The Junior Centre Library boasts a longstanding tradition of being the first lending library for children in Downtown Kingston. Its services were also extended to rural parishes (St. Catherine, Manchester and St. James) via a railway system. The Library also offered services to the Half Way Tree and Franklyn Town Junior Centres respectively (both closed today).
The specific date of our inception is 1940, a year after the idea for its existence was conceptualised by Robert Godwin Beresford Verity, M.B.E., C.D (1912— 1985) with the help and encouragement of The Honourable Sir Phillip Manderson Sherlock, O.M. (1902 – 2000) (Secretary/Librarian at the Institute of Jamaica at the time).
Addition of the Simón Bolívar Library
The Simón Bolívar Library, located at the Simón Bolívar Cultural Centre was newly added to the Library Department in 2016. The Library exists to serve the clientele of the Simón Bolívar Cultural Centre in support of its AfterSchool Programmes, but chiefly the Library preserves and provides access to material relevant to the life and works of Simón Bolívar, as well as important material on the Latin American Culture.
Major Functions of the Library Department include:
Reference – This is where we facilitate research and education. Students as well as their parents call in requests or walk in to the Library and make requests for information to do assignments, school based assessments (SBA’s) or simply to stay informed. These books are usually used within the confines of the Library, and in recent times with technological developments, some users request information through email.
Loans – Users of the loans services borrow books from the Library for take home reading. This service allows users to become members of the Library and this membership grants them the chance to borrow two books for a period of two weeks. The life of this membership lasts until they reach the age of 19 years old. Please note that Loans services are only offered by the East Street Junior Centre Library and the eligible membership age is 6-19 years.
Computer/ Internet – This service attracts users mainly for its educational and entertainment value. Students are given the opportunity to use the computer for typing and browsing the internet.
Other services include access to printing and photocopying.
In addition to services provided, the Libraries mounts regular displays on topics of interest such as : historical dates, sites, persons, activities and current issues that affect young children.
The Library’s open hours are Mondays – Thursdays 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Fridays 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. The Library is closed on weekends and holidays.
The East Street Junior Centre Library is located at 19 East Street on the ground floor of the East Street Junior Centre.
The Simón Bolívar Library is located at 10 -12 North Parade, Downtown Kingston.