PH's first 24/7 Public Library launches in Cebu City

The Rizal Memorial Library & Museum in Cebu City (source)
Last March 9, 2018, Cebu City's public library started it's 24/7 library services. This is the first "24-hour" public library in the country. 

What's interesting is this started due to one concerned citizen who asked the mayor if it was possible to open the library to cater to students, citing that the library is a 'safer' place in the city. Mitch Roldan has commented on Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña's posts on social media: 

"Mayor, I’m also hoping and praying that you will consider having the public library be open for 24/7 for us students who need to study in a library setting. I think students will be glad to pay a little amount to keep the services good keysa mag segi mig spent sa McDo nya papahawaon ra diay (rather than spend in McDonald’s but will still be asked to leave after a few hours). Hope this will be considered." 

The mayor replied that he will look into it and announced this later: "The Rizal Public Library is being outfitted for 24-hour use. The air conditioners are being upgraded, additional staff and guards being hired, CCTV installed, and WiFi routers are on their way."

This is good news for public libraries. Many people now need spaces to study and work. I've noticed the popularity of coworking spaces even in Iloilo City, and I have to admit that they do have more attractive spaces than most libraries. However, coworking spaces have expensive fees. The public library is free for all. I often stay in Iloilo Provincial Library if I need to work or focus on something. 

Of course, libraries should always assess themselves and their client's needs before deciding to change the opening hours. I hope that Cebu City Library will be successful in this and that other libraries also try to see what the clients need most and offer services according to those needs.

I think that this also shows that we librarians should also be open in communicating to those in authority in our institutions on what the users' needs are. The Mayor didn't usher the improvements for the library until he realized (and someone told him) that the citizens need it. 

This is Mayor Osmeña's Facebook post on the new improvements in the library:

Cordova, C.D. (2017 March 8). Cebu library to open 24/7, thanks to netizen’s request. Manila Bulletin Online.

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