Standards for Academic Libraries

In an effort to upgrade libraries in private higher education in the Philippines, the Private Higher Education Sectoral Area of the Bureau of Higher Education made a study of the library resources in the country as of SY 1975-76. A survey was conducted using an eight-page questionnaire addressed to head librarians. The Fund for Assistance to Private Education (FAPE) distributed and retrieved the questionnaires through the assistance of the Bureau of Higher Education.

One result of this study was a strong recommendation to implement a Tentative Library Standards for Private Higher Education, which was drafted by the study team and presented to a larger professional group at a national convention of the Philippine Library Association (PLA) on June 3, 1977.

In 1988, PAARL felt that the 1977 Standards needed upgrading to satisfy the current needs of tertiary education, which had undergone several changes. In pursuit of this objective, PAARL created a Standards Committee tasked to formulate the Library Standards for Academic Libraries in the Philippines. Miss Marina Dayrit, PAARL’s founding president, was appointed chairman. Members of this Committee included:

Juana . Abello, UST
Sarah C. de Jesus, UE
Fr. Paul de Vera, OSB,SBC
Perla t. Garcia, DLSU
Rogelio Malilin, ADMU
Esperanza A. Sta. Cruz, PWU
Corazon M. Nera, Recording Secretary

The proposed standards were presented to the general membership in a Seminar-Workshop held at the University of the Philippines-Visayas in Iloilo in October 1988, and again in the seminar-workshop on Map Utilization in the same year. The participants in the Iloilo public hearing were librarians from the Visayas and Mindanao, while those who attended the Manila seminar were librarians mostly coming from Luzon.

The final document was submitted to the Department of Education, Culture and Sports and became known as the DECS Library Standards for Tertiary Education. It was issued as Inclosure no. 3 to DECS Bulletin no. 1 s, 1988. In answer to the growing clamor for a revision of the Library Standards, PAARL conducted a seminar-workshop on Accreditation and Library Standards: Library Achieving Academic Excellence in 1995. This was followed by another seminar on Library Standards: Review & Update held in Davao City in 1998. A Task Force on Library Standards was formed in 1999 to revise the standards based on the proposals agreed upon during the Davao Conference. Headed by Ms. Loreto M. Seriña of Jose Rizal College, the other Members of the Task Force included:

Marlo C. Chavez, SBC
Erlinda F. Flores, UST
Lolita P. Gonzalez, SSC
Teresita G. Hernandez, CEU
Veneranda O. Sajorda, UPH-R
Fe Angela M. Verzosa, DLSU

The draft was presented in the December 1999 issue of PAARL Newsletter and distributed at the General Assembly held at De La Salle University, on January 28, 2000. At the Planning Workshop for the new Board for 2000, the incoming President, Ms. Fe Angela M. Verzosa, appointed Ms. Lolita Gonzales to chair the Task Force in place of Mrs. Seriña, who was subsequently appointed to the Board for Librarians. Verzosa also asked the Board to approve her plan to conduct a series of public hearings before the Standards were submitted for final approval, and to incorporate these hearings as part of the Conference Committee’s scheduled forums. Three public hearings on the revised standards were scheduled as forums for the year
2000 in Manila, and one as a workshop held in Cebu City. The first public hearing was held on March 17, 2000 at the University of Sto. Tomas, with Ms. Salvacion M. Arlante (UP), Ms. Belen Vibar (UAP), and Prof. Candida Agcaoili (UST) as panel reactors. Also acting as moderators were Ms. Sajorda (UPH-R) and Ms. Flores (UST).

The second public hearing was held on June 9 at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, with Dean Ursula Picache (retired UP Dean and PAASCU accreditor), Dean Josephine Sison (UP ILS), and Ms. Perla T. Garcia (DLSU) as panel reactors. Ms. Lolita Gonzales and Ms. Verzosa served as panel moderators. The third public hearing was held last September 13 on the occasion of the 11th Philippine Book Fair held every year at SM Mega Mall, Ortigas Center, Pasig City. Serving as panel reactors were Ms. Corazon M. Nera (CEU, UE), Ms. Teresita C. Moran (Ateneo Professional Schools), and Ms. Celedonia T. Cayaban (DLSUCollege of St. Benilde).

The last public hearing was held in Cebu City during the Seminar on Back to Basics: New Strategies for Millennium Libraries” held at Holiday Plaza Hotel, October 25-27, presided by Ms. Lolita P. Gonzales, with Ms. Corazon M. Nera as resource person.

The 2000 PAARL Library Standard for Academic Libraries was formally presented to the Board for Librarians during the Annual General Assembly on January 26, 2001, and to the CHED Office of Programs and Standards in March 2001 for adoption.

In its efforts to improve the standards reflecting the current library trends as they impact on Philippine Librarianship, PAARL revised these standards in 2010. The 2010 Standards were presented by Task Force Chair, 2000 and 2004 President Fe Angela M. Verzosa at four PAARL Forums (June 18, July 7, August 20, and November 25) for deliberation. It was subsequently approved by the 2010 Board for presentation at the 2011 Annual General Assembly held on January 28, 2011 at The National Library of the Philippines Auditorium. It is fervently hoped that the new standards will continue to serve as a useful model in credentialing academic libraries in the country. It is available for download in pdf from the official website.