THE LIBRARY AS A THIRD PLACE CONSTRUCT: THE CASE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES BAGUIO LIBRARY
Cristina B. Villanueva
University of the Philippines Baguio Email address: [email protected] Abstract
My paper is a narrative of how, in my two years and eight months stay as the OIC University Librarian, the Library was transformed into a hub of study, research, and collaboration. How, despite the drop in enrolment brought about by the government’s K-12 program, the Library managed to increase student readership in 2015 to 2016.
Drawing on Ray Oldenburg’s concept of the third place, which I came across much later, there is a need to provide students with a comfortable, convenient, and stress free environment. This translates to the library easing up access rules and regulations which are age old and no longer necessary. The concept of the third space has opened up the idea of us looking at the library no longer as a mere physical structure of print books but an organization where print and electronic materials together with space and technology converge to satisfy the needs and expectations of students. The transformed, refurbished, improved and upgraded UP Baguio Library has attracted more students, made them appreciate the Library and enticed them to linger and avail of the Library’s resources. And this transformation did not necessitate a huge amount of budget.
Finally, the purpose of my paper is not only to present what the UP Baguio Library has accomplished to improve Library readership. It also seeks to share some practical tips on how to entice readers to make use of the Library without investing heavily on financial resources. These policies and improvements made will hopefully encourage budget strapped libraries to follow in our footsteps. Keywords: University of the Philippines Baguio transformation; library improvement; third place Library; student services; library