“Anggandapala! (It is so nice!)” a librarian exclaimed as the contents of STARBOOKS splashed onscreen, and participants on a hands-on demonstration browsed over the rich contents.
STARBOOKS, or Science and Technology Academic and Research-Based Openly Operated Kiosk Station, is the country’s first digital science and technology (S&T) library. It can be accessed offline, making it ideal for students and researchers in areas still unreached by the Internet and have no access to the latest S&T materials.
Browsing its contents is quite easy. Everything is categorized into S&T areas. Should users want more precise search of materials, the search bar is always helpful. Indeed, STARBOOKS made searching for S&T information much faster and easier compared with the card catalogs in traditional libraries. It is even better than Google because the contents are specific and localized and, best of all searched offline.
Developed by the Department of Science and Technology’s Science and Technology Information Institute (DOST-STII), STARBOOKS contains full text journal and research materials, news and feature articles, videos, and publications on S&T and livelihood. It also has Encyclopaedia Britannica in its collection, its contents categorized into elementary, high school, and college levels.
“It’s like bringing the whole DOST-STII library collection in every STARBOOKS unit,” said DOST-STII Officer-In-Charge Raymund E. Liboro.
Aside from availing of rich S&T information, STARBOOKS users also open themselves to livelihood opportunities through how-to videos produced by DOST’s Technology Resource Center.
Meanwhile, participants in the hands-on demo weresome 30 Eastern Visayas-based librarians and IT staff who were trained on how to use the STARBOOKS both as regular user and monitoring person.
TrainorsRobelyn Cruz and Lloyd Mandapat of the DOST-STII STARBOOKS team likewise trained DOST’s regional staff on configuring STARBOOKS contents pre-installed in disks.
DOST-STII turned over 53 of these disks to DOST-VIII Regional Director Edgar Esperancilla for deployment in schools that are still getting their computers ready to become digital libraries. Region-based DOST staff led by FlorentinoQuiñones, DOST-VIII science research specialist and STARBOOKS coordinator, will configure the STARBOOKS contents in respective sites.
STARBOOKS will be massively deployed in the regions affected by typhoon Yolanda (International code: Haiyan) to help schools and public libraries recover from their losses and build back even better libraries.
“I hope STARBOOKS will reach more areas in Region 8,” said Dir. Esperancilla. The region is among the first to avail of STARBOOKS since the project was launched in 2011.
With the wider coverage of STARBOOKS in the regions, more students, teachers, and researchers can finally have free access to thousands of DOST-STII’s S&T materials, and enrich their research and investigatory projects. And to schoolchildren and researchers in the Yolanda corridor, they are on their way to nicely building back better library experience. (Framelia V. Anonas, S&T Media Sevice)