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+ SPORTS By Neni Sta. Romana Cruz

Philippine Daily Inquirer
+ ENTERTAINMENT First Posted 23:44:00 07/16/2010 Order refund of P1.7B in ‘unfair’ deductions, GSIS head
+ TECHNOLOGY Filed Under: Education, Schools Aquino opens values, training school for cops
A VISIT to the Pasig Library Hub three weeks ago US envoy visits PMA headquarters
+ Inquirer Opinion
showed a very welcoming and pleasant library setup in
a remodeled Gabaldon school building. It has become a
showcase because it is one of the first library hubs to
be launched three years ago and it has been selected
Talk of the Town as the best one in Metro Manila.
Letters to the Editor
+ Viewpoints What does it take to be the best?
+ Columnists
+ GLOBAL NATION Librarian Digna Aquino admits that she was practically
+ SERVICES “forced” into this assignment. A teacher at Rosario
ABOUT US Elementary School for 35 years, she was happily
ADVERTISE looking forward to retirement when she was challenged
by her principal to head the hub in Pasig. She was told
she was the best person for the job and that she had
INQUIRER ALERT the right personality for it—empty words for her then as
Get the free INQUIRER she dismissed them as nothing more than sweeteners.
Enter your email address: Her stereotype notion of the public school library as a
stockroom was not encouraging. And this warehouse-
type library that the hub was supposed to be made her
Submit think of a large bodega. How could she hold office in
such a set-up? True enough, the structure that became
her turf was nothing but a shell of concrete and tiles.
She then decided to turn this dreary place into “a
palace”—her very words. Quite a pleasant coincidence
Affiliates that this remodeled site used to be the very same IN THIS SECTION MOST EMAILED MOST READ
elementary school she attended.

And what a transformation her excellent public relations, Welcome to the family
goodwill and success story have wrought. In the Exercise in courage
beginning, it was “me and me alone.” Then her son and News, advertisements, and entertainment
his barkada came to help her; this was not for long. Her In protest
harmonious working relationship with the Pasig City Steps and stops
government, supportive citizens and corporate friends
has more than enhanced the basic setup provided More Stories »
every hub: 25,000 books of about 300 titles, plastic
bins for storage and circulation, sturdy and efficient
library shelves.

Aquino maintains an air-conditioned office, a corps of

volunteers of college students on their on-the-job-
training assignments and technology hardware
provided by the city government; she is also getting
more tangible and intangible support from her
networking, which keeps her hub humming with
activities. There is a Storytelling Contest, a Home
Reading Report, a Big Ate program where the students
of the morning session do storytelling for younger
children in the afternoon, and storytelling sessions with
celebrity guests like Luli Arroyo-Bernas. Aquino also
ensures that the 40 public schools the hub services Print in a Box / Calliope
continue to borrow six bins of books a month as the Printing Services
Professional Printing services
students have told her how much they look forward to that make you look good.
the coming of a fresh supply of books borrowed by the Email:
school’s teacher-librarian or the principal.

And in case one did not take notice, she points out that
the curtains—again, a solicitation—that add softness
Goldilocks Bakeshop Inc.
and warmth are “parang pang-Malacañang.” There are Make your wedding perfect to
floral arrangements on posts here and there, and she the last detail with beautifully
says she recycled them from a recent graduation handcrafted cakes from
ceremony she attended. Her principal was right; there Goldilocks. For customized
could not have been a better person for the job. wedding cake designs.
Aquino is living evidence of what it takes to run a hub.
That the work is never done and the books never
adequate, she has realized early on. She is seeking
donations from civic groups for more books, especially
for the secondary level. Right now, all that the library
can offer high school students is “Lord of the Rings,” a
donated title from the World Bank when the initial OTHER COLUMNS
reading list was drawn up. Not a bad choice, but an
Moments : Steps and stops / Fr. Jerry Orbos
admittedly limited one.
Moments : Steps and stops / Fr. Jerry Orbos
For the elementary grades, she recommends donations At Large : Welcome to the family / Rina Jimenez-David
of 10 titles of 50 copies each. To her, this simplifies for Method To Madness : In protest / Patricia Evangelista
of 10 titles of 50 copies each. To her, this simplifies for Method To Madness : In protest / Patricia Evangelista
the teachers the availability of class sets which can be Public Lives : News, advertisements, and entertainment
used throughout the year, so that at least one title is / Randy David
read by the class every month.
With Due Respect : Exercise in courage / Artemio V.
Aquino’s efforts have not gone unrecognized. That
same morning, the hub was featured on national
television. Every time the Inquirer has its Read-Along
sessions, the Pasig Library Hub clientele are regular

It is hoped that this noteworthy project of the

Writing Contest
Department of Education flourishes even more with the
incoming education secretary. There are 150 hubs in Writers Literary Agency For Authors We
operation with a hundred now under construction. The Find Publishers, Submit Online.
library hubs are an obvious favorite of mine because
literacy ought to be everyone’s priority. It is amazing
even to me that this brainchild of former Education RFID System for Library
Undersecretary Juan Miguel Luz has survived and LibBest Library RFID Management,
weathered the many changing of the guards since its Security System
inception in 2006. One reason is that Luz, although
keeping a watchful and solicitous eye on the endeavor
from a distance, has truly manifested concern for the Library Software
continuing existence of the hubs to bring books to all
The solution to Cataloging, Searching
school divisions where otherwise a variety of books
would not be available at all. And in a most refreshing and Circulating Anything
gesture, he has not bothered to inscribe his name on
any of the hub paraphernalia to claim credit for the

For more info on the Library Hub Project, please contact Beverly Gonda Rebarme of the DepEd
( who has almost singlehandedly overseen the project.

Neni Sta. Romana Cruz ( is a member of the Philippine Board on Books for Young People,
the Foundation for Worldwide People Power, and a trustee of the Sa Aklat Sisikat Foundation.

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Moments : Steps and stops / Fr. Jerry Orbos
Moments : Steps and stops / Fr. Jerry Orbos
At Large : Welcome to the family / Rina Jimenez-David
Method To Madness : In protest / Patricia Evangelista
Public Lives : News, advertisements, and entertainment / Randy David
With Due Respect : Exercise in courage / Artemio V. Panganiban

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