Mason Students Create Library for Andros Island

Posted: January 23, 2001 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Nine George Mason undergraduates spent their winter break in the Bahamas helping to build the first community library on the Staniard Creek settlement of Andros Island. The island is located 200 kilometers southeast of Miami, just west of Nassau.

The project arose from a longstanding relationship among George Mason’s libraries and Center for Field Studies, the College of the Bahamas, and the Staniard Creek community. The Center for Field Studies has been sending books to the island for the past four years. Last summer, seven Fairfax County high school students began to sort the books, the bulk of which were donated by Northern Virginia citizens and George Mason’s libraries.

Student volunteers integrated the new books into the existing collection, shelved the books, developed a community-accessible database, and offered the library as a gift to the settlement. The library is tailored to serve the cultural, educational, and leisure purposes for community members of all ages.

“It’s a lot more than a collection of books,” says James Young, George Mason librarian and the project leader. “The students really interact with the community by getting to know community members and assisting them in getting their library off the ground.”

For more information, contact Young at x39051.

Write to at