Libraries Do Not Need to Compete with Internet Browsers
When writing has become a form of preserving ideas, a place to archive scriptures of knowledge has also been founded. Ancient bibliothecas kept clay tablets consisting of stories and life-changing breakthroughs that shaped the archaic civilizations. These storages of ancient writings evolved into sacred sanctuaries forscholars, researchers, educators, and disciples who venture the vast world of knowledge. Sadly, in the era of the society where the platform of connectivity and sharing of information is the social media, perspectives on authentic information, digitized rumor spreading, misinformation and disinformation become more alarming, relevant, and relative (Pazon, 2018)¹. As archiving information becomes digital, printed reading materials dwindle in the corners of the metro and even in establishments. Most essential pieces of information are compromised, and history records are questioned because the stream of data seems endless, and they overtake one detail with another. ‘Fake news’ has become more conspicuous as it spreads misinformation or hoaxes across various media, considerably to mislead the readers in order to gain financially, politically or otherwise (Renwick, 2018) ². Above all these, a stronghold of knowledge remains firm as the keeper of both documented and factual records. A fort of knowledge that many of us amiss but naturally secure legitimate sources of information. These are the libraries – collection of resources in a variety of formats that are organized by information professionals or other experts who provide convenient physical, digital, bibliographic, or intellectual access and offer targeted services and programs with the mission of educating, informing, or entertaining a variety of audiences andthe goal of stimulating individual learning and advancing society as a whole (Eberhart, 2010) ³. Hence the question, howimportant libraries are in this modern era?
LIBRARY OFFERSONLYACCURATEANDPRIMARY RESOURCES
While it is true that the internet is the most accessible form of acquiring bits of information, it is also undeniable that it is a vast uncatalogued archive which anyone may find difficult to narrow down a specific search. On the other hand, libraries observe a system of organizing their records and books according to their genre of information which once was introduced by Melvil Dewey. The invention of the Dewey Decimal Classification is the pivot of all libraries around the globe where people can exactly pinpoint the reference and the information they want. Various materials holding related information are uniquely organized in permanent locations inside the library so readers can easily acquire multiple citations or resources in one place. Though it sounds too conventional, modern libraries update this method using 2 digital archive and search engines for quick and easy finds as they incorporate DDC into software programs or phone applications for readers’ convenience. Libraries are now offering copies that are published digitally as well that help ease learning especially those in remote areas, and of course these are carefully filtered for the readers. Hence, library is incomparable to any sources out there – libraries help you evaluate your resources and make sure only legitimate records are kept. As UGA (University of Georgia) Libraries put it; reliable source will provide a “thorough, well- reasoned theory, argument, etc. based on strong evidence.” Libraries offer credible sources which include scholarly peer-reviewed articles and books, trade or professional articles or books, magazine articles, and newspaper articles from well-established companies.
LIBRARY IS A SAFE PLACE FOR LEARNERS
In many ways, internet brings the interest of the readers in one place. May it be pop culture, vlogs, and other social media content. Evidently, the rise of social media fosters enablers and trolls who only disseminate hate and hoaxes on the internet – this promotes cyberbullying that most of the young readers engage to. As countermeasure, schools observe the safe spaces for learners which stipulated under DepEd Order No. 31 series of 2022 (Child Rights Policy: Adopting The Rights-Based Education Framework in Philippine Basic Education). A school must promote a safe learning environment for the best interest of the students to ensure their optimum development and free from discrimination and harassment based on gender, culture, religion, or other characteristics. Among all the facilities inside the school, library has always been a convention of creativity and peace. A safe place for students where they can keep their privacy away from their social media andfocus more on things academically important. A generic definition of “safe space” in the higher education environment is a space where faculty, staff, and students can feel secure andfree to express themselves, learn, and achieve without censure or harm (Booker, 2007). Library promotes a safe environment for students in many different levels; libraries have designed smart practices for handling emergencies (Halsted, Clifton, & Wilson, 2014), cybersecurity (American Libraries Association, 2015), and “inappropriate” behavior (Alliance Library System, n.d.; Graham, 2013). Facility wise, libraries observe emergency protocols and guidelines that keep their patrons and learners safe. References are secured to feature only the licit records. Library administers are professionally trained to conduct strict policies against inappropriate behavior inside the facility. With these, learners can focus more on developing their cognitive skills as they solve puzzles, challenge their friends on an intellectual board game, and so on. Libraries are not just repository for books butan adaptable environment for every individual who wants a private space for learning.
LIBRARY IS A MAKERSPACE FOR FUTURE PUBLISHERS AND PROFESSION
Though vlogging and creating content on the world wide web entice many for easy recognition or fandom, this method does not run long. Compare to award-winning novels, well-written screenplays, ancient scripts, and other scholarly written works, published materials preserve not only its recognition but also the knowledge that future generation can be inspired of. Creation of these are mostly brewed inside the libraries where clash of ideas and collaboration of project happen. Truly, libraries are more than a facility but a makerspace for professionals as well. For educators, libraries are gateways to inspiration and knowledge as they play a fundamental role in publishing new studies and research. Now that everything can be digitized, libraries offer opportunities for scholarly publishers of their research, journals, and articles through “institutional repository” where they manage, disseminate, and preserve digital materials of institutional publication or production of school staff, students, and members. Prestigious universities in the country have already launched their own institutional repository such as Archium Ateneo of the Ateneo De Manila, Animo Repository of De La Salle University, and Digital Archives @ Diliman of University of the Philippines.
Overall, libraries will never be obsolete. Technology will just make the institution improve. It’s high time that public schools take care of their libraries and promote them as a safe place and a makerspace for the learners and educators. This generation hopes for more facilities that will make them feel productive and inspired. Hopefully libraries in the future are not only found inside schools but in every community. Hopefully people appreciate the value of primary resources such as books and the facility keeping them. Hopefully the public will preserve libraries like how these facilities preserve history and facts that the next progenies of this nation can depend on.
 Pazon, A. N. R... (2018). Socioscientific Perspectives on ‘Fake News’ in the Era of Social Media among Generation Z Filipinos. Asian Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies, 1(2), 1– 14. https://asianjournal.org/index.php/ajms/article/view/76
 Renwick, M. (2018). Helping Students Search for Truth in an Era of ‘Fake News’. Front and Central. Available at http://frontandcentral.com/k-12-trends/students-struggle-search?truth-erafake-news/. Retrieved dated October 1, 2018.
 Eberhart, G. M. (2010). The Librarian’s Book of Lists. The Librarian’s Book of Lists.
 Carlton, A. (2019, January 24). Ten Reasons Libraries Are Still Better Than the Internet | American Libraries Magazine. American Libraries Magazine. https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/2017/12/19/ten-reasons-libraries-still-better- thaninternet/
 Booker, K.C. (2007). Perceptions of classroom belongingness among African American college students. College Student Journal, 41 (1), 178. Wexelbaum, R. S. (2016). The Library as Safe Space. Advances inLibrary Administration and Organization. https://doi.org/10.1108/s0732-067120160000036002
 Archīum Ateneo. (n.d.). https://archium.ateneo.edu/
 Animo Repository | De La Salle University Research. (n.d.). https://animorepository.dlsu.edu.ph/
 Digital Archives @ UP Diliman. (n.d.). https://digitalarchives.upd.edu.ph
Article Written by:
Allaine A. de Leon
Teacher I - San Juan National High School