(1 November 2015) A lawmaker has filed a measure seeking to modernize the National Library of the Philippines (NLP) to promote full intellectual and cultural development of the Filipino people through love for reading.
Rep. Carlo V. Lopez (2nd District, Manila) said House Bill 4454 determines and defines the services and functions of NLP as a service oriented institution to make it more competitive especially at this time of digital age.
It also empowers the NLP to undertake related cultural activities under the provisions of Republic Act 10066 or the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009, Lopez added.
Lopez said RA 10066 states “National Library of the Philippines shall be responsible for rare and significant contemporary Philippine books, manuscripts such as, but not limited to presidential papers, periodicals, newspapers, singly or in collection, and libraries and electronic records.”
“The NLP shall be the lead library in promoting digital services online, especially in the field of publishing works online and continuous conduct of research on Philippine libraries and librarianship,” Lopez said.
RA 10066 also mandates the National Library to serve as mediator of the public’s information needs and the government by creating national policies regarding libraries and their services, he added.
Under the proposed “National Library of the Philippines Modernization Act,” the NLP shall have seven divisions, each headed by a division chief who shall develop and implement plans and programs for the division.
The Reader Service Division (RSD) shall provide information, reference, and research services and resources to library users, and shall maintain reading room services, maintain and preserve foreign library materials, and recommend which library materials shall be acquired by NLP.
The RSD shall supervise the Foreign Section, Filipiniana Section, Children’s Library & Young Adults Section and, Law Library Section.
The Digital Library Services (DLS) Division, with two sections, the Differently Abled Service and Multimedia Sections shall provide non-tradition information services to readers.
The Differently Abled Services Section shall assist differently abled readers in accessing various information, maintain and organize Braille, LP and audio tapes, transcribe print to Braille and, reads and records reference books to audio tapes, and prepare guides to collections for differently abled readers.
The Multimedia Section shall maintain and organize multimedia materials, like microfilms, microforms, discs, tapes, and prepares finding guides of the collection.
The Technical Services Division (TSD) shall be responsible with the treatment of printed materials in regards to its technical aspects, with three sections under it.
The Bibliographic Services Section shall maintain an up-to-date Philippine National Bibliography (PNB), serving as the national center of International Standard Numbering System, and prepares bibliographies and indexes of the national library’s serial holdings.
The Catalog Section shall catalog and classify all library materials for the National Library and its public libraries, provide CIP for publishers, provide consultative cataloguing services and conduct in-service training.
Collection Development Section shall select, evaluate and acquire all types of library materials, maintain exchange program with local and foreign institutions, and implement the provision of PD 812 (Legal Deposit Law).
The Information Technology Division (ITD) shall be responsible for the effective use of information and communication technology (ICT) geared towards the improvement of delivery of information and mandated services as well as the improvement of the internal business processes of the NLP.
The Copyright Division shall implement the provisions of Republic Act 8293 as amended, otherwise known as the Intellectual Property Code which is to receive registration of literary and artistic works and deposit with the NLP and the Supreme Court Library (SCL) for the purpose of completing the records of the NLP under the SCL; assign an exclusive license upon registration; receive the written instrument which names the person or persons to be charged with the posthumous enforcements of these rights; and, the power to determine and collect such fees for the discharge of services under the Act.
The Public Libraries Division shall implement the provisions of existing law on public libraries system, in cooperation with local government units. It shall conduct training for public librarians and assist in the operation of public libraries.
The Finance and Administrative Division (FAD) shall implement and execute the policies laid down by the Executive Director relative to the organization, operation, and functions of the library.
The National Library shall be headed by a Director who shall be appointed by the President of the Philippines.
The NLP shall be exempt from all forms of taxes and customs duties in its income, donations, and acquisitions of its resources.
The NLP shall be authorized to exact reasonable fees and income for services rendered and use/disburse such fees for the improvement of NLP facilities.
The NLP, in consultation with other concerned government agencies, shall promulgate the implementing rules and regulations for the effectivity of the proposed Act.