Wednesday, July 1, 2009
The National Library is situated at 76-77 Main and Church street Georgetown. It was originally known as the Public free library and was opened on September 9th, 1909. Mr. Andrew Carnegie, a wealthy American provided $33,000 for the construction of the building. Mr. Leonard Percival Hodge, Assistant director of Public Works was its architect. The erection of the library was the result of the work of the committee founded in December 1907.
I n 1912 the building received a new roof of ‘Old Dutch slates’ to eliminate leaking. In 1935 the building was renovated and upper floors were added to the two wings. This addition was funded by another grant from the Carnegie Corporation of $25,000. From 1935 to 1951 the building held some of the museum exhibits until the modern museum building was opened in 1951.
The architecture reveals the influence of Victorian and Georgian styles. It has a close-boarded ceiling, a bi-furcated timber staircase, and vertically pivoted windows. There is an iron grill wok separating the lobby from the adult lending section and dividing the department on the first floor.
The National Library serves to satisfy both nationally and internationally, the information and recreational needs of the library’s users through the collection, organization and dissemination and preservation of information in printed and other formats.
Services provided by the National library are :
Photocopying- In which people can copy the original material and use them at their own leisure time.
Gramophone Record Library- The library has a collection of gramophone records in various categories such as Caribbean music, orchestral, spoken words, and popular music and so on. Library members are eligible to become a member of the gramophones recorded library at a stated fee.
Book Mobile Service- This provides a critical service to citizens in outlying districts where no other library service are located.
Lending and Reference- Patrons are allowed to borrow certain books to read at their w on leisure while other books are provided for use only within the library.
Reading and Advisory- Personalize assistance is provided by Librarian staff to aid patrons in locating relevant reading and research materials.
Inter Library Loans- This is an arrangement with other libraries to borrow books for the use of patrons if the required books are not available at a particular library.
Prison Service- The National Library tries to promote literacy to everyone even those who are incarcerated, therefore books are taken periodically for lending purpose.
Request Service- Patrons are allowed to place reservations on library materials may not be available at the time when they are needed.
Exhibitions are put on to showcase or to b ring to patrons attention books are available on particular subjects or by particular author. Exhibitions are also put on to commemorate different events.
Activities- Summer extension activity provides recreational for students who are on vacation during the summer. These activities take the form of Spanish workshop, ma king of toys, reading competition etc. The activities are aimed at maintaining a vibrant membership and attracting new members to the library.
Story hours- they are organize specially on Saturday for children of the Juvenile department as an additional activity of reading aloud and to highlight books in the collection that the children can read on their own.
Video shows- theses are mainly educational shows which are staged for the library patrons.
Class visits- this is to bring to student attention the role of the library and it benefits and to encourage them to become members of the library.
National library collections includes
General reference collection- a collection of books used, only within the library for research purpose, on various disciplines and subject.
Collection – this collection comprises of all the publication received by the library as legal deposit copies
The juvenile department of the library has a small collection of educational toys which can be accessed for use in the library.
Quick reference collection
A collection of encyclopedia which contain dictionaries, yearbooks, handbooks etc. which is consulted mainly to satisfy simple, factual enquiries.
The library has extensive collection materials written by Caribbean authors and about the Caribbean for both reference and lending purpose
Bound newspapers collection
A collection of local and select Caribbean’s newspaper
A set of books on horticulture donated to the national library by the late Adrian Thompson.
Mostly maps of Guyana showing various features of the land.
Guyanese author and port donated a collection of Caribbean works including publications.
Newspaper clippings collection
Guyana society collection
This collection contains many rare and important historical works on Guyana and the West Indies.
Photographs and illustrations collection,
Which contain photographs of important historical building, personalities, events, flora and fauna, natural lands cape and works of art.