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Philipsburg Jubilee Library is celebrating 98th anniversary!

On Tuesday, November 23, 2021, the Philipsburg Jubilee Library (PJL) celebrates 98 years. The library was founded on this date back in 1923, the year Queen Wilhelmina celebrated her silver jubilee.

. From humble beginning, through the vision of W.R. Plantz, C.M. Darrel, CC.G Philipzoon, A.C. Wathey and C.A. Beaujon, the library was moved around from offices and schools run exclusively by volunteers who saw how important it is to have a library in the community. Donations from both individuals and companies and volunteers remains a critical key to the sustained success of the library.

On April 2, 1984 the library moved to the location on Ch.E.W. Voges Street. The library in this location conjurers up many fond memories in the minds of our people. A place where toddlers came to enjoy stories, teens came to read, study and research for homework assignments while adults came to read, research, and attend presentations. The computer lab enabled digital learning and provided an option to those persons who needed computer access.

On September 6, 2017, the library at Ch.E.W. Voges Street was destroyed by hurricane Irma. The library moved to a temporary location at W.J.A Nisbeth Road # 3, above Adolphus Richardson Office Store. The limited space location birthed the idea to reach out to the public by means of satellite locations. Through the commitment of staff and management satellite locations were established in the Christian Hill Side School - Cay Hill campus and at Belvedere community center to become more accessible and closer to the public through a project grant from the R4CR.

Literary development, creating leaders through reading, celebrating our culture and becoming a focal point for the Sint Maarten community as our world evolves continues to be the mission of the library. In line with the technology developments, the library E-book collection is accessible on multiple devices from smartphones to desktop computers through Libby. Library members also have access to the Koninklijke Bibliotheek since June 2021. In addition, collaboration on literary projects among key local and Kingdom partners continues to nourish the minds of our youth. 

The library is currently working on a new logo and corporate identity, which will be introduced to the public within short. Paul Martens, chair of the library board, expresses his thanks for the support of the library staff, management and board members, who continue to ensure the provision of library services for the people of Sint Maarten. The Government of Sint Maarten is funding a large part of the operations, but the annual subsidy is not sufficient. Therefore, special thanks is warranted for the members of the business community who are assisting the library in enabling projects and several programs.

As WE look toward the future, the library will remain a vital fabric of a progressive society. As the planning phase of a new modern library gets underway through World Bank funding, the library reflects on the words of Mr. Kofi Annan, who was the seventh Secretary-General of the UN and co-recipient of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize. “Literacy is, finally, the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realize his or her full potential.”