Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Report on Arnoldus Library

by Fr. Randolf C. Flores, SVD
OIC - Arnoldus Library
01 June 2009

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need”—Cicero. We have both, even more gardens.

Founded thirty-six years ago (in 1973) and designed by Architect Jesus M. Bondoc, then the dean of the Institute of Institute of Architecture and Fine Arts at the Far Eastern University, the Arnoldus Library, with a tower and a roof garden, stands today as one of the most artistic, ingenious and well-crafted library edifices in the country.

At one point it had housed a huge collection in philosophy, social sciences, and theology— 76,000 volumes and a multi-purpose hall (Arnoldus Hall). Most of the non-theology books are now relocated to Christ the King Seminary—SVD’s school of philosophy in Quezon City. The Arnoldus Hall, where the Reference Section is currently located, is also now a reading hall for the students. The Library—still with 36,277 books; around 15,000 bound periodicals/journals (615 titles); 2,164 duplicates; and 462 textbooks—is one of the best Catholic theological libraries in the country.

Arnoldus Library has a budget of 1 million pesos a year —acquiring an average of 300 books and 61 periodicals (43 foreign and 18 local) per annum with the latest in Theology and Exegesis ordered the fastest way possible; maintains a computer section (10 units working) with internet connection (broadband and wireless); and houses at its basement the Nicasio Preacher’s Collection (NPC)—books and other materials on preaching from the collection of Fr. Linus Nicasio, SVD, and the Arnoldus Communications Center (ARCOM)—a high-tech recording studio run by Fr. Raul Caga, SVD. Soon to be added are the Old Testament collection of the late Fr. Anthony Ceresko, OSFS and the New Testament collection of Fr. Carlito Reyes.

Last summer (May 2009), the outer wall of the library was repainted— green, to go with the ecological color of the seminary’s surroundings, thanks to Miss Angelita Gabuna and her friend Sir Romy and Kemwerke, Inc. who donated around 70 gallons of paint (they also donated a similar volume for the repainting of the Heinemann building); cost of labor was PhP 120,000. Roof leaks were also repaired including repainting the roof.

After five years, the Library will now have a professional librarian. Miss Veronica Jimenez Lepalam, a native of Zamboanga City, a library science graduate of Universidad de Zamboanga (2005) where she is an MA candidate, and a licensed librarian will join the staff on 05 June 2009. Frater Franlou Bardon, SVD scholastic who has taken units in Library Science at the University of San Carlos (Cebu City), has also joined the team composed of Mrs. Cecille Badillo (circulation), Fr. Randolf C. Flores, SVD (acquisition), Mr. Ace Malabanan (maintenance), and Fr. Antolin Uy, SVD (Director).

Three things are foreseen to be accomplished before the end of this school year 2009-2010, Philippine SVD centennial year:

(1) Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC) where users around the world can search our library catalogue to locate books, periodicals, audio/visual materials or other items under control of the Arnoldus library.

(2) Covered walkway from the carport of the Heinemann Building to the main entrance of the Arnoldus Library.

(3) An intensive campaign to attract more library users. Based on the logbook, an average of only 20 students everyday used the library in last school year. Frequent users include Franlou Bardon, John Paul Marquez, and Abraham Borja of the SVD; Willy Alibagon of the OSJ (although most OSJ students frequent the library); Serge Kabamalan of the Eudists; and among the faculty members—Fr. Randolf Flores, SVD and Fr. Ronnie Crisostomo, SVD.

“May our students enter Arnoldus Library and relish the ever delicious nutrimentum spiritus (‘food for the soul,’—from the inscription at the Berlin Royal Library), now na.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You're so lucky for having a new librarian now...I just want to ask favor please take good care of her coz she's a nice and thoughtful colleagues. We will be missing her...