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UVI to Mark National Library Week with Introduction of Enhanced Library

The Information and Technology Services component of the University of the Virgin Islands plans to kick-off National Library Week 2011 with a ceremony on Monday, April 11, to introduce recent enhancements made to the Ralph M. Paiewonsky Library on the St. Thomas campus.

On that day, various student organizations will be led by the Ivanna Eudora Kean High School marching band in a parade from the UVI Bookstore to the library, where former Governor Charles W. Turnbull, Ph.D., will offer a keynote address. UVI students, faculty and staff, as well as alumni and local library affiliates are invited to the celebration and are welcome to attend tours of the facility after the ceremony.

The library was recently re-designed to function as a 21st-century learning environment. The general collection, comprising more than 45,000 books, has been relocated to electronic compact shelving in the rear of the building. Electric power sources have been added to individual study carrels. Four study rooms, each outfitted with computers and large digital monitors (one has a Promethean electronic white board) were built in the center of the library. Two rooms in the northwest corner of the building have been transformed with new furniture and fixtures - plans are for one to be developed as a café. And finally, modern, vibrant seating areas are now available at the front of the library's atrium.

The library's Special Collections, including the Caribbean Collection and Melchior Collection, have also been relocated and consolidated on compact shelving inside one room. The Special Collections are rare and unique accumulations of materials that exemplify the diverse people, culture and heritage found throughout the islands of the Caribbean. Materials for inclusion are collected from the English-, French-, Hispanic- and Dutch-speaking Caribbean islands that feature materials by local Virgin Islanders and other notable Caribbean writers. The focal point of the collections is to highlight the social, economic, political, cultural and topical issues in the region.

The rest of National Library Week will be celebrated on campus with the 2011 theme "Create Your Own Story @ Your Library." A slate of activities for the week includes: "Fine Amnesty Week" for overdue books, a "Your Story in Images" contest, a "Tell Your Story @ the Library" open mic program, a "Wear Library Flair" day and a library trivia contest on Facebook. Announcements about event dates and times will be made shortly.

For more information about the library celebration, please contact Technology Customer Service Manager Cherie Wheatley at cwheatl@uvi.edu. For details about National Library Week on campus, please contact Librarian Tanisha Mills at tmills2@uvi.edu. The main National Library Week website, sponsored by the American Library Association, is available at the following URL: http://www.ala.org/ala/conferencesevents/celebrationweeks/natlibraryweek/index.cfm.