VILLAREAL, Samar – A public library is thriving in this quaint and sleepy town, attracting students, government workers and even the ordinary Juans of the town.
The library, maintained by the municipal government, was established in 1989, stuffed with few books and other reading materials donated by the mayor at that time, Augusto Cabueños.
But over the years and thanks to the generosity of private groups and individuals from the town as well as by the National Library of the Philippines (NLP), an office under the Office of the President which has vast collection of books and other reading materials working closely with local government units, the municipal library has now over 2,000 books and reading materials like newspapers ready for use among its users.
Dea Manicane, the librarian, said that she is glad that despite of the presence of two internet shops in their town and modern gadgets where information could easily be accessed, many still come to the library.
Among its regular users is Hyddeh Varela, a senior high school student at the Villareal National High School.
“The library helps a lot in my studies because it is accessible and I can research topics which are advanced from what we have in school,” she said.
The municipal library is located at the old legislative building in 2012 and sustained damage when Villareal was hit by typhoon “Ruby” last year.
But before it was relocated to its present site, the facility had to share a small space with the municipal information agency.
Manicane said that she regularly attends seminars conducted by the NLP to update its content and to know the latest trends in books and digital collections.
Villareal (population: 27,230) is a small coastal town in Samar province 57 kms away from the regional center of Tacloban City. (JONABEL L. SALAZAR, contributor)