Finally, a new public library will soon open in the Municipality of Buhi.
Through the initiative of Mayor Margie Moran-Aguinillo, the project for a municipal library has come to fruition. On November 18, 2019, Mayor Aguinillo wrote a letter to Senator Leila M. De Lima requesting assistance in securing funds for the proposed public library and the concreting of barangay road at Sitio Tobog, Barangay Lourdes, Buhi, Camarines. After almost two years since Mayor Aguinillo sent that letter, the Buhi Municipal Library (BML) now stands proud beside the Buhi Evacuation Center and Buhi Millennium Center.
After years of having no public library, Buhi will now have a conducive place for learning and discovery. A place where everyone, especially students, can have access to information and knowledge.
In the first week of July 2021, the construction of BML has been completed, but this is only the beginning of this project. With no books and available computers, this library will not be completed. Mayor Aguinillo said during a phone interview that the Local Government Unit of Buhi (LGU Buhi) is committed to providing the facilities and personnel needed for this public library.
“The Local Government of Buhi will provide books, computers, and internet connectivity to the public library,” Mayor Aguinillo said while also stressing the importance of innovations and services beyond what a conventional library has to offer.
According to the lady mayor, part of the building might be used for the Technology for Education, Employment, Entrepreneurs, and Economic Development (Tech4eD) Center, a project of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). The Tech4ED Project “provides access points for individuals and communities to bridge the digital and education divide,” as stated on the DICT website.
“We can utilize the equipment provided by DICT to make our public library at par with the current technology. Books and other materials that are traditionally found in a library will be available. However, the need to innovate in these modern times is also important,'” Mayor Aguinillo added.
Public libraries have been a staple source of information and primary source of knowledge for readers and researchers. However, with the advent of the internet, the relevance of public libraries, in general, has seen a slow decline. Thus, BML needs to have the latest collection of materials and be equipped with facilities to accommodate the needs of modern times.
LGU Buhi will coordinate with the National Library of the Philippines and other stakeholders for possible donation drives and other mechanism to acquire up-to-date materials and resources for the library.
When asked about the possibility of hiring a full-time librarian, the mayor mentioned that the plantilla position held by the former municipal librarian, Alejandro “Jim” Ibarbia, had been abolished after his retirement on March 2013. Mayor Aguinillo did not comment further on the matter since the “item” was abolished during the previous administration and that the plantilla position was under the Sangguning Bayan. However, the mayor expressed that she will look into the matter and might request for a creation of a similar item. In the meantime, she will designate an employee who will be in charge of the library while options are still being studied.
Mayor Aguinillo also mentioned that she is thankful to Senator De Lima for the support she has given to this project. “Without the support of the Office of Senator De Lima, this project will not be completed. The people of Buhi, especially the students, will greatly benefit from this public library,” Mayor Aguinillo concluded.
Since the inception of the project, the Office of Senator De Lima has been closely coordinating and monitoring the progress of the said development project.
BML will open soon.