(Feature) STARBOOKS: A ‘makeover’ for librarians

By Ma. Cristina C. Arayata

MANILA, Aug. 17 (PNA) — “Quiet please!”

Does this sound familiar to you? Are you one of those who think librarians are like “Miss Minchin” – so serious and so strict?

With STARBOOKS (Science and Technology Academic and Research-Based Openly Operated Kiosk Station), gone are the days when you’d only see librarians inside a typical library.

Based on Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Assistant Secretary Raymund Liboro’s observation, more students and library users will likely approach the librarians in STARBOOKS, the first science digital library in the country.

Liboro cited that librarians hold the key to information in STARBOOKS, which is also increasing in number. As such, he encourages librarians to learn how to navigate through the STARBOOKS’ contents and to familiarize themselves with such contents.

He explained that by knowing its contents, librarians will be able to recommend appropriate materials to students and teachers. These sources, he added, can be easily accessed in STARBOOKS.

“Library system as a platform is evolving. Digital is the way to go,” Liboro said.

STARBOOKS has been developed by DOST’s Science and Technology Information Institute (STII). It is user-friendly and may be accessed without internet connection. It contains local and foreign science and technology 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.

It earned recognition from 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.

Aside from being internationally-recognized, STARBOOKS reached another milestone last July when it inked a partnership with the National Library of the Philippines (NLP). With the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between DOST and NLP, 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.

The pilot municipal libraries are located in Quezon City, Manila, Pasig, Marikina, Malabon, Navotas, Las Piñas, Makati, Taguig, Tondo, Mandaluyong and Pateros.

Liboro said that eventually, STARBOOKS will be accessed online. Thus, Filipinos can look forward to “SUPER STARBOOKS.”

According to Liboro, ‘SUPER STARBOOKS’ will contain some 20,000 livelihood materials, including 120 full-length livelihood videos on how to make longanisa, chicharon, and many more. (PNA)