Marikina Polytechnic College is the newest proud owner of the internationally-acclaimed “library in a box” of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
STARBOOKS or the Science and Technology Academic and Research-Based Openly Operated Kiosks, the country’s first science digital library developed by experts from DOST- Science and Technology Information Institute (DOST-STII), is a standalone information source containing thousands of digitized local and foreign science and technology resources. STARBOOKS is usually placed in specially designed pod.
Through the initiative of DOST- National Capital Region (DOST-NCR), MPC received one unit of STARBOOKS together with its pod. MPC is the 14th institution in Marikina to receive STARBOOKS. Meanwhile, DOST-NCR Regional Director Dr. Teresita C. Fortuna is a member of the MPC Board of Trustees.
The STARBOOKS turnover and hands-on orientation cum training session conducted by DOST-STII and DOST-NCR personnel last February 23 was attended by the college’s officials, faculty members, I.T. experts, and student organization presidents.
According to Gilda F. Dalit, head librarian of MPC Library Services, STARBOOKS is really a big help for the school, considering the hardships that their library has gone through before the acquisition of the unit.
Two disasters struck MPC’s library previously, causing major loss and damage in the most prized possession of the school. During the height of Typhoon Ondoy in the year 2009, most of their properties were washed out. It will be remembered that Marikina City was one of the most affected areas during the typhoon.
Five years after recovering from the effects of Ondoy, the library caught fire last December 23, 2014, turning thousands of textbooks, undergraduate theses, reference materials, local and international magazines, campus publications, 50 desktop computers, study tables and chairs, trophies, personal documents, and other valuable historical items of MPC into ashes. The cause of fire is still under investigation until today.
After the tragedy, the school received assistance and donations from different institutions including University of the East, San Beda University, De La Salle University, Ateneo de Manila University, University of Asia and the Pacific; the local government unit; private citizens; alumni; and current students.
“We really struggled a lot. We were able to rise back from our bad experience with Ondoy, wherein we were able to bring back the number of our book titles to 6,000 plus, but then the fire came and lost everything again, as in zero,” Dalit said. “But thank God for helping us and giving us the people, who assisted us to get back on track, especially DOST for our new STARBOOKS unit.”
Meanwhile, MPC-OIC President Dr. Virginia D. Bacay consider themselves lucky for having DOST’s STARBOOKS at this point in time. “Maybe we should be happy that we did not get hold of this technology earlier because it might have burned down as well,” Dr. Bacay added.
DOST-STII has deployed more than 790 STARBOOKS units since its launching in 2011. Just recently, the science digital library received the 2015 Outstanding Library Program of the Year from the Philippine Association of Academic/ Research Librarians, Inc. or PAARL last January 2016. STARBOOKS was among the four recipients of the American Library Association Presidential Citation for Innovative International Library Projects last June 2015 in San Francisco, California. It was also featured during the Kuala Lumpur Engineering Science Fair last October 30- November 1, 2015 in Malaysia.
Those who are interested in donating books or other equipment for their library, please contact Mrs. Dalit thru +639293131684.
DOST-STII and DOST-NCR personnel with Marikina Polytechnic College’s officials, faculty members and students.
Rajyl P. Muleta of DOST-STII and Kim L. Atienza of DOST-NCR show the librarians and IT experts of MPC how to use and operate the STARBOOKS. (Photos by Romelie Janelle Maranan)