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