Thursday, March 09, 2017
117th Philippine Public Library Day
From the Manila Bulletin
Public Library connects, builds communities
Published March 9, 2017, 10:00 PM
THE nation observed the 117th Public Library Day on March 9, 2017, led by the National Library of the Philippines (NLP).
NLP, the premier public library and repository of Philippine history and culture, is the keeper of printed and recorded cultural, intellectual, and literary materials. Its wide Filipiniana collection, books, bibliographic services, journals, databases, maps, stamps, drawings, and manuscripts are rich sources of information and knowledge for Filipino students and researchers.
There are 1,238 public libraries affiliated with NLP, consisting of one regional public library, four congressional district, 49 provincial, 101 city, 577 municipal, and 506 barangay or community libraries. Sharing of information and materials between NLP and public libraries is through computer link-up eLib. NLP provides public libraries with book allocations.
More public libraries were built with the enactment of Republic Act 7743 on June 17, 1994, mandating the establishment of congressional, city, and municipal libraries and barangay reading centers nationwide.
Public libraries bring NLP services in the regions; bookmobiles or mini-libraries make available books, magazines, and reading matters to barriofolk and rural pupils in remote communities. Books on wheels, forming an integral part of the library system, serves as vital link between local governments and community members, provides access to underprivileged segment of population, facilities various government programs, and stimulates reading habits in rural areas where there are no libraries or reading centers.
Public librarians undergo training and seminar by the NLP to update them in their work and to keep them abreast of latest development in the field of librarianship. The NLP is holding this year as part of Public Library Day a four-day national conference of librarians in Davao City on March 14-17, 2017, with the theme, “The Emerging Libraries: Connect, Collaborate, and Build Strong Communities.”
The country’s first public library was the American Circulating Library (ACL) established in Manila on March 9, 1900. On March 5, 1901, the American Military Governor in the Philippines, through Public Act No. 96, accepted the ACL as a donation of ACL Association to the American Insular Government. Public Law Act No. 1935 consolidated all libraries and created the Philippine Library. In 1916, the Philippine Library, Division of Archives, Patents, Copyrights, and Trademarks of Executive Bureau, and the Law Library of the Philippine Assembly were merged and called Philippine Library and Museum (PLM). Twelve years later, the Philippine Legislature separated the museum from the library; Public Law No. 3477 in 1928 changed the name from PLM to National Library.
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