In a heartwarming ceremony held at the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College grounds on November 1st, 2023, the Hunter J. François Library proudly accepted a remarkable donation of books from the Read Japan Project 2022. The event, attended by esteemed guests including the Ambassador of Japan, H.E. Matsubara Yutaka, marked a significant step towards cultural exchange and collaboration.
The Read Japan Project 2022, facilitated through the Nippon Foundation, aims to provide Japan-related, English-language books to academic institutions worldwide. Following a selection process, the Hunter J. François Library was chosen as one of the recipients for 200 books, covering diverse topics such as politics, international relations, economy, society, culture, literature, arts, and history.
The Ambassador expressed his satisfaction that the Hunter J. François Library was selected. Expressing excitement about the books, McDiarmed added, “I believe that these books provide not only academic research value for us but will also enrich the reading pleasure of our community and even more importantly provide an accurate picture of Japan.” SALCC’s Principal, Dr. Madgerie Jameson-Charles, graciously accepted the symbolic donation plaque from Ambassador H.E. Matsubara Yutaka, signifying the cultural exchange.
We are proud to acknowledge not just the addition of these new books to our shelves, but what I believe is a profound cultural exchange and the strengthening of relations between the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Saint Lucia, the Embassy of Japan, and the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College.
This is a testament to the power of libraries as social spaces, where cultural exchanges bring people together to learn, exchange ideas, share, and collaborate.
Kathy BirchMcDiarmed, Head Librarian – Hunter J. Franois Library
McDiarmed expressed her gratitude towards everyone involved, including the Saint Lucian branch of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and the Embassy of Japan, as well as the Japan Publishing Industry Foundation for Culture (JPIC) with support from the Nippon Foundation. The librarian also extended thanks to the college's faculty, staff and students emphasizing the importance of initiatives like the Read Japan Project and the positive impact books and libraries continue to have on society.
The donation signifies a significant milestone for the Hunter J. François Library and the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, fostering greater understanding, knowledge exchange, and strengthening cultural ties between Saint Lucia and Japan.