The library was first established in 1998 through the efforts of winter resident Phyllis Whitman and her husband. A small room in a building owned by Dianne Turnquest was refurbished for the use of the library. When the library outgrew the room in 2000 a request was made to the Prime Minister by Ms Whitman for an alternative site. The only space available was a room at the Primary School in Gregory Town. The room was refurbished and the new library was ready for use by 2003.
Training was provided for Ms Stacy Cartwright who was hired to be the librarian. Ms Shanta Maurice took over in 2010. After the passage of Hurricane Irene in 2011 the library had to vacate the premises as the classroom was needed because of damage to the school. New premises then had to be found for the library.
Shanta Maurice, Supervisor
Haynes Library 1897
On December 3, 1996 the cornerstone was laid in Preston Square for the building of the Haynes Institute. On November 11, 1897, Governor Haynes-Smith took a historic walk from Cupid’s Cay, where he had landed, to officially dedicate the Haynes Library building, opening the doors for the first time.
Over the years the library was relegated to the second floor and the building was used for a number of government purposes. It was eventually closed, the books were disposed of, and the building was slated for demolition.
1n 1994 members of the community joined forces to form Friends of the Library. Their purpose was to reopen the Haynes Library for its educational benefit to the community as well as to restore an architectural landmark and preserve a piece of Bahamian history.
In 1995 restoration of the historic Haynes Library began: the roof was replaced, the original gingerbread restored, new shutters installed and the building repainted. In 1996 shelves were built for the main room, electricity upgraded and the plumbing repaired. Donated and purchased books were obtained and the main floor of the library opened. In 1997 the downstairs windows were replaced, each a gift of an individual donor. A new interior staircase was designed and built, a gift in the name of Alexia Knowles.
In 1997, through the generous donation of Mr. Lloyd Babcock, the existing garage was converted into an adult reading room providing a much needed and beautiful addition to our library. Today, this room houses the children’s reading collection.
A private donation, made by the Chace Family Fund, Providence, Rhode Island, in honour of the late Tina Frost, enabled major renovations and restoration to the interior and exterior of the Haynes Library in 1999. This substantial contribution also allowed the completion of the second storey, which houses the Tina Frost Computer Resource center, donated and supported by the Frost Family.
The Haynes Library is a member of the International Federation of Library Associations and follows closely the IFLA/UNESCO Public Library Manifesto.
The Haynes Library has over 11,000 volumes, a large selection of educational software, an increasing global membership and in excess of 8,500 annual visitors.
Users have access to the following:
Children’s Community Outreach Programs
Adult Community Outreach Programs
Funding & Support
The Haynes Library has been providing outstanding service to the island of Eleuthera since its reopening in August 1996. It offers a variety of programs and events throughout the year for the many children and adults who use its facility. It is a privately managed, nonprofit organization with a public mission. Annual fundraising events, private and corporate donations and an annual government grant, help to keep its doors open. There are many ways interested ones can contribute and support the Haynes Library.
Persons who are interested can help keep the Haynes Library open by:
Annual Fundraising Activities
In March 2004 Mrs. Lisa Krupp of Island Relief donated a large number of books to the Tarpum Bay community.
These books were used to establish a library in the former storage room of the local government building; which was transformed in one day for the community to enjoy.
In April 2004 the official orientation, grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony were held. In attendance were the Honourable Melanie Griffin, Minister of Social Services and Community Development, the Member of Parliament for South Eleuthera and Speaker of the House, the Honourable Oswald G. Ingraham, and the Senior Deputy Administrator, (Governor’s Harbour Central) Mr. Ivan Ferguson.
The Tarpum Bay Library was established by a combined effort of the community, local government, and visitors from abroad, including Ms Jonna Riley. The Harbour Island Library also assisted by making a donation of two (2) computers to the library. Ms Sabrina Clark of Tarpum Bay also volunteered with the initial setting up of the library.
The official opening and orientation of the Tarpum Bay Library was quite an event. However, one problem existed; a lack of funding to employ a librarian. Hence, from May 2004 until November 2005 the library was staffed by Ms Riley who worked just a few hours a week. Fortunately, this was sufficient to keep the library open so that students had after school access.
In November 2005 the Tarpum Bay Community Library was awarded a grant from the Bahamas Library Service. As a result, a library committee was formed and Ms Riley was hired as a part-time librarian. The Bahamas Library Service also generously provided the library with Coral wave Internet connection. Nonetheless, there were a few setbacks with the library. As the 2004 hurricane season approached the library books had to be relocated to higher ground. Following this about two (2) years later in 2006, termites infested and ate 90% of the books. As a result a search for a new location for the library ensued. Mr. Ross Smith, Superintendent of schools for Eleuthera, under the Ministry of Education (MOE), assisted greatly in this aspect. He helped to locate a former teacher’s residence that had been vacant for over two (2) years. The Ministry of Education assisted with repairs to the roof and the interior sheetrock and volunteers from the Tarpum Bay community also helped with other needed repairs. Another generous donation of books was given to help with the library as well as eight (8) refurbished computers to start the community computer center.
Since September 2007 the library portion has been operating. This was followed by the opening of the Community Center in December of that same year. This was a first for the Tarpum Bay community as this was the first community center Tarpum Bay has ever had. The library committee was indeed excited to provide this service to the community and the general public.
The mission of Tarpum Bay Library is to provide the community; especially the children, with the technology and resources to help them build stepping stones along their path to a successful future, to assist them in finding the tools they need to achieve their goals, and to support and encourage them to follow their dreams.
The library has over 3,000 volumes to choose from. This include books on health, pregnancy, Aids, cooking, religion, nature, sports, science, self help, relationships, family and child rearing, biography, American history and many popular fiction titles; also included are approximately 1,500 children’s titles from beginning readers to teens.
An average of about 25 to 35 children and about 5 to 10 adults visit the library on a daily basis.
At present (August 2008) membership fees are not charged to Bahamian residents.
Users have access to the following:
The library offers six (6) computers available with Internet access to adults and children.
The members are:
Postal Address – P O Box EL-26515
If shipping from the US send to:
Tarpum Bay Library C/O Twin Air Calypso
498 SW 34th Street
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33315
The Community library at Spanish Wells is located in the All-age school. The winter residents are making contributions to the development of the library. At this time it has not yet been completed. The Principal of the school has oversight of the library.
The Palmetto Point Library was opened in 2005. It is housed in a building which has historical significance. The building is over 100 years old and has housed both the clinic and post office. Many of the citizens of the settlement were born in this building and a picture of former Midwife Eliza Jane Sands is prominently displayed.
The James Cistern library is located adjacent to the Primary School. It celebrated its Grand Re-opening on October 25, 2017 after extensive renovations. This site was designated as a library and Information Centre for many years. In the early 2000s, the clinic utilized a room for storage of supplies. After the supplies were taken out, the library had an additional space. In 2021, the library was painted by interested residents. Presently, Ms. Shanta Maurice along with Ms. Andrea Bethel are coordinating a renovation project to better serve the community. This is made possible by generous donors. Previously, books, and computers were donated by Freedom to Read Inc. led by Mrs. Susy Siel of the USA.
The library in Deep Creek is located in the Deep Creek Middle School. It is adminstered by the school and manned by a staff member. The library receives donations from the public, Lets Read Bahamas and from an Amazon wish list. It is open to anyone in the community who wishes to borrow books.
A group of concerned citizens along with the Deep Creek Middle School and the Island School – The Deep Creek Community Committee was looking for a space to provide access to a library, computer lab and meeting rooms. The Old Teachers residence was chosen to carry out this dream. Application has been made to the Ministry of Education for the committee to take possession of the building.
The Wemyss Bight Community Library was established in 2004, by a local business woman Mrs Clara Williams. She saw a need for a lifelong learning Educational Resource Center where children could improve their learning abilities. Permission was granted to use the teachers residence in front of the school.
The library is a place where children can have access to after school programs, tutoring, internet, book clubs, research resources.
The Mission of the library is to establish lifelong learning programs that would benefit the entire south Eleuthera community, especially the youth.
A Summer camp is held each year. Children are taught about Bahamian culture and visit various sites of interest and the beach.
The earliest record of the library being open is around 1945 when Mrs Rowena Symonette, at the age of 15, worked in the library. At that time it shared the building with the Telecommunications office. Persons would sit in the library, which was the waiting room, until it was their turn to use the telephone. In those days, Mrs Symonette says, the library was only open a few hours a day. Mrs Jennie Griffin took over from Mrs Symonette in the late 1940s and remained until 2010, when Ms Susan Martin took over as supervisor. They have been ably assisted by volunteers from the community.
All of the Children’s books have been donated and processed by volunteers from the Freedom to Read organization under the supervision of Susy Siel.
The library was refurbished and re-opened in January 2009.
Special thanks was given to Mr. Tom Hennigan for donating the computers and other items to the Library; Stubbs Construction company for agreeing to donate a computer and TV/DVD player; Susy Siel of Island Relief Charity for agreement to donate books and help in referencing books; Mr. Don & Mrs. Judy Savarge for donating books and their commitment of donating in the future; Cable Bahamas for providing Internet to the Library; Mr. Edward Culmer of Batelco for support and the help of Batelco; North Eleuthera District Council for support, commitment and agreement to finance the refurbishment of the Library; Mr. Alvin Smith, M.P. & Speaker of the House for his support and for securing a donation for the repairs to the Library. Certificates of appreciation were awarded to the following persons for their dedication and commitment to the Library: Luba Bland; Krista Furry; Ginny Gibson; Marjorie Biber; Vicki Toothaker; Karen Dalton and Kathy Woodard. A plaque and certificate was also presented to Mrs. Jennie Key for 61 years of dedication and commitment to the Library.
Volunteers at the library are: Janice Symonette; Dawn Pinder; Stacy Wells; Rosie Neilly; Shirley Weech; Sharon Carusi; Audrey Symonette; Aldred Albury; Theo Neilly; Luba Bland; Krista Furry; Ginny Gibson; Marjorie Biber; Vicki Toothaker; Karen Dalton and Kathy Woodard. (Information from The Abaconian online newspaper)
The Bannerman Town Community Centre & Library is the brain child of Mr. Errol McPhee supported by the Bannerman Town Millars & John Millars Eleuthera Association. The Association is a group of concerned residents and descendants of the three settlements living mainly in Eleuthera, New Providence and Grand Bahama. The Association is managed by a Board of Directors which includes a President, Vice President, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, Secretary & Assistant Secretary and Trustee. The current president, Mr. Errol Mcphee, has overall management responsibility for the project, Ms. Deneria Rolle, Treasurer, has responsibility for financial matters and Mr. George Bullard, local chairman, has onsite administrative responsibility for the project.
One of the goals of the association is to foster educational development among the citizenry of the settlements and in particular the students who have no access to a library, computer or internet service to assist them with their homework assignments once they would have left their respective schools. It should be noted that these schools are located approximately twelve and thirty miles respectively, from these communities. The Association, recognizing these short comings in the communities, requested the Ministry of Education to turnover to the Association an old abandoned building in Bannerman Town that once housed the local public school to establish a library and community center.
The old abandoned building was transformed into the Library and a Community Center and opened its doors on the 26th of March 2011. The Association was generously assisted by Mr. Shaun Ingraham of Island Journey, the Rotary Club of Eleuthera and many other donors and friends of the communities. In 2013, the library was the beneficiary of grants from the Ministry of Education & the Cotton Bay Foundation that have assisted with the operational costs.
The Library and Community Centre is an on going project, the completion of which is dependent upon grants and donations.