LOCAL LIBRARIES AS REPOSITORY AND SOURCE OF LOCAL HISTORICAL KNOWLEDGE: CHALLENGES AND PROSPECTS
Ramonnetto S. Gervacio
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas—Ozamiz Branch Email address: ram_gerva[email protected]hoo.com Abstract
There is ample legal anchor in the Philippines for the setting-up and maintenance of libraries by local government units (LGU). Contingent upon the full implementation of R.A. 7743, or the law on the establishment of congressional, city, and municipal libraries and barangay centers, potentially over 43,000 libraries will be established nationwide. However, as of end of 2017, only a little over 1,400 local libraries were affiliated with the National Library of the Philippines.
Apart from the funding shortfall which is a common predicament faced by LGU-operated libraries, there is also that challenge of the relevance of local public libraries. Setting up a mini museum and specialized local history corners are two of the various attempts to make local history relevant to the local population. This paper is based on the key informant interviews conducted among LGU Officers and the Librarians and/or Library In-charge of selected LGU-operated libraries in Northwestern Mindanao. The key informant interview explores receptivity of key LGU Officers towards building the capability of local libraries in documenting and gathering local historical knowledge to include, among others, the collection of old photographs, documents, and other tangible cultural artefacts. A total of five key informant interviews were conducted: 3 in Misamis Occidental and 1 each in Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur.
Local libraries serving as repository and source of local historical knowledge is well-supported by the key LGU officers. Of the five LGUoperated libraries, 3 have a mini museum featuring local artefacts and the Philippine currencies. Funding and personnel training remains the two leading challenges identified by the key informants.
Keywords: LGU-operated libraries; local history