Libraries matter

READERS' VIEWS - The Freeman

I think no one among us during our student life that has not passed this very important area in school --the library. Some may not have been there to borrow books alone, but also to see friends or just to sit down or even sleep, but whatever our experiences the library was surely as memorable as other parts of the school, or if there was no personal reason or motivation to be there at all, at least the clearance signing would have forced anyone to enter it at least once in their student life.

Today, we may not notice it, but libraries have metamorphosed into a learning hub for all students whether they visit the library physically or not. Libraries nowadays offer services that sometimes do not need physical presence in this time of pandemic, thanks to technology and the people behind the advancements in the conduct of library affairs. There are now better and more efficient ways to access library resources today with several options provided to the readers. At least for us in the Philippines, we are also catching up with regard to delivery of library resources and services.

With the developments among libraries today, and the different support groups and activities that go with them, the whole month of November every year is Library and Information Services (LIS) month. By virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 837 series of 1991, this commemoration has been established. And each year it has a different theme for the celebration. This year’s theme is “Libraries Building ROADS: Readers, Opportunities, Advocacies, Development, Sustainability”. It has been in line with the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals, specifically with Goal No. 4 to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.” And this particular goal is echoed in the different types of libraries be it a school, academic, special, or public library.

To visit a library at least once in a person’s life is not wasted time. The library materials can offer many kinds of worthwhile experiences. You are put into a different dimension in life through reading, and reading a piece of information opens up opportunities to discover the richness of the human mind, for the library itself is a depository of the different contributions of people through research. It is shared through different means especially nowadays that other means of doing research have been developed. A once-struggling person asking what to do with his/her life might discover that s/he has an advocacy for a certain cause. There the library offers a variety of sources through which one discover passions that can connect him/her with others who might be promoting care for the earth, human rights, education for the marginalized, or other worthy causes. And all these contribute to the development of the human person and the development of the nation as a whole.

Libraries have been consistent with their thrust of safeguarding information and human experiences and they have withstood the tests of time. Sustainability is the magic word that summarizes all the aspects of library resources and services. They contribute to satiate people’s thirst for true and accurate information.

Fr. Alfonso A. Araceli, SVD

University of San Carlos


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