(3 April 2017) Four years ago, Beyond Access began working with the Philippine public library system. Like in many countries, libraries had been largely neglected by policy-makers, and in some municipalities, libraries were already closing due to lack of use. When the Philippine Digital Strategy was published in 2011, libraries were completely absent. Under the Beyond Access program, IREX and its Philippine partner, the Molave Development Foundation Inc. (MDFI), trained over 430 librarians, helped the National Library of the Philippines develop a new strategic plan, and worked to forge partnerships between the library system and development-focused agencies to better serve emerging community needs.
2017 shows an entirely different picture. A group of libraries from all corners of the country has proven that public libraries are not only still relevant in the 21st century Philippines, but a vital part of rapidly digitizing communities.
Progress has been made in Butuan, Quezon City and Villasis. BeyondAccess describes the changes here.