A. Background of the Study
The public library is an institution that plays a very important role in nurturing society by offering knowledge and information to anyone who seeks for it. Among all the institutions in the world, libraries can be the most economical and effective source of materials and services. It makes certain costly books accessible to the general public. The Philippines has 688 public libraries, consisting of 4 congressional, 52 provincial, 97 city, and 535 municipal libraries. Republic Act 7743(enacted June 17, 1994) mandates the creation and operation of a public library in every congressional district, city, and municipality throughout the country. On this basis there should be a total of 1,851 libraries in all, one for each of the country’s 220 congressional districts, 136 cities, and 1,495 municipalities. Yet, the country lacks 1,163 more libraries (Dioso, 2010). The number of existing libraries in the Philippines is less than what the law requires. It affects approximately 40% of the entire population.
Aside from the lack of facilities, the allotted budget for its operation and maintenance is insufficient to keep public libraries functioning effectively and efficiently. This results in decreasing quality of existing facilities, making it more challenging to operate. Hence, the reading public becomes dissatisfied and disinterested to visit public libraries. Another issue that libraries face is the fast-growing digital media that are used as sources of information. According to the Online Computer Library Center report in 2006, 89% of college students use search engines to begin an information search, while only 2% start with a library web site; 93% are satisfied with their overall experience using a search engine, while 84% are satisfied with a library-assisted search (OCLC, 2006). Over the last several years, a significant transformation has been noticed in collection development policies and practices. The print medium is increasingly giving way to the electronic form of materials (Mulla, 2006). The growth of electronic books could spell the end for traditional libraries, while top writers say the switch to online reading could result in piracy (Sulimina, 2011). The continued development of this fact may eventually grow to a more deliberate problem. The combination of modern technology and traditional setting is a challenge; it may yield to one way or another, too much dedication to technology creates unease of use to most of the users that are not updated with the technology while retaining the traditional setting creates a formal and boring perceptions to new generations. An operational system in public library facilities conforms the active use of energy, and it totally affects the cost of the library. If total use of natural ventilation is applied, it may result in discomfort of the users and compromise in preservation of the books due to existing climate in the Philippines. Hence, public library visitors are continually decreasing. Provincial library is second to the National Library when it comes in hierarchy of public libraries; provinces with provincial library could supplement the absence of smaller public libraries like municipal and barangay libraries. Some of them have mobile libraries that roam around the whole province to render service to its citizen. The scope of service of a provincial library is a great factor to answer the lack of libraries in the Philippines. If the major issue of public libraries is the feasibility of its construction and sustainability of its operation and maintenance, does relying more on natural and organic methods, where nature does its own process without using artificial energy at all, an effective solution for public libraries?
B. Statement of the Problem
The Philippines is experiencing down trend in public libraries; aside from its absence in some parts of the country, it has been a challenge...