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Remember the USIS Libraries 2

Someone at the Manila Times seems to really care for libraries. Last January, it had an editorial that mentioned the USIS libraries. Last month, it had a more explicit one, again mentioning the USIS libraries. From "Balikatan changes course" (Manila Times, 22 February 2007):

Few Philippine cities and towns boast of a public library. The law calling for the establishment of a library in every town remains a scrap because the municipal governments do not have the money or the interest for a reading center. The National Library in Manila, modest by world standards, has not found a respectable copy on the islands.

Most school libraries are wanting in reading materials. The newest books, the latest newspapers and the basic texts cannot be found in their premises.

There was a time in the 50s and 60s when the most popular American institution in the Philippines was not the US Embassy but the USIS (US Information Service) Library. The library moved several times—in places like the Escolta and Santa Mesa—but members and bibliophiles by the thousands followed it and used its facilities wherever it traveled.

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