DEMOC­RACY IN THE PHILIP­PINES: SET­TLING THE BASE­LINE FOR LI­BRARIES

Ma. Es­mer­alda A. Abarabar

PLAI Congress 2018 Program - - PLENARY SESSION | DAY 2 -

Uni­ver­sity of the Philip­pines Dil­i­man Email ad­dress: [email protected] Ab­stract

Democ­racy is one of the bind­ing el­e­ments in the col­lec­tive con­scious­ness of Filipinos. As a so­ci­etal group, we pride our­selves as a demo­cratic na­tion, giv­ing high re­gard to civil lib­er­ties and peo­ple in­volve­ment in gover­nance. The struc­ture of our gov­ern­ment and its in­sti­tu­tional mech­a­nisms are pat­terned to sup­port it. So­cial­iz­ing agents have made so much of it such that it is con­sid­ered as in­her­ently good. In this grand scheme of af­fairs, the au­thor finds it note­wor­thy to ex­am­ine how li­braries are sup­port­ing or mak­ing these demo­cratic ideals work.

As a so­cial agent, li­braries have the re­spon­si­bil­ity to in­cul­cate or im­press upon its com­mu­nity the set of val­ues, com­mu­nal virtues, or so­ci­etal ideals to which it ad­heres. The In­ter­na­tional Fed­er­a­tion of Li­brary As­so­ci­a­tions and In­sti­tu­tions (IFLA) states in its Code of Ethics for Li­brar­i­ans and Other In­for­ma­tion Work­ers that li­braries have re­spon­si­bil­ity to in­di­vid­u­als and so­ci­eties.

This pa­per aims to es­tab­lish an in­dex by which li­braries may be mea­sured as to how they are sup­port­ing or can con­trib­ute to make democ­racy work in the Philip­pines. This would be done by com­par­ing and con­trast­ing var­i­ous demo­cratic indices and cre­ate a new set of ag­gre­gate based on the data of the Philip­pines for the past three to five as­sess­ment pe­ri­ods. From this new in­dex forged after the Philip­pine ex­pe­ri­ence, this pa­per would pro­pose a set of cri­te­ria that enu­mer­ates ways in which li­braries may be guided or may as­sess their col­lec­tion, prac­tices, projects, and ad­vo­ca­cies with re­spect to mak­ing or keep­ing democ­racy alive.

Key­words: democ­racy; li­braries; so­cial agents

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