Gerald C. Koinyeneh
Africa-Press – Liberia. A historic moment unfolded at Liberia’s National Library on Ashmun Street in Monrovia, as Chargé d’Affaires Joel Maybury, accompanied by Director General of the National Archives, Emanuel Lomax, inaugurated the American Shelf.The dedication ceremony marked a significant step in strengthening the ties between Liberia and the United States and providing a valuable resource hub for knowledge, innovation, and cultural exchange.
Chargé d’Affaires Maybury expressed his satisfaction with the choice of the National Library as the location for the American Shelf. He cut the ribbon with pride, officially opening the doors to the American Center. Maybury emphasized the profound historical connections between Liberia and the United States, citing the shared democratic values that unite the two nations. He stated that the American Shelf would serve as a platform for fostering opportunities for Liberians across various spectrums, irrespective of age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or political affiliation.
In his remarks, Maybury said, “Liberia and the United States are the oldest two republics in the world that share common democratic values. We are in the business of building a future together.” He further highlighted the potential of the American Shelf to act as a repository of information about the United States and the diverse programs offered by the Embassy. Maybury urged Liberians to maximize this unique space and its resources for personal and collective growth.
The Chargé d’Affaires encouraged the public to embrace the American Shelf not merely as a collection of books, but as a gateway to a world of learning, exploration, and collaboration. He underscored the library’s role in nurturing knowledge, innovation, and cultural dialogue, thereby contributing to Liberia’s continued development.
During the ceremony, Maybury acknowledged the historical significance of the building housing the National Library, which once served as the residence of Liberia’s first and seventh president, Joseph Jekins Roberts. He promised to conduct further research upon returning to the United States, aiming to enhance the collaboration between the American Shelf and the National Library.
Director of the National Archives, Emanuel Lomax, expressed his gratitude to the U.S. Embassy for its steadfast support in bolstering the National Archive and inaugurating the American Shelf. Lomax revealed plans to leverage the National Library new site to elevate its stature, while also sharing exciting prospects for Liberians to partake in archiving and library-related training in Egypt.
Lomax stated, “Thank you, and we hope Liberia will have one of the finest public libraries within the region.”
One of the highlights of the event came when descendants of Joseph Jenkins Roberts, Theodosia Potter, who proudly represents Robert’s fifth generation, and her granddaughter Annette Potter joined Chargé d’Affaires Maybury and Director Potter to cut the ribbon marking the official dedication of the Shelf.
The dedication of the American Shelf at Liberia’s National Library signifies a significant milestone in the enduring partnership between Liberia and the United States. The event marks the beginning of a new chapter in knowledge dissemination, cultural enrichment, and mutual collaboration, fostering a brighter future for all Liberians.