CPU’s Henry Luce III Library is even more relevant during pandemic

CPU-central philippine university henry luce III library online library services covid-19 pandemic libraries

Henry Luce III Library in Central Philippine University, Jaro, Iloilo City

  • The Henry Luce III Library of Central Philippine University is home to a vast collection of books and learning resources.
  • It now faces another transition as learning methods have moved online as a result of restrictions imposed by the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
  • “No pandemic can stop us to serve,” said Ma. Cynthia T. Peleña, the Director of the Henry Luce III Library.

The Henry Luce III Library is a landmark modern structure inside the 24-hectare picturesque campus of Central Philippine University in Jaro, Iloilo City.

Home to a vast collection of books and learning resources, the Henry Luce III is considered as the heart of knowledge of the 115-year-old Christian university and it is considered as the largest knowledge resource center in Western Visayas.

Its construction was funded by Time, Inc. founder and editor-in-chief’s eldest son, Henry Luce III. The philanthropist passed away in September 2005 at the age of 80 yet his legacy endures like the Henry Luce III Library, among many.

The library stood as a mute witness on the success of thousands of learners who have accessed and used its resources under peaceful, victorious, and even calamitous times. It now faces another transition as learning methods have moved online as a result of restrictions imposed by the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

Since the onset of the quarantine earlier this year, schools and universities have been preparing for modifications needed to reduce the spread of the virus. Libraries have also adopted preventive measures and it implemented necessary protocols. The shift is no less challenging to a library designed to offer both face-to-face and online interaction venues.

The core of librarianship is to serve the needs of its users and the librarians of Henry Luce III have asked: how are we going to deliver the information needs given the limited physical access because of Covid-19?

Due to the pandemic, the library needed to expand its services in a way that it will become more accessible to its end users.

HLL’s video on their services in the new normal

Yet more than ever, the pandemic is not all that bad for libraries. It also renewed its significance as online learning has accelerated under the new normal and it once again brought up the relevant role that librarians play so that we can make sense of the vast resources in the library collection.

Thus, the Henry Luce III Library took a much proactive approach to better serve the students and various learners; faculty and staff of CPU; members of the Iloilo academic community, and the public in general.

As the famous author Neil Gaiman has once said: “Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one.”

You don’t have to stop learning while enrolled online under the pandemic. The Henry Luce III Library has the services for you.

Meet Bertha, your library assistant

Bertha is the ‘virtual assistant’ of the online library. If you have any questions, feel free to message the library through the Facebook page and Bertha will be glad to help you. Bertha can also be reached through e-mail at berthahll@cpu.edu.ph.

Bertha is a historical figure revived in this virtual age. She is based on Anna Bertha Houger, the first American University Librarian of CPU who served from 1910-1940.

bertha cpu library henry luce iii library virtual library assistant online library services covid-19 pandemic

Navigate online resources

The library has subscribed to several online resources for the use of learners, students, faculty, and scholars.

ProQuest is the “largest single periodical resource available, bringing together complete databases across all major subject areas, including Business, Health and Medical, Social Sciences, Education, Science and Technology, and Humanities.” Full texts of books, articles, and periodicals are available.

CD Asia Online
The library has acquired a subscription to CD Asia Online to provide students and scholars of law a wide selection of learning resources offering “the most advanced Philippine legal research site which has the widest-ranging and most up-to-date database of Philippine law-related information online.”

eLibraryUSA of American Spaces Philippines
The library also offers exclusive access to Centralians through the eLibrary USA. This is an initiative by the United States Embassy in the Philippines. The resources that it provides include periodicals, research databases, books, and a film streaming service.

Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC)
The library collection is searchable online through the Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC). The vast collections of the library are accessible at destiny.cpu.edu.ph. If you need to know if the library holds a specific book that you need or a resource on a subject, you can search the online catalog.

Open Access resources
Through its website, the library curates links to open access resources with good quality. Open Access resources are free learning materials online, which the library is organizing for ease and convenience among users.

The Henry Luce III Library also provides other services like scanning of materials, webinars, and book reservations, pick-up, or delivery among faculty.

Since not everything is available online, the library has integrated a scanning service for students and faculty who may need information from books in the library collection. In this aspect, the library follows copyright law and fair use for this service. This is free among faculty and students who are enrolled in the university while there is a fee for external researchers.

In addition, the library also conducts webinars so that students and faculty could gain a better understanding of library services such as how to use online resources, research writing, and copyright.

CPU Faculty have the privilege to reserve books for pick-up and in special cases, the books can also be delivered to them.

#PadayonKita and Libraries

In spite of the challenging times, libraries continue to serve as venues for us to move forward and to share a positive spirit similar to what the Iloilo Bloggers Society have encouraged us to internalize through #PadayonKita.

“The pandemic created a huge barrier in doing our usual routine,” said Ma. Cynthia T. Peleña, the Director of the Henry Luce III Library, “but no pandemic can stop us to serve.”

Learn more about the library

To learn more about the library, visit their website at library.cpu.edu.ph. For news and updates, they also have an active Facebook page, @cpulibrary.

Allana Delgado is a librarian at the Henry Luce III Library serving as a Cataloger, Law Librarian, and a member of the Virtual Reference Services team.

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