Thursday, July 3, 2008

Status of Public School Libraries in the Philippines by David A. Cabonero

In the book authored by Maria Orendain, et al. (1991) entitled, Philippine Schools Librarianship, she mentioned that:

The quality of elementary and secondary education is greatly enhanced by a functional school library service. School library has been recognized as one of the vital parts of a school system. It is one place where children form basic concepts about the world, where dreams, aspirations, and values are born and developed.

While it is true that the trend this century is information and communications technology, Philippine school libraries are still left behind and continue to struggle. Vernon Totanes (2006) in his conference paper entitled, Money and Leadership : A Study of Theses on Public School Libraries Submitted to the University of the Philippines’ Institute of Library and Information Science, states that "The biggest challenge facing public school librarians in the Philippines today is the thought that there is no money to pay for the improvements that need to be made." He further explained that: "After all of these years, it is time perhaps to accept that the government does not consider public school libraries a priority in the allocation of scarce resources."

I firmly believe that "Library is one of the indicators of a progressive educational institution in a country." In the case of higher education institution such as De La Salle University, University of Santo Tomas, Ateneo de Manila University, Centro Escolar University, and many more has a high concern or value on library because it is one of the contributing factors in producing a competent graduate.

In the study of Concordia Sanchez in 1940, “A Survey of Philippine Public Elementary School Libraries,” revealed that: School library conditions are not conducive to effective library service as required by modern education; Books are merely accessioned, but neither classified nor cataloged; The housing conditions provided for the library, if any, are poor, and the furniture and equipment are inadequate; The library is not open long enough for students to use it to the fullest extent; Some schools do not even open their libraries at all… Library instruction is given but it is inadequate, disorganized, and has no definite place in the curriculum; and The librarians have not had any training in library work. For more than six (6) decades, this study has not changed at all. In general, the worse scenario is "There is no school librarian not even a teacher-librarian in elementary public schools." For those with what they call a library, it has a low level of compliance to DepEd library standards.

I am glad that there is such a thing as "Search for the Most Functional Library." I hope that this program of the Department of Education will continue to show that they have also concern in public school libraries. But the most important thing that DepEd must consider is the creation an item for school librarian or teacher-librarian in public schools in the country.


Anonymous said...

can i have a copy of the library standards?...thanks

Anonymous said...

Since there is no new DepEd Library Standards, they are still using the DECS Standards published in 1998.

Anonymous said...

I am a public school librarian. I am very much confused if the textbooks must be in my library since I attended national seminar and one of the speaker told us that Textbooks has no place in our library. I really need some memorandums for DepEd about that. Maybe Library Standards that we will be going to follow. Thank you