If there’s one thing I’ve always been, it’s a bookworm. I’m always halfway through some kind of book, and lately it’s been hiking autobiographies as I’m prepping to hike the Appalachian Trail. But every now and then, I sneak off to the library when I have a morning off and sit and read something totally unrelated. I’ve been to every public library of any place I’ve ever lived, including Elizabeth in New Jersey, so I’ve seen a wide range of quality. I was actually really surprised when I discovered St. Thomas has a public library, but then again, St. Thomas is very unpredictable. The St. Thomas Regional Library in Tutu is one of best libraries I’ve been to.
The library is in Tutu, right up the hill from Plaza Extra and K-Mart. I love the location because it’s right off the safari line and super convenient to other stores if I need to run some errands. It’s really a lovely building- it’s place yellow and stone from the outside. The front of the building is actually facing outwards from the driveway hill. I think it would probably be obvious if you were driving and needed to find a parking space, but I was walking and stopped at the first steps I got to. I probably spent fifteen minutes wandering around, trying to find the doors, until a nice man told me to keep going up the hill.
The inside of the building is really nice (it was just completed a few years ago) and it has three levels. There are, of course, tons of books, and there are also computers for people to use if needed. One of my favorite parts of the library is the children’s area- there’s tons of books, lots of tables and space to read/study/color, and there is a huge pillow-cushioned area on the floor to lounge and read. From what I could see, the selection of books was very solid. I also learned that there is weekly reading-time, where a librarian reads to the children, and I think that’s really sweet and thoughtful.
The building is nice and air-conditioned, with large windows to let the sunshine in. The librarians are all really nice, in my experience, and have been really helpful in finding specific books for me. The process of getting a library card is also pretty simple. The crucial thing that is needed is a proof of residency, which can be in the from of a license or a voter’s registration card. I have neither, so I technically don’t have a card yet. However, from working at restaurants I do have a VI Food Handlers Card, and I also have a note from my landlord confirming I live where I do, and in the past that has worked as a local I.D. Even though I can’t check out books, I found a free selection of books in the back of the library. It’s books that the library has too many copies of anyways, so I can take them home for keepsies. I usually return them, though, so other people can enjoy the same thing I have.
Because I work at a restaurant and have a weird schedule, I don’t go to the library in the afternoons when activities usually are and therefore don’t have an opinion on the how involved the library is with the overall community. But as far as things to do on the islands, there are few better places to relax.