Early in 1901, the Board of Trustees of the American Circulating Library donated the library’s collection to the Government of the Philippines. The Philippine Commission passed Act No. 96 on March 5, 1901, officially accepting the donation and established the first public library in the country – the National Library of the Philippines.
Succeeding years saw the growth of the National Library of the Philippines. Through Act No. 2572, passed on January 31, 1918, it was merged with two other government agencies – the Executive Bureau’s Division of Archives, Patents, Copyrights, and Trademarks and the Law Library of the Philippine Assembly – and became known as the Philippine Library and Museums. Act No. 3477, passed on December 7, 1928, created the National Library and the National Museum as two separate government agencies. In 1947, Executive Order No. 94 renamed the National Library as Bureau of Public Libraries. Then under Republic Act No. 3873, passed on June 18, 1964, the Bureau of Public Libraries was renamed the National Library of the Philippines.