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Community : Sir Charles Hayward Library Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM

Sir Charles Hayward Library Seeks Community Support with New Non-Profit Status
By Geneva Rutherford
Aug 9, 2013 - 3:08:00 PM

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Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas - Expect to hear a lot more from the Sir Charles Hayward Library as it seeks to become a center for learning on Grand Bahama.

Now officially a non profit, the library is poised to expand its services in exciting ways, holding true to its new motto: “Your link to the past and gateway to the future.”

Among such initiatives are plans to widen the library’s capacity for research. Plans include an increase in the number of computer terminals and the acquisition of databases in the medical, legal, educational, and engineering fields, among others. The efforts will be complemented by the extension of the library’s hours into the evening to accommodate more patrons.

The organization also aims to create a vibrant, interactive learning center in the Children’s Library where young students can access a range of subject areas, including foreign languages. Such initiatives are key to fostering excitement among young learners about their own education.

“It is most important that the Sir Charles Hayward Library be a real center for learning and research, supporting education for all, from ages five to ninety-five,” said Executive Director and Board Chairman, Mrs. Geneva Rutherford.

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“It therefore must extend its services beyond the print media to include a variety of necessary databases and licenses, thereby becoming relevant to the digital age.”   

To this end, a Board of Directors represented by various major companies and government agencies on the island has already been formed. Representatives include BORCO, PharmChem (Grand Bahama) Ltd., Polymers International, the Grand Bahama Ship Yard, Cable Bahamas, the Royal Bank of Canada, the Grand Bahama Port Authority, the Vice President of the College of the Bahamas, the Deputy Director of the Ministry of Education, and the Director of the Antiquities, Monuments, and Museums Corporation.

Founded in the early 1960s in the Savoy Building, the former John Harvard Medical Library moved to its present location on The Mall Drive in 1966, thanks to a donation by The Rands. In 1983, Mrs. Rand handed the library over to Sir Jack Hayward and the GBPA, and suggested the library be named in honor of Sir Jack’s father. In 1994, the auditorium adjoining the main building became the Children’s Library.

While the Grand Bahama Port Authority previously covered the library’s maintenance and operational expenses, as it settles into non-profit status it is critical that it begins to receive support from the wider community. “With its new non-profit status, the Sir Charles Hayward Library now needs to seek funding through grants and donations from private individuals and corporations, both large and small,” said Mrs. Rutherford.

“There is a great need to expand its services to meet the special needs of academia, the business and professional sectors of the island.  This effort will be an immediate focus for the Board of Directors.”  

The provision of services also includes plans to forge partnerships which will extend the library’s reach and make even more information available for patrons. The library hopes to partner with the College of the Bahamas’ Harry C Moore Library in Nassau, and in particular to allow its patrons to connect with the Digital Library of the Caribbean.

Said Deputy Director of Education, Mrs. Sandra Edgecombe, “the Sir Charles Hayward Library will be a critical support to the available basic learning materials, as it will provide the necessary linkages to allow students in the far flung settlements and cays to access its resources.”

The library has already begun outreach initiatives to attract more patrons in anticipation of its expanded services. Special events nights, a small business center, publication of its newsletter, summer camps, story hours, historical exhibitions, and distinguished lectures and seminars are among the many activities.

Promising a visit to the Library as soon as plans have been executed, Sir Jack Hayward stated that in earlier years the Library had extended hours and that he was pleased that this will once again be realized, along with the proposed technological upgrades and extended services to the community.

Sir Charles Hayward Library Membership 2011- 2013

Children’s Library Membership

Jan 1 - Dec 31 2011 – 179

Jan 1 – Dec 31 2012 – 115

Jan 1 – Aug 2 2013 – 53


Adult Library Membership

Jan 1 – Dec 31 2011 – 400

Jan 1 – Dec 31 2012 - 257

Jan 1 – Aug 8 2013 – 193

About The Sir Charles Hayward Library

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