances and high Court of Justice cases, and addresses made by the Government Ministers.
- Annual Reports for various organizations in St. Kitts and Nevis, such as E.C.C.B, Development Bank, National bank.
- Also keep information on Estimates, Budget Addresses, Director of Audit for the years gone, Information on St. Kitts and Nevis History.
- Information on various aspects of St. Kitts and Nevis Environment, for example; the life of the sugar industry, the Federation’s Marine Life, ational Development and the progress contributed by each government administration over the years.
Charles A. Halbert Public Library (869) 465 2384
Cunningham Street, Basseterre, St. Kitts