Six schools in Oriental Mindoro recently joined the growing list of academic institutions in the province that acquired the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) internationally awarded digital science library dubbed as STARBOOKS, or Science and Technology Academic and Research-based Openly Operated Kiosk Station.
The first of its kind in the Philippines, STARBOOKS is a stand-alone research platform with a user-friendly interface. It requires no Internet connection and contains science information from local and international sources.
Schools that received their new STARBOOKS kiosks last September 17, 2015 were Domingo Yu Chu National High School in Pola, Bulbugan National High School in Gloria, Bansud National High School and Cawayan National High School in Bansud, Mindoro State College of Agricultural Technology (MinSCAT) Calapan City Campus, and MinSCAT Bongabong Campus.
The six schools were joined by MinSCAT Main Campus in Victoria, which also acquired the updated version of the groundbreaking digital library from DOST’s Science and Technology Information Institute (STII), developer of STARBOOKS. MinSCAT Main Campus became the first STARBOOKS recipient in the municipality of Victoria when in 2013, it acquired two computer units installed with the country’s first digital science library.
According to Filia Ofilea Vito, school librarian III of MinSCAT Victoria, STARBOOOKS helped a lot in boosting the school’s total library collection. The school is currently pushing for a university status, according to Vito, and to be granted that status, a school should at least have a total of 10,000 titles in its library, including digitized materials. MinSCAT has complied with this requirement, she said, with its current total of 12,000 titles.
If other schools would also acquire STARBOOKS, “even high schools can apply for a university status,” MinSCAT President Dr. Jesse T. Zamora quipped before the start of a STARBOOKS orientation and hands-on training sessions held at MinSCAT Main Campus on the same day.
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.
Among others, STARBOOKS contains books, magazines, journals, scientific and research papers, livelihood videos, and Britannica Ultimate Encyclopedia. These materials cover a vast array of topics on science and technology including medicine, health and nutrition, agriculture, biotechnology, physics, chemistry, computer science, information and communications technology, business and technopreneurship.
The digital science library is also customizable and easy to set up, according to STII Science Research Specialist I Arjay Escondo who conducted the orientation session.
The STARBOOKS orientation and training sessions were attended by librarians, staff and officials of MinSCAT Main Campus, representatives from other elementary and high schools in Oriental Mindoro, as well as DOST-Provincial Science and Technology Center Director Jesse M. Pine.