On January 27, 2017, Ambassador of Japan Toshiyuki Yamada and Palau Public Library’s Librarian Mary Arius signed a Grant Contract, a total amount of US $71,495, to restart the bookmobile program of liberary under Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) .
Since Palau Public Library started its bookmobile program collaborating with PCC Library in 2013, the bookmobile has provided opportunities for children in Palau to be exposed to a variety of books through visiting elementary schools in Koror and Babeldaob every week. However, they had to discontinue the bookmobile in 2015 due to the deterioration of the vehicle. Since then, the library staff were able to visit only two preschools in Koror by using their own private car.
Through “The Project for Procurement of Bookmobile for Children in Palau”, one brand new microbus will be granted to Palau Public Library. This microbus will be converted to a bookmobile and will be dedicated to providing library services to children through visiting public and private elementary schools as well as preschools in Koror and Babeldaob every day.
This GGP project will enable Palau Public Library to provide library services for a larger number of children by increasing the number of school visits and with a greater selection of reading materials as the new bookmobile has a larger capacity to carry books than the old one. Furthermore, this GGP project will contribute to the development of Palau Public Library, the only public library available to any individuals in Palau, and enable children in Palau to have better access to books and to broaden their horizons through reading.
At the ceremony, Ambassador Yamada expressed his wish that the new bookmobile would be well used and maintained by Palau Public Library and MOE for a long period of time and that it would lead to further development of friendship between Japan and Palau. In response to his wish, Minister Soalablai assured Ambassador that they would cherish the bookmobile for long-term use.
The Signing Ceremony was held at the Embassy of Japan and witnessed by Minister of Education Sinton Soalablai, Director Andrew Tabelual, Chief Raynold Mechol, President of Palau Association of Libraries Omar Faustino, and related library staff.
Since Japan launched the GGP in 1999, the Embassy of Japan has funded 64 GGP projects (as of January 2017) to assist development at the grassroots level in Palau. The GGP’s focus areas include education, health care and environment, and its eligible recipients are nonprofit organizations and educational institutions, as well as local state governments.
For further information about the GGP, please contact 488-6455 or visit the Japan Embassy website at http://www.palau.emb-japan.go.jp/En/index.html. [/restrict]