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Public Library Day in the Philippines: Proclamation No. 563, s. 1959

The National Library of the Philippines and public libraries throughout the country celebrate the Public Library Day every March 9.

This date was chosen to commemorate the establishment of the first public library under American occupation in the Philippines which was opened in March 9, 1900.

The proclamation was signed by former Philippine President Carlos P. Garcia in March 8, 1959.

This 2024 will be the 65th Public Library Day in the country and the theme is "Ikaw, Ako, at ang Pampublikong Aklatan: Higit Animnapu't Limang Taong Pagtutugunan" (You, Me, and the Public Library: Over Sixty-Five Years of Helping).

Below is the full text of the Proclamation number 563 series of 1959:

MALACA√ĎANG
RESIDENCE OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES
MANILA

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES

PROCLAMATION NO. 563

DESIGNATING MARCH 9 OF EVERY YEAR AS PUBLIC LIBRARY DAY AND AUTHORIZING THE BUREAU OF PUBLIC LIBRARIES, IN COOPERATION WITH ALL OTHER PUBLIC LIBRARIES ALL OVER THE PHILIPPINES, TO SPONSOR THE NATION-WIDE CELEBRATION OF THIS EVENT AND TO CONDUCT A PUBLIC LIBRARY DRIVE

WHEREAS, the importance of public libraries as agencies for the dissemination of knowledge and culture is well recognized in progressive countries; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to its fundamental duty of fight ignorance and illiteracy among our people in order to promote their economic and social well-being and make them better members of the community, the government has provided for, and encouraged the establishment of, public libraries;

WHEREAS, it is felt that in our country there is still a need to secure general public recognition of the usefulness of public libraries and to arouse active interest in them, so that the dream of having adequate, well-patronized libraries in every province, city, and municipality may soon be realized; and

WHEREAS, the first public library under the American regime, which became the forerunner of the present Bureau of Public Libraries, was formally opened to the public on March 9, 1900, and thus marked the beginning of the public library movement in the Philippines;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Carlos P. Garcia, President of the Philippines, do hereby designate March 9 of every year as Public Library Day and authorize the Bureau of Public Libraries, in collaboration with all other public libraries of whatever class or category in the Philippines, to sponsor the observance of this event and to conduct a public library drive for support of these public libraries. I urge all citizens and residents of the Philippines of whatever race, nationality, or creed to joint in this national celebration and give generously their support in whatever form so that the usefulness of public libraries in the promotion of popular education, democratic ideals, and international understanding among our people may be further enhanced. I authorize all provincial, city, and municipal treasurers to accept voluntary contributions intended to help in the establishment or improvement of a public library in their jurisdiction.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the Republic of the Philippines to be affixed.

Done in the City of Manila, this 8th day of March, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and fifty-nine, and of the Independence of the Philippines, the thirteenth.

CARLOS P. GARCIA
President of the Philippines

By the President:

JUAN C. PAJO
Executive Secretary

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