According to Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Asst. Secretary Raymund E. Liboro, librarians will no longer be the typical detached person inside the library with STARBOOKS around.
Instead, more students and library users will approach and rely on them for information they need from a technology such as STARBOOKS, or Science and Technology Academic and Research-Based Openly Operated Kiosk Station, the first science digital library in the Philippines.
Liboro made this statement during the STARBOOKS Convention, one of the activities in the recent 2015 National Science and Technology Week at SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.
Developed by DOST’s Science and Technology Information Institute (STII), the internationally recognized STARBOOKS is user-friendly and may be accessed without Internet connection. It contains local and foreign S&T resources in text, video, and audio formats including journals, investigatory materials, and livelihood videos. The materials cover a diverse range of topics, from food and nutrition, health and medicine, energy, to environment, livelihood technologies, and many others.
“Librarians hold the key to this information in STARBOOKS, which continues to increase,” said Liboro at the Convention, encouraging the librarians to learn how to navigate through its contents and be familiar with the information contained in it. Knowing its contents, Liboro said, will allow them to readily recommend to students and teachers the appropriate materials and sources they need and which they can easily access in STARBOOKS.
In 2013, STARBOOKS gained an ace up its sleeve by acquiring Britannica Ultimate Encyclopedia.
The project marked another milestone last July when it inked a partnership with the National Library of the Philippines (NLP). The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between DOST and NLP, represented by Assistant Director Yolanda E. Jacinto, was the highlight of the STARBOOKS Convention which was attended by officials and staff of STII and NLP, librarians, and library operators.
Under the partnership, select pilot municipal libraries will boost their resources with the addition of STARBOOKS with NLP content into their collection, thus making these extensive materials more accessible to more Filipinos, including students.
“That is why we developed STARBOOKS, to make S&T information more accessible to students,” said DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo. “We want to encourage our students to take up courses in S&T because we believe that to achieve inclusive growth we need to strengthen and beef up the pool of scientists, engineers, programmers that we have today.”
The pilot municipal libraries are located in Quezon City, Manila, Pasig, Marikina, Malabon, Navotas, Las Piñas, Makati, Taguig, Tondo, Mandaluyong and Pateros.
“Library system as a platform is evolving. Digital is the way to go,” Liboro told the audience.
Recently, STARBOOKS earned the nod of the international community when it was awarded with the American Library Association Presidential Citation for Innovative International Library Projects last June 29, 2015 at the International Librarians Reception at the San Francisco Library in San Francisco, California.
Meanwhile, Liboro announced at the Convention that STARBOOKS will eventually be accessed online as well and that Filipinos can now look forward to SUPER STARBOOKS.
SUPER STARBOOKS, he said, will contain some 20,000 livelihood materials, including 120 full-length livelihood videos on “how to make longanisa, chicharon, and a lot more,” said Liboro.
Students check out STARBOOKS during DOST’s just concluded National Science and Technology Week at SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. (S&T Media Service)