[Blueboard] Library Hubs

pathways at admu.edu.ph pathways at admu.edu.ph
Wed Feb 11 08:29:39 PHT 2004

Please post.

Good morning! :) Please find the time to read our article at The Manila Times 
today and help out our cause by sharing this with other people :) Thank you 
and may you have a good day! :)

The link to the article is:


or you may read the article below:

Library Hubs
by: Harvey S. Keh
The Manila Times, February 11,2004
If we are to believe that reading leads to learning then do not be surprised 
if you find that more than half of our students in the public schools 
eventually graduate from elementary schools without even knowing how to read 
properly or worse, without learning anything. This can be traced to the fact 
that aside from the lack of textbooks, another major problem that is currently 
facing our education system is the lack of libraries or to be more specific, 
the lack of books to read. Out of the 42,000+ public schools in the country, 
less than 30 percent have functional libraries. 

Among those schools that are lucky enough to have a reading center or a 
library, majority do not even have a 1:1 book to student ratio in their 
collection. If this goes on, then we might as well just bid adieu to our so-
called competitive edge when it comes to our “supposed” mastery of the English 
language. The job opportunities in call centers and in the nursing industry 
are among those that are heavily dependent on the Filipinos’ grasp of English 
yet as recent studies have shown, although there is an increasing demand for 
call center representatives, our country cannot even meet up to this demand 
due to the fact that most of us cannot even speak one sentence in straight 
English. We can blame media or our texting mentality for this but one thing is 
for sure, our education system is one of the major factors for growing 

This current situation is probably foremost in the agenda of the Department of 
Education (DepEd) thus it eventually came up with the proposal to put up 
Library Hubs to provide books and other learning materials to the different 
public schools all over the country. The plan according to Undersecretary Juan 
Miguel Luz is to establish a Library Hub containing 20,000-100,000 books in 
every school division that would serve as a “wholesale library” servicing both 
elementary and secondary schools in their areas of coverage. 

Each school can then borrow book bundles from the hub for a period of 30 days 
after which they would return these bundles, making them eligible to borrow 
other bundles. The bundles are proposed to be grade level (e.g., Grade 1 
through HS IV) specific and subject specific (i.e. English, Filipino, 
Science). Eventually, Usec. Luz explains that the main aim of this is to be 
able to provide all schools with access to a large library of reading and 
other instructional materials. 

Another good thing about this proposal is that schools need not anymore worry 
about procuring books but can just concentrate in creating effective reading 
programs for their students. Finally, through this program the grand vision is 
to ensure that every child is a reader by the time he or she finishes Grade 3. 
In order to ensure that this project will be a resounding success, the DepEd 
has invited to be its partners for this project several organizations and 
foundations that have had reasonable amounts of success when it comes to 
implementing reading programs for public school students. These organizations 
include the Museo Pambata Foundation, Synergeia Foundation, Books for the 
Barrios, Sa Aklat Sisikat Foundation, Reading Association of the Philippines, 
Ateneo de Manila-Pathways, Gokongwei Brothers Foundation and the Makati 
Business Club. Through this private sector partnership, the DepEd hopes to be 
able to ensure the continued progress and sustainability of this project even 
if there is a change in its leadership. A pilot run of this project in Bacolod 
City in cooperation with the local government is currently being planned to 
start by March this year. 

With this new development, I think that the DepEd is taking the right steps 
toward formally meeting head-on the challenge of eradicating nonreaders in our 
public schools. However, this problem cannot be solved overnight more so with 
the DepEd’s limited resources. It will need the support of concerned 
individuals like you and me who will join them in this fight toward ensuring 
that our children will grow up knowing how to read and having a bright future. 

If you would like to help or know more about this project, you may call the 
Department of Education at 631-9640 or 63213 61 local 2007. 


Speaking of reading programs, around 30 freshmen college students of the 
Ateneo de Manila University, recently conducted half-day story-telling 
sessions with more than 200 Grades 1-3 students from San Roque Elementary 
School and Santo Niño Elementary School in Marikina City. This experience 
proved to be a very enriching experience both for the elementary school kids 
and the Ateneo volunteers. For the kids, this instilled in them the importance 
of reading and an appreciation for learning while for the volunteers it gave 
them a chance to share with these children their God-given talents in reading 
and story-telling. The volunteers underwent a whole day seminar on How to 
conduct Story-Telling Sessions given by Ms. Ace Elgar of Fil-Way Marketing 
Inc., before they did this activity. If you would like to know more about this 
program, you may contact the Pathways office at 426-6001 loc. 4049. 
For comments, please email the writer at hkeh at ateneo.edu

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