Offline digital library helps rebuild Eastern Visayas after super typhoons

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Typhoon ?Yolanda? may have ravaged Region 8 in 2013, and typhoon ?Ruby? destroyed in 2014 what was rebuilt from what was left, but the local?s thirst for knowledge can not be crushed.

Librarians and personnel learn to operate Starbooks at the SLSU, Sogod, Southern Leyte through a brief training course handled by DOST-STII staff. -- Photo by Joy M. Lazcano, DOST-STII
Librarians and personnel learn to operate Starbooks at the SLSU, Sogod, Southern Leyte through a brief training course handled by DOST-STII staff. — Photo by Joy M. Lazcano, DOST-STII

The biggest proof of this is the additional five units of Starbooks (Science and Technology Academic and Research-Based Openly Operated Kiosk Stations) that were turned over to the Southern Leyte State University (SLSU) in Sogod town to be deployed in Bontoc, San Juan, Hinunangan, and Tomas Oppus, all in Southern Leyte.

Developed by the Department of Science and Technology – Science and Technology Information Institution (DOST-STII), Starbooks is a one-stop-shop for S&T information that can be accessed without Internet connection.

This digital library gives students and other interested individuals access to a wealth of digitized S&T information materials including books, journals, theses, dissertation, encyclopedia, and even livelihood videos that offer income opportunities.

Last year, Encyclopedia Brittanica was integrated in the Starbooks content to broaden its user base to include elementary and high school students.

?We are helping our fellows in Eastern Visayas to get back on their feet by providing technologies that are locally developed to support the continuous delivery of education especially during this stage of recovery,? says DOST secretary Mario G. Montejo.

Southern Leyte is one of the most typhoon-visited provinces in the country. A number of typhoons pass through the province causing millions worth of damages and stalling classes during the monsoon season.

Southern Leyte State University VP for academic affairs Lorelie P. Duarte searches for some information about Typhoon Ruby in a Starbooks terminal during its formal turn over led by the DOST-STII at its Sogod, Southern Leyte campus. Also in photo are Lloyd Mandapat of DOST-STII (right) and Dr. Dominador A. Clavejo, provincial science and technology director, DOST Region 8. -- Photo by Joy M. Lazcano, DOST-STII
Southern Leyte State University VP for academic affairs Lorelie P. Duarte searches for some information about Typhoon Ruby in a Starbooks terminal during its formal turn over led by the DOST-STII at its Sogod, Southern Leyte campus. Also in photo are Lloyd Mandapat of DOST-STII (right) and Dr. Dominador A. Clavejo, provincial science and technology director, DOST Region 8. — Photo by Joy M. Lazcano, DOST-STII

Meanwhile, SLSU vice president Lorelie Duarte said that Starbooks will help the students greatly since they can access quality full text references and other research materials that are relevant to their courses. SLSU offers four engineering courses and graduate studies in mathematics.

This is the second round of Starbooks installations after more than 40 units were installed in 2012. The units were destroyed during typhoon Yolanda the following year, wreaking P48.79 billions worth of damaged infrastructure including schools and libraries.

?We understand that many reference materials are destroyed during the two typhoons in the last two years and we cannot do anything about that anymore,? said DOST assistant secretary Raymund E. Liboro.

?But what we can do is to find solutions to these problems and keep our youth continuously pursuing their studies.?

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