Criticism arises on why the library can not provide new and more books if the students in the first place are paying for it every semester.
As indicated in the Form 5 (UP Cebu’s study load), every student pays Php700 per semester for the library. This is equivalent to Php1,400 per student every year.
“Bati ug Karaan.” (Bad and old)
This is how Mykah Montilla, a third Mass Communication student, described the books in the University of the Philippines Cebu (UP Cebu) Library.
Some of the students, if not many, say that the books in the library are ugly and old. Some also asserted that the books are lacking and the problem is not everybody can bring it at home like the ones in the reserved sections.
So what is the administration of UP Cebu doing to answer the sentiments of the students?
UP Cebu Librarian Mylah Pedrano said that the Php700 is allocated for book purchases only. The budget for book purchase depends upon the total number of students enrolled in a program, said Pedrano.
Say for example, if there are 100 enrolled students in a cluster, there will be a total of Php70,000 worth of book purchasing budget per semester for that specific program.
However, she added that if a book requested for purchase is more than the budget allocated for the cluster, the money will not be enough. On the other hand, the lesser the book purchase, the lesser the expense, therefore the said cluster will merit “extra money”.
In this case, the “extra money” for that semester remains as a budget for the respective program and will be added to their future library expenses, said Pedrano.
Purchase requests are done by the faculty of the different clusters, granted by the cluster head.
According to Professor Geofe Cadiz, Biology Program Coordinator, the book she ordered for the previous year was granted. Two hardbound books were acquired even without stating the quantity of the books.
Now, she is waiting for the books she recently ordered. “About the recent (purchase) request, I specified the (number of) copies but I don’t know how many will arrive because we also have to consider the price of the book,” Cadiz said.
For some cases, books cannot be directly distributed to the Library after the purchase orders for they have to wait for the results of the bidding or canvassing of the books prices and the availability of the books in the market.
Cadiz added that the librarians should motivate and update every cluster’s faculty to request for book purchases. On the other hand, Pedrano said that they encourage every faculty members to look for the books themselves.
As of now, there are books which are already requested for purchase and are now in the bidding stage. However, there is no definite date on when it will arrive. Also, the UP Cebu Library has a total number of 27,889 book volumes and these books circulated for 19,192 times.
Moreover, students may consider the books as old because of its condition; old and yellowed pages, but Pedrano defended, “One thing you can consider that the books are rich is when it is overused; it is when you see that the books we buy are really useful for the students.”
She pointed out that books in the library are not just for display purposes but as a reference for the students and that the books were worn out because it was passed on different year levels.
She also explained that they cannot provide one book per student in the reserved section because the copies are limited. “Library’s role is to support academic needs. We are not a bookstore or a textbook department, which can provide for each student a copy of what the teacher is using,” she claimed.
“The development of the library is always included in the yearly plans,” Pedrano said.
The administration of UP Cebu headed by Dr. Ritchelita Galapate of the Office of the Dean has a six year development plan that will include the expansion of the library’s building.
There is no definite date when it will be implemented.
A photocopy service will be available in the library next academic year. According to Nikko Natuplag, Student Council 2nd Year Representative and Student Representative on Library Committee, photocopying service guidelines will be issued. The service will start as soon as the photocopy machine arrives. The photocopy will cost Php1.50 per short bond paper and Php2.00 per long bond paper.
UP Cebu Library also has the access to academic OneFile via IP address authentication and remote access. This makes the UP Diliman main library resources available to UP Cebu students through accessing http://infotrac.galegroup.com/itweb/phupcebu?ugroup=inside for on campus and http://infotrac.galegroup.com/itweb/phupcebu?ugroup=remote for remote access.
According to Natuplag, this was integrated last year however students were not very much aware of it.
When asked how to invite students to come in the library, Pedrano said that they are planning to re-do the regular library orientation for the incoming first years.
(Contributed by: Hector Paolo E. Diango, Student, BA Mass Communication III)