The realization of the aim to transform Valenzuela City into a “Reading City” is now within reach with the formal inauguration of a Library Hub which shall serve as repository of supplementary reading materials for public elementary and high school students.
DepEd Valenzuela City Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Flordeliza Mayari, who led the inauguration last week, is optimistic that this goal can be achieved “with the support of Mayor WIN Gatchalian who is one with us in developing in every Valenzuelano students the habit of reading. We believe that reading is the foundation of learning.”
At the Hub, unlike in the traditional public library, instead of being individually placed on shelves, reading materials of 50 pieces per title are stored in plastic bins for storage. Five to six bins can be checked out by teachers of public schools to their respective classes, to be returned after 120 days. Students can bring them home until they are returned to the hub. It would house not textbooks but rather reference and reading books, and literary pieces from both local and foreign authors, including the writings of our National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal.
This deviation from the traditional library set-up can definitely cover a greater number of students. “DepEd studies show that improved reading proficiency enhances academic performance because students can comprehend better what they are reading,” Mrs. Beverly Berame, Project Team Coordinator and Representative of DepEd Undersecretary for Finance and Administration, Francisco Varela said.
The Valenzuela City Library Hub occupies two huge rooms located at the Valenzuela City Astrodome in Barangay Dalandanan renovated by the City Government for the purpose. It has storage areas for keeping the bins of books, a reading area for browsing the titles and an area where activities, such as, storytelling can be held. It will be managed by a trained librarian and will have a broadband connected computer unit for accessing sites, such as the National library’s e-lib.
The Library Hub is built under the public-private partnership (PPP) model. Valenzuela has applied for a Hub in 2005 but it did not materialized. Through the efforts of Mayor WIN, DepEd Valenzuela reapplied through the sponsorship of the five (5) Rotary Clubs in Valenzuela. The Rotary Clubs donated the shelves, bins and pens, and will likewise, donate books. The City Government, on the other hand, aside from providing the physical structure will shoulder the manpower cost. In return, the DepEd Central Office approved the purchase of 20,000 books worth PhP 8 Million pesos to be delivered this summer.
Coun. Lorena Natividad-Borja, who represented Mayor WIN in the event, said that aside from the enormous support that the City Government provides for the success of the Hub, “A proposal to build a City Public Library is currently under discussion at the City Council.”
The day after the inauguration, an orientation seminar followed at the Valenzuela City Auditorium to provide the principals and the school librarians a crystal clear perspective on the ins and outs of this initiative.
Also joining the inauguration were Library Hub Project Director, Dr. Prudencia Cruz; 1st District Councilors, Cora Cortez and Tony Espiritu; 2nd District Councilor, Cecil Mayo; VC Shares, Head Ms. Elizabeth Chongco and the generous officers of the Rotary Club of Valenzuela headed by past President, Mr. Benjie Ngo and current President, Ms. Praceli Nelson.