In many countries across the globe, public libraries are permanent structures in almost every city or municipality. Public libraries have become an essential component of an educated and literate population. They are different from school libraries, or research libraries or other special libraries in that public libraries serve the general public, in terms of their needs for information.
Manila, the capital of the Philippines has its share of public libraries that have benefitted a lot of students in their quest for knowledge and information. Some of the public libraries in Manila and its nearby cities include:
- Manila City Library. Located in Mehan Garden and adjacent to the City College of Manila, this public library has a collection of 11,500 titles. Frequent users are the high school students from the city of Manila and even those from as far as Pasay City and Cavite City. The city library has recently created a special Manileña section. It is also a favorite study place for students reviewing for the Bar exams as it has several collections of law books.
- Manila-Sacramento Friendship Library. This public library is located in Paco, Manila and has a collection of 6,000 volumes. Use of the facility is however, restricted to residents of Paco with valid library card. It used to be called Paco Library, but was renamed in 1965 to symbolize the sister-city relationship between Manila City and Sacramento, California, USA. Main users are board exam reviewers, students from nearby school and parents waiting for their children at the St. Peter the Apostle School.
- Goethe Institut. This library is located in Makati City. Catering to fans of German culture, this library is updated with the latest trends and issues in Germany. The library can be accessed by everyone, free of charge. But if books are to be borrowed, a membership fee applies – P300 for students and P500 for adults.
- CCP Library. This library is located in Roxas Blvd. in Pasay City and is one of the oldest institutions in the country. It has collection of Filipiniana books on art and culture, special accounts on the origins of Philippine Literature, music, dance and theater arts.
- Alliance Francaise de Manille. Located in Makati City, this library is a non-profit cultural organization established to promote French language and culture. The library has interactive software programs for researchers of all ages.
- Quezon City Library. This public library is located within the premises of the Quezon City Hall in Diliman, Quezon City. It has a collection of 10,000 volumes. The library is exclusive for Quezon City residents with valid library card.
- Marikina City Library. Located in Marikina City, this public library has a collection of 20,000 volumes. It is for the exclusive use of Marikina residents with valid library card.
- The Lopez Museum and Library. The library is found at Meralco Avenue in Ortigas, Pasig City and houses the Lopez’s collection of photographs, rare books, manuscripts and books from the first 50 years of printing in the Philippines (incunabula books) dating back to as far back as the 15th century. The library was built out of “love for country, lifelong love affair with books and incorrigible passion for travel” by Mr. Eugenio Lopez, Sr. for whom the honor of the library was dedicated.
- Miguel Hernandez Library. Located in Kalaw St. in Ermita, Manila, thislibrary provides access to over 20,000 documents, films, music, and television on the Hispanic origin. The library features international inter-library lending which means that their visitors can view documents from other Spanish libraries. It has a membership fee of P800 per year but students are charged P500.
The Philippines does not only offer good food, amazing places, rich culture, warm people but it also love to educate its people through books. Public libraries are everywhere to be found in the Philippines. If in case there is a need for people to do some research, then the public libraries are good options to do their research for it offers enormous number of good books for reference.