Sunday, April 30, 2017

Manila Library Tour: MAPUA & De La Salle

Last March, we had our library tour in UP, Ateneo, University of Santo Tomas, MAPUA, and La Salle. MAPUA is known for its technology courses, and De La Salle is also one of the top universities in the country. Let's take a look at their library technology tools.


MAPUA-Intramuros Library

The Mapúa Institute of Technology Library comprises the Main Library and two branches, namely, Architecture Library and Mapúa - Makati. Mapúa officials, non-teaching staff, faculty members, students, alumni, and outside researchers with referral letters may use the libraries.
Mapúa Main Library and one of its branches are housed in Intramuros Manila, the other branch is in Makati which operation started in 2001; 1) the Main Library is located at the second floor, West Building 2) the Architecture Library at the fourth floor, South Building and 3) Mapúa-Makati, Library at the third floor, West-Wing of the School Building in Makati.
The main library and its branches, fully air-conditioned, monument the Institute's desire to give students and faculty the best in library facilities. Each of the three libraries carries materials suited to the courses offered namely, Architecture, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Mining, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, etc.
To fulfill the instructional and research needs of the faculty and students, the library maintains adequate volumes of books, highly paid and free subscriptions, complemented with vertical file materials, collection of maps, non-print and digital materials, undergraduate/graduate theses collection and other pertinent materials that support the curricula of the school.

Technology:
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The MAPUA Library is a pioneer in the RFID system. RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) strips are placed in every book. Once cataloged, the tags are encoded with information about the book.
RFID is useful for faster inventory as a handheld sensor can detect the books on the shelves and missing books through a handheld computer with a sensor.
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Their self-check-out terminals are different from the other libraries, as users can scan up to 5 books at the same time.
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They also have a security system to detect books not checked out properly, and book drops available for students.
They use Millennium Library software for their online catalog. They also subscribe to online databases. They subscribe to PressReader, where users can download an app to read online periodicals in the convenience of their gadgets.

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Most of us librarians who visited the library were amazed with RFID technology. It can make the work of librarians faster, especially inventory in academic libraries. Manual inventory can take several weeks, while using RFID, they can do inventory in a few days. They consider the convenience of their users. Users only have to tap or scan their IDs upon logging in and and in checking out books. The library, however, has limited space due to building limitations in Intramuros. I hope that more libraries consider using RFID.
The librarians in MAPUA also said that having this kind of technology was a help rather than a hindrance, as they can focus more and have more time for their more important work as librarians.


De La Salle University Library

The DLSU Library has evolved into a system of libraries. Satellite libraries that cater to specialized users were established— two at the Taft Campus, one in Makati City, one in Taguig, and three in Biñan, Laguna. The main library, now called The Learning Commons, moved into its new home at the Henry Sy, Sr. Hall in December 2012.

Technology
As a learning space, De La Salle University Library has good facilities for its students. There is a student lounge where students are free to rest and sleep. A coffee shop, Coffee Bean, is located on the sixth floor. They also have a section that specializes in loaning out audio-visual materials, technical equipment, and services for the whole university.
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Students can also access their Library Transactions through their MyLibrary Account.
They use the Millennium Library software as their ILS.


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Their main library website (http://www.dlsu.edu.ph/library/2016/) also links to their useful services and resources. They also feature one search box to search through the catalog, online databases, and electronic resources.
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Ask LORA: Library Online Reference Assistant (LORA), a female virtual icon of a reference librarian, provides accurate and instant answers to reference questions through chat, e-mail, social media (e.g. Facebook and Twitter), short messaging system (SMS), and Skype (Voice over IP).




Reaction
De La Salle University is a modern library with escalators and elevators. From 6th to 13th floor, each section is equipped with modern technology and conducive space for learning. Their strength is their online service, and their “Ask LORA” program to market their reference services is attractive to millennial users. Their library is active in many events.

That concludes this blog series on our library educational tour. I'm sure that this isn't the first time we will visit these libraries. Technology is changing and updating fast in the library world!

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