The City Council’s youth committee has passed a resolution requesting Mayor Lucilo Bayron to open the City Library 24 hours a day to provide students a secure place to study after school and office hours.
“Students in Puerto Princesa City are in need of a place to study after school and office hours that is secure, accessible, convenient and conducive to studying,” said committee chairman, Councilor Roy Ventura.
Councilor Ventura, who authored the resolution, said his request was inspired by Cebu City’s public library, which was the first city in the country to operate round-the-clock since March this year.
He noted that the schools, colleges and universities in the City have operational libraries but they are only open for eight hours just like the City Library.
“Most students are left with no choice but to spend money to study in cafes and other business establishments open 24 hours,” he told Palawan News.
Located at Mendoza Park, the decades-old library holds a collection of around 18,000 books. The two-storey building is also a WiFi zone.
Ventura added that the proposed library schedule will particularly cater to self-supporting students, including those in graduate school, who only have time to study late at night.
“Some of our students are working and some are doing graduate school researches. We want them to have a place where they can study for free anytime,” he said.
Ventura said they will look into the possibility of allocating funds to hire additional library staff.
“We will study what can be done to improve our existing library. What’s important is it has good reference books, an internet connection and a photocopying machine,” he said.
Myka Magbanua, Sangguniang Kabataan Federation president, welcomed the proposal and said she will pursue it once she assumes the ex-officio seat and youth committee chairmanship at the City Council.
Magbanua, however, expressed reservation as she observes only a few are visiting the City Library. She claimed more students prefer the internet than going to the library for research.
“If it will cost the government additional expenses, I think it’s not practical. But we’ll see how beneficial it would be to our students,” she told Palawan News.
City librarian Joymarie Olape on Wednesday said they are amenable to the proposal as long as they will be provided with additional library staff.