Resource materials on disaster preparedness are now included in the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) unique library project dubbed as STARBOOKS, or Science and Technology Academic and Research-based Openly Operated Kiosks.

STARBOOKS is the first digital science library in the Philippines and a recipient of the 2015 Outstanding Library Program of the Year Award by the Philippine Association of Academic and Research Librarians.

Developed by DOST’s Science and Technology Information Institute, It contains tons of science and technology materials in text, audio, and video formats from local and international sources. It has a user-friendly interface and does not require Internet connection.

Among the resource materials on disaster preparedness included in STARBOOKS is the RED Book by DOST’s Project NOAH. A reference guide for emergency and disaster, RED Book contains information on the various hazards caused by earthquakes such as tsunamis and landslides, signs of an impending tsunami and landslide, hazards caused by volcanic eruptions like lahar and pyroclastic flow, the dangers of tropical cyclones, causes of floods and storm surges, preparedness guidelines before, during and after a calamity or hazard, and flood hazard maps of the Philippines’ 18 major river basins.

The RED Book also features DOST-PHIVOLCS’ “How Safe Is My House” checklist for earthquake safety of concrete hollow block houses in the country,guide questions for media reporters when covering a disaster, and emergency hotline numbers, among others.

Meanwhile, DOST-PAGASA’s series of videos for disaster readiness has also been incorporated into STARBOOKS. The videos, dubbed BLTB or bagyo, tsunami, lindol, at baha, serve as easy instruction guides for the public to prepare themselves for typhoons, earthquakes, tidal waves or tsunamis and floods.

Another new inclusion in DOST’s digital science library are supplement materials for the K-!2 educational system and courseware videos for elementary students, promising a more interactive learning and research tool for students around the country.

STARBOOKS also contains books, magazines, journals, scientific and research papers, Britannica Ultimate Encyclopedia, livelihood videos, and others.

In 2014, STARBOOKS was installed in 134 sites around the archipelago. This number was more than doubled in 2015 with a total of 421 installed sites that included universities and schools in remote areas of the Philippines.

Its latest beneficiaries areBataan Peninsula State University’s satellite campuses located in the third-class municipalities of Bagac and Abucay where there is no Internet connection.

STARBOOKS also earned the nod of the international community when it was awarded with the American Library Association Presidential Citation for Innovative International Library Projects in June 2015.

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