THE University of Rizal System (URS) main campus was accredited recently for its undergraduate and graduate programs by the Accrediting Agency of Chartered Colleges and Universities in the Philippines (AACCUP), in part for its partnership with the Department of Science and Technology through the Science and Technology Information Institute’s (DOST-STII) STARBOOKS.
The accreditation was granted based on parameters in administration, personnel, book collections, library services, physical setup and facilities, financial support and linkages to other institutions. It serves as recognition for attaining a high level of excellence for an academic institution.
STARBOOKS, according to university personnel, was responsible for increasing the number of URS library collections, especially those related to agriculture, science, and engineering.
According to URS head librarian Elvira Prieto, the university budget for new book title acquisition was a measly P350,000 per semester. The main campus has more than 2,000 students enrolled in its campus, which means that the URS allocates less than P500 per student in a semester for book acquisition.
But with their linkage with DOST-STII, URS was able to raise the number of book collections and secure accreditation.
“Agriculture is our flagship program here in the main campus,” Dr. Fe Batoon, director of RSU-Tanay Campus said. “And because of STARBOOKS and our accreditation, our enrollees have increased significantly compared with previous years.”
STARBOOKS was able to add 30,000 more library contents on science and technology in various formats without connecting to the Internet. According to Lloyd Frederrick Mandapat, science research specialist at DOST-STII, “STARBOOKS is a stand-alone digital library. You can access all its data by going on-site, search the topics you want, and print it.”
The country’s first ever offline digital library also houses K-12 interactive courseware on math and science developed by the Science Education Institute of DOST.
Currently, the URS main campus has 10,890 book collections and a total of 69,362 titles for all its 10 campuses in the province of Rizal.
URS is also active in its extension services, bringing some Dumagat communities in Tanay to try STARBOOKS in their main campus and learn from its free livelihood videos.