Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Carnegie Free Library & Surroundings

The beautiful Carnegie Free Library located at Library Corner in San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago shows sign of promise.  Repairs and restoration are underway as seen in the red galvanised fencing which has been placed on the upper portion of the walls  which enclose the  building in early April 2016. According to National Library and Information System Authority (NALIS) website, the building was  "established in 1919" and was managed by an Act which was repealed around that time, to allow for three of the main Libraries to be managed by one body. http://www.nalis.gov.tt/AboutUs/tabid/56/Default.aspx?PageContentID=5. However back to the physical condition of the Library.
On the second floor, there are pristine white frames around glass panes which contrast sharply with the dull red areas of the frame of the roof and the mountings on the top of the building. These mountings, lines of beauty and character appear to need cleaning prior to the building being reopened. Although a Library has been opened in another floor of a nearby building, the beauty, character and history of the "old" building may need to be retained so that, that piece of our past and what it means to us internationally may be shared with our youth and visitors. Here is an extract from an article in the Trinidad Guardian on the Carnegie Free Library which illustrates this point and see the link for  an article on the Library and a photo of the Library in its hey day. http://www.guardian.co.tt/news/2013-04-17/carnegie-free-library-built-just-%C2%A32500: "The library, after its official opening in March 1919, also became the storehouse for more than books. A captured German machine-gun was housed in the building in September 1919.
Some suggestions which may be used to bring this part of the city in line with the other areas  are:
1.      The placement of small trees and plants in troughs at intervals along the streets, surrounding the Library, the taxi stands and the various business places. These would add beauty to the streets and perhaps blend the old with the new. After all, plants and trees transform the air scientifically and would allow our past to meet our present and see us into the future as one.
2.      Add large signs around the Library and other historical places in the city with information on the history of the area, prominent persons and other bits of interest. This information would encourage others, especially visitors to explore the area and learn at their speed.
3.   Place directional signs, with information which is specific to the area, especially the sea. This information may be aimed at encouraging others to walk towards the sea!!! This would encourage exploration of the area in an economical way, as persons may choose to arrive in the area earlier, or visit the area and explore their surroundings!!!
4.       Source funding to develop the area near to the sea along the lines of eco-tourism or in the manner of the Board walk at Chaguaramas, if this is possible as I was not able to reach the sea during my visit.

5.   Consider adding this area to the route of the air conditioned bus, if this has not been done already!!! This would encourage persons to visit the area in comfort which would add to the revenue of the area, as persons may be able to bring their craft items either to display them or to sell them and others would purchase or add their advice on the topic.

No comments:

Post a Comment