Mardene Carr is hoping to open a new chapter at the library of the University College of the Cayman Islands.
The UCCI librarian wants the community to know that the facility is not just for students and staff but is open to the public as well.
‘We’re working on getting more people from the community to come in because I don’t think a lot of people are aware that it’s open to the public,’ she said. ‘Everybody should have access to information.’
People can take out a membership for $25. A $100 refundable security deposit is also required to borrow books.
The library is stocked with 19,000 volumes, spanning from fiction, history and cooking to computing, marketing and architecture. There are also some 50 journal titles including such popular magazines as Essence and Oprah along with numerous speciality titles. Videos, CDs and audio cassettes are also available.
‘We’re developing our fiction collection, and getting a lot of paperbacks in,’ said Ms Carr.
Membership entitles people to borrow materials but the public is also welcome to use the library to study or read. Photocopying services and free Internet access is also available.
There are two seminar rooms upstairs, which can be booked for $150 per day.
While the university was damaged in Hurricane Ivan, its library came away unscathed.
‘This was the section of the college that didn’t get damaged, and we are very thankful for that,’ she said. ‘The library was heavily used after the hurricane because there was no other place to go.’
The library, which serves a student population of 1,000, opened in 1996. It’s staffed by Ms Carr -who took up the post last August – and assistant Lucille Kong.
While it has always been open to the public only a handful of people have taken advantage of its resources. Ms Carr is hoping an awareness campaign will change that.
She would like to see the library become a hub of the community, eventually having extended hours and opening on the weekends.
‘I am used to seeing a packed library,’ said Ms Carr, whose previous post was at the University of the West Indies.
‘I’d love to see the (UCCI) library become like all other university libraries – just packed.’
The UCCI .library is open Monday through Thursday from 8am to 7.30pm and Friday from 8am to 4pm. Closed weekends. Telephone 949-9580.