The dedicated employees of the 56-year-old Odiongan Public Library are committed to preserving one of the oldest libraries in the province in the midst of digitalization.
Established in 1967, Odiongan Public Library is a testament to the love for books and learnings of former municipal councilor Richard Gomez Gabay, and Peace Corp volunteer William Henderson, the known founder and initiator of the project.
During the Kapihan sa PIA Romblon on November 9, Nedina Grimares, officer in charge of the library, said that despite the challenges brought about by the rapid digitalization of information and resources, the library’s employees remain committed to their mission.
“It is still important to preserve this library because some of our books here are not available online, that is why some students who are researching still avail our services despite new technology,” according to Grimares.
Grimares has been working as the chief librarian of the public library since 1994.
While the prevalence of e-books, audiobooks, and online resources has changed how people access and consume information, the library staff believes there is still a place for physical libraries.
The library is also been improving its services through the support of other government agencies. Department of Information and Communications Technology few years back provided five desktop computers to be used by the public for their research. Meanwhile, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas provided books and articles that can be consumed by the public.
To preserve the library, Grimares calls on the public to continue visiting Odiongan Public Library and avail of its services.
November was declared as Library and Information Services Month through Proclamation No. 837 series of 1991.
LGU asked to intervene to preserve the library
Also during the Kapihan sa PIA Romblon, Romblon Media Association Vice President Emmanuel Eranes appealed to the local government unit to step in and help preserve one of Odiongan’s educational treasures.
The library is facing several challenges, which were brought to light by Grimares. Among the issues mentioned are the shortage of bookshelves, slow internet connection, a leaky roof, outdated books and technology, and a shortage of personnel.
Recognizing the library’s importance to the community, Eranes emphasized that urgent action is needed to address these problems and ensure the library’s continued vitality.
Odiongan Public Library is currently under the management of the Office of the Municipal Vice Mayor.