Monday, October 10, 2016

DOST puts up 57th “library in a box” called Starbooks in Bicol
By Gina V. Rodriguez

LEGAZPI CITY, Oct. 7, (PNA)—-The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in Bicol has now installed 57 so-called “libraries in a box,” known as STARBOOKS (Science and Technology Academic and Research-Based Openly Operated Kiosk Station), in the Bicol Region since it was conceived five years ago, an agency official said.

“The last eight STARBOOKS, which were installed in September in Iriga City, Camarines Sur, had added up to the 49 previously installed in the Bicol region, for a total of 57,” said Rafaelita Lucena, public information officer of DOST-Bicol, in a news release Saturday.

The digital science and technology library is a computer server which was developed in 2011 by the DOST-Science and Technology Information Institute (STII). Lucena said that as of July the agency has installed 965 STARBOOKS in various parts of the country.

Accessible even if there is no internet, STARBOOKS has rich materials sourced from local and foreign linkages, subscriptions, archive collections and in-house publications.

Browsing of its contents, which are in various formats--text and video/audio, are easy because of their user-friendly interfaces.

It has Encyclopedia Britannica in its collection with its contents categorized into elementary, high school and college levels.

The server, pegged as a “stand-alone information kiosk” by the agency, also has how-to videos on livelihood opportunities called “Tamang DOSTkarte Livelihood Videos” that were produced by DOST’s Technology Resource Center.

STII said that STARBOOKS sought to stimulate curious minds into developing new ideas and inspire their entrepreneurial and research spirit.

In Iriga City, the setting up of STARBOOKS in eight schools was initiated by Gerson Cepe, current state auditor of the DOST-National Research Council of the Philippines and formerly with DOST-STII.

Lucena said this was part of Cepe’s “social and humanitarian advocacy.”

The Iriga City schools who benefited from the project were Iriga Central School (ICS), University of Northeastern Philippines, La Anunciacion Elementary School, Sta. Justina East Elementary School, La Medalla Elementary School, Iriga South Central School (ISCS), Iriga North Central School, and Cawayan Elementary School (CES).

Lucena said Lloyd Frederick Mandapat and Legee Boy Valmoria of DOST-STII provided the “hands-on session and demonstration and one-on-one administration training” to 40 participants during the orientation and installation of the computer servers held on September 7 at ICS.

Pamela Dreo and Mirasol Fernandez, the team from DOST-Bicol in charge of STARBOOKS, assisted in the training and demonstration while the ceremonial signing of a memorandum of agreement (MOU) with the schools was witnessed by Patrocinio Felizmenio, director of the Provincial Science and Technology Center of Camarines Sur.

Dreo emphasized the roles of the STARBOOKS base schools while Felizmenio stressed how the schools could “have their kind of science and technology service extended to the community.”

Crestito Morillo, schools division superintendent, Department of Education-Schools Division of Iriga City, along with school principals and teachers from the eight schools graced the orientation session.

During the Iriga event DOST-Bicol Regional Director Tomas Briñas cited the importance of STARBOOKS in the “pursuit of quality education towards a science and technology career in the future and for the country’s human resource development and nation building.” (PNA) RMA/GVR/cbd