Volume 2 (December 2014)


The rusted red galvanize roof has found its way into our literature and forms part of the Caribbean architectural landscape. When Colin Laird designed the Trinidad and Tobago National Library building, he incorporated aspects of corrugated zinc into the design aesthetic. This bold choice had its critics and celebrants, in fact Raymond wrote of the galavanise:

"Well, it's galvanise at its most elegant: panels of corrugated metal sheeting with a modern, brushed-steel sheen, and window awnings that echo, with affection and respect, the pitched roofs of every house in Belmont and Laventille. It's a building with a sense of place and another important but even scarcer quality: a sense of humour."

The rusting roof nestled under fruit trees can evoke feelings of nostalgia in the Caribbean, of idyllic childhood, the lullaby of rain, and of bygone days. But underlying this nostalgia can also be the discomfiture of what the rusted roof represents. It speaks of poverty in some instances and also alerts residents that the physical structure, the proverbial "roof over one's head" needs attention.

The articles presented in Volume 2 of Caribbean Library Journal function as our red roof as they encourage us to reflect on the physical library plant, our business operations, health and safety issues, and the new services we offer to our clients. These articles are timely as Caribbean librarians have to consider how best to reposition themselves to succeed in our current business environment and how best to repurpose our space to suit myriad needs while at the same time keeping the health, safety and comfort of our employees at the forefront of our initiatives.

To find solutions to the issues related to library structures (managerial or physical) is one way Caribbean librarians can demonstrate innovation.

I wish to thank Darron Small, artist and photographer, for providing the thought provoking image for our cover.


Raymond, Judy. 2003. "Lure of the National Library." Trinidad Guardian. 2nd June 2003.