WHEN we talk of quality assurance in academe, it is likely that the need for printed references would stand out in our discussions. Granted that in this age of the internet, libraries are more about connections than collections, the printed references such as books and journals still hold on to their obligatory presence in libraries and classrooms. Libraries are not only in academic settings. Many offices and organizations and families or an individual in a family builds his or her own collection of books. Local governments would have their respective public libraries. Foundations, museums and art galleries would have their own prized collections. There should be no big problem in looking for books to fill up a library especially when the remit of a school or personal/private or public library matches that of an awarding/a donor foundation/ organization. Starting with today’s write-up, I am pleased to share some information about where or from whom to secure books and other cultural printed or digital resource material.
The Brother’s Brother Foundation (BBF). The Brother’s Brother Foundation (BBF) is a US-based charity. Its mission is “to promote international health and education through the efficient and effective distribution and provision of donated medical, educational, agricultural and other resources.” Hence BBF programs “are designed to fulfill its mission by connecting people’s resources with people’s needs.” My experience with the BBF dates back to the 1990s, coordinating book distribution with the Makati Rotary Foundation which was a partner of BBF for its book donations. PAL’s generous Mr. Lucio Tan’s warehouse at QC was used to store the books awaiting processing for distribution to receiving schools. I was a bridge between these schools and the Makati Rotary for a number of years by taking charge of the collection and distribution of BBF’s book donations to libraries of private and public schools including state colleges and universities (SCUs). (I was president of the then Bukidnon State College in Malaybalay, Bukidnon.) New SCUs, private schools, community colleges and other schools in underserved areas had their turns in receiving much welcomed references. https://www.guidestar.org/profile/34-6562544>.
The Asia Foundation. The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development and non-governmental organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Working with public and private partners, the foundation receives funding from a diverse group of foundations, corporations, individuals and bilateral and multilateral development agencies in Europe, Canada, Australia, and Asia and an annual appropriation from the US Congress. Through its headquarters in San Francisco, California, The Asia Foundation works through a network of offices in 18 Asian countries and in Washington, D.C.
Books for Asia – Books for Mindanao. The Asia Foundation in the Philippines has “distributed nearly 15 million books and journals to public and private institutions across the country, contributing to leadership development, nation building, international understanding, and English-language literacy.” Its programs in the Philippines aim to “promote better governance to support economic growth, strengthen the rule of law, and foster peace and development in Mindanao.” <https://asiafoundation.org/publication/ books-for-asia-philippines/>. Its major book program, launched in 2003, is the Books for Mindanao program which recognizes the “great need for educational materials in the conflict-affected southern Philippines. The program had the major support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).” Over the past decade, this program has “distributed about 500,000 volumes, valued at $8 million as a continuing effort to support quality education in the provinces of Agusan del Sur, Bukidnon, Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Lanao del Sur, Saranggani, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, and other parts of Mindanao. In partnership with USAID and local government units, many book distributions were held.” Books for Asia has distributed more than 10,000 brandnew books to public elementary schools in Southern Philippines. The partnership distributed quality books and reading materials to many remote areas to improve the reading levels of Filipino children.
Asia Foundation book awards through its partner foundations. Partnering with distinguished foundations, the Asia Foundation has been able to provide a great number of books and other reference materials to many other parts of the Philippines. These partnerships include the Metrobank Foundation “through the annual Search for Outstanding Teachers which AF supports by contributing books and reference materials to the respective schools of the award-winning teachers. Another partnership is with the STI Foundation which provided grant support for the distribution of AF’s some 100,000 plus brandnew books to public secondary schools as partner institutions implementing the new senior high school curriculum. Also, through the National Library, AF provided more than 1,000 public libraries in the country with brand new books and other supplementary reading materials of some 105,000 books. <https://asiafoundationorg/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/PH_Books-for-Asia_2017.pdf>.
Asia Foundation’s Books for Asia program. The Philippines as a prime recipient of the Books for Asia is part of a larger global giving program in Asia that aims to empower children through education. As in its other programs, Asia Foundation works with distinguished organizations/foundations which provided either grant funds or services to assist in book distribution. One such partnership has been with the Del Monte Foundation through which the Books for Asia provided 12,600 new children’s books to nearly 250 public elementary schools in Baungon, Impasug-ong, Kalilangan, Malaybalay City, Manolo Fortich, Maramag, Quezon, and Sumilao in the province of Bukidnon. AF’s partnership with the MoneyGram Foundation made possible the distribution of more than 30,000 books to over 30 schools across the Philippines, providing enhanced access to learning resources and impacting millions of school-age children and young adults. MoneyGram Foundation “focuses solely on helping children around the world gain better access to educational facilities and learning resources.” AF’s Books for Asia’s “digital initiative brings educational content to children anytime, anywhere in languages they use at home and school. By empowering underserved communities to create their own high-quality mother tongue libraries, the breakthrough approach of Let’s Read! (Magbasa kita) dramatically improves access to books by children and families impacted by poverty, conflict, or gender discrimination.” The centerpiece of Let’s Read! is a custom-built platform that accelerates the creation and distribution of children’s books in communities across developing Asia. Please visit <letsreadasia.org> for more information.
The Philippine Library Materials Project (PLMP) Foundation. Established by the late Fr. Robert J. Suchan, SJ of Xavier University, the Ateneo de Cagayan, it collected and distributed library materials to support the library needs of its member universities and colleges spread throughout the country. Managed by its board composed of librarians of top universities such as De la Salle Manila and Bacolod, the Ateneos in CdO, Zamboanga and in Davao, and the president of the Philippine Librarians Association, which I chaired for 14 years of its more than 25 years of existence. Then the time came, during my tenure as chair of its board, when companies in the US began buying for a dollar or so surplus books of various publishers and of libraries of top universities which we used to get free; there were not enough books to collect anymore. In 2014, on my fourteenth year as chair, we had to close the foundation and turned over its assets to Xavier University, the Ateneo de Cagayan.