The Library celebrates its 100th anniversary!

"100 Years - 100 Facts" about the Sint Maarten Library part 2

— November 21, 2023

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 100 Years - 100 Facts about the Sint Maarten Library part 2
21. From a group of volunteers in the late 1950s or early 1960s, we now have a reliable and loyal staff of 8 members at the Sint Maarten Library.

22. In commemoration of the cornerstone, a bronze plaque was laid. It still adorns the structure of the Philipsburg Jubilee Library, situated on Voges Street. (1984)

23. In 1992, Blanca Hodge was appointed director of the library, followed by director Ans Koolen in 2007, Monique Alberts in 2009, and Interim Director Irmin Hughes in 2018. Subsequently, Interim director Pieter Lucas took over in 2019, followed by director Glenderlin Holiday in 2022. From January 1, 2023, to March 15, 2023, Pieter Lucas served as the General Manager.

24. In remembrance of the longest-serving head of security at the Philipsburg Jubilee Library, Michael Jeffers, who commenced his tenure on January 12, 1992, and served until 2009, contributing 17 years to preventing theft and vandalism. Michael Jeffers passed away on August 21, 2015. May he rest in peace.

25. The library became the first in the Netherlands Antilles to be fully automated, and since 1997, when the internet was implemented, every member has had the opportunity to become familiar with the phenomenon.

26. In 1980, the inaugural bookmobile “ a small juvenile library on wheels” was introduced to support schoolchildren in accessing library services. The theme, "Bringing Light to Darkness,". Elton Jones, who led the way by running in front of the bookmobile with a torch, illuminating the path to literacy for the Philipsburg Community and Cultural Center through Front street, Back Street, and back, ‌introducing it to our community. Subsequently, after the bookmobile retired, it was acquired by Abu Ghazi Shawarma and is now featured in its logo. Mr. Richard Nicolas, the bookmobile driver, served from 1980 to 2015, dedicating 35 years to this noble cause. Librarian Ingrid Brandt stepped in as a driver during Richard Nicholas's vacation. In 1993, after 13 years, a new Bibliobus replaced the original, continuing the practice of visiting schools in the morning to ensure that all primary school children had access to the joy of reading. In 2009, 15/16 years later, a grant from the Antillean co-funding Agency AMFO enabled the library to purchase a new vehicle. Annemiek van Kerkhof designed the colorful images on the bus's exterior. During the afternoons, the bookmobile would park in front of the Regina School, then move to Burger King in Simpson Bay, and later to districts of Belvedere - in Happy Estate and Lower Prince's Quarter - Dutch Quarter in front of Johnny Grocery. Donovan "Don" Froston and Dexter Housen were also drivers for the bookmobile services. In 2015, six years later, transmission problems preventing navigation in the Sint Maarten Hills led to the discontinuation of bookmobile services. Currently, it is situated as one of the Satellite locations at the Asha Steven Primary Schools.

27. Cataloging Process: The Sint Maarten Library uses the categorization code SISO, which is the Dutch equivalent of the DDC (Dewey Decimal Classification), also known as the Dewey Decimal System. Dewey is the most widely used classification in the world and is published by the OCLC Online Computer Library Center. A call number or code is assigned to a book to indicate its location on the library shelving system. For non-fiction books, the call number consists of the SISO (numeric system) and the first four letters of the author’s name, along with a country code if necessary. Fiction books for children and teenagers are organized using an alphabetical system from BT, AA, A, B, C, to YA. For adult fiction, simple language and the author’s name are typically used for categorization. Cataloger's role involves preparing bibliographical descriptions for items and materials, assigning subject headings, determining shelving locations using the SISO Classification system, and utilizing MARC record tags or metadata to ensure that these items are displayed in the online open-source system, Koha.

28. Book reviews are written monthly, organized by age group a.o. collections.

29. Books are loaned out for a period of three weeks, and each book includes a date list.. Patrons have the option to renew items up to three times, either by contacting the library at 542-2970, through email, or via self-renewal. Items can be returned to three different locations. The Philipsburg location, situated upstairs in the Adolphus Richardson Building, is open from 9 am through the lunch period until 5 pm. The other branches or satellites are open from 2:30 pm to 6 pm.

30. In 2003, Director Dame Blanca Hodge wrote an article for the Philipsburg Jubilee Library - 80 Anniversary – 1923 – 2003 – heading: The Ideal Library for St. Maarten. Except taken from the first paragraph: “It is obvious – in retrospect – that what was written as the future plans of the library at the time of our seventieth anniversary: “Preparing the library for the year 2023: how will the library proceed from here” the majority of that has not yet materialized. But then again neither has 2023. Then we stated, “There are areas that need and will get attention, providing the means to accomplish them will be (made) available” - 20 years later we are now in 2023.
Part 3

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