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More on Library Hub

In "Library Hub," I mentioned that there might be problems in continuing the DepEd project now that Miguel Luz, its chief proponent, is not with DepEd anymore. An article in Philippine Star gives some hope when it indicates that Ralph Recto, a senator, is supporting the creation of library hubs all over the country. The word "librarian," unsurprisingly, does not appear anywhere in the article.

The link to the article is provided below, but since Philippine Star links "die" very quickly, I have also copied the full text so that others can still read the article when the link dies.

"3 in 4 recent elementary grad [sic] can’t read"
By Sandy Araneta
Philippine Star, 6 November 2005

Because three in every four recent elementary school graduates cannot read without help, the Department of Education (DepEd) is to set up book depots named after the country’s writers to instill a culture of reading among the young.

Sen. Ralph Recto said the government through DepEd will set up 60 "library hubs" and 12 regional education learning centers next year.

Recto, vice chairman of the Senate committee on finance, said the library hubs will be like "book depots" that will serve surrounding schools.

He said the government will spend P120 million to build the first batch of these "textbook centrals and reading malls."

Based on the DepEd briefer on the project which was submitted to the Senate, each hub will contain an initial 50,000 books.

They will serve as "wholesome libraries that will lend books by the hundreds to elementary schools to promote in-school reading program," the DepEd said.

To augment each library’s inventory, government is encouraging the private sector to donate books and to defray the cost of running it.

"Donations are of course tax deductible," Recto said.

A regional education learning center of RELC, on the other hand, will serve as "a regional base for in-service training and the development of indigenous instructional materials."

"They’ll serve as workshops for the creation of books that serve local needs," Recto explained.

He said the government plans to build 300 library hubs in the next few years.

He has proposed that each library be named after a deceased local writer, to honor his work and to make him a model for the young.

"For example, the one in Manila can be named after Nick Joaquin, and in Quezon City, after Franz Arcellana. If one will be put up in Pangasinan, it can be called the Carlos Bulosan Library. The Davao hub can be in honor of Alfrredo Navarro Salanga. Pateros children may soon be borrowing books from the Eman Lacaba public library," Recto said.

"The list is endless. The best way to honor our writers is to name after them places where children go to read," he added.

The DepEd recently partnered with Dole Asia Ltd. to institute the Library Hub Project inDavao City.

Dole official John Dioquino pledged P2 million in support of the DepEd’s "Every Child a Reader by Grade 3" program.

Under the agreement, DepEd launched the Library Hub Project to bring books to public schools nationwide and make every Filipino child a reader.

Warehouse libraries with an adequate number of storybooks and supplementary reading materials will be set up in over 180 school divisions nationwide within a period of five years.

These wholesale libraries will be stocked with at least 10,000 to 25,000 books in smaller divisions, to as many 50,000 to 200,000 in larger divisions.

Since the establishment of libraries in over 40,000 public schools is prohibitive in cost, the DepEd’s system-wide solution is to partner with local government units, non-government organizations, and private corporations such as Dole Asia, former undersecretary Juan Miguel Luz said.

Category: Libraries—Public Schools

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