History of National Library of Solomon Islands

History of National Library of Solomon Islands

The National Library of Solomon Islands was established in 1974 with the aim of reorganising existing library services and extending reading services to the entire nation. The Library was responsible for creating a National Union catalogue of all holdings in the Solomon Islands and for collecting material relating specifically to the Solomon Islands. The post of National Librarian was created, filled on secondment by an adviser from New Zealand, Sally Edridge. Discussions were held about forming regional libraries and purchasing reference books and adult and children's fiction books.

Small batches of library books were issued to government stations in the mid-1950s, but the service did not extend to villages. In 1957, funded by the South Pacific Commission, a 2,500-book travelling library was prepared to circulate around the Protectorate, packed in twenty-four strong, waterproof boxes fitted with carrying handles. The books, for both adults and children, were carried to villages during District Commissioners' tours and changed over on subsequent visits. In the 1960s these mobile libraries were still circulating, distributed through Local Government Councils (q.v.) and primary schools. (NS Mar. 1959, 21 Apr. 1966, no. 8, 1968; Allison 1959)