The collaborative project aims to provide the DOST-STII developed Science and Technology Academic and Research-Based Openly Operated Kiosk (STARBOOKS), the first digital science library in the Philippines to the DEPED-CAR and DOST-CAR provincial offices. The STARBOOKS, which aims to “make scientific information available to everyone” has recently been awarded the “Presidential Citation for Innovative International Library Project” by the American Library Association (ALA) last June 29, 2015 at the International Librarians Reception at the San Francisco Public Library, San Francisco, California, USA.

According to the official announcement from the ALA, STARBOOKS was recognized for “making science and technology materials available to the general public in remote areas that have few information resources, no libraries and little or no Internet connectivity.”

“Envisioned to bridge the gap in access to science and technology information especially in geographically isolated areas, STARBOOKS made its debut in 2011. Each STARBOOKS unit called “pod” contains thousands of materials in text, video and audio formats—featuring topics on food and nutrition, health and medicine, energy, environment, and livelihood technologies among others.”

“In 2013, STARBOOKS beefed up its content with the integration of Britannica offline made possible through STII’s partnership with Thistle International Inc., the official distributor of Britannica.”

The STARBOOKS is highly appropriate in the Cordillera Administrative Region where the unique geographical terrain, among others, is limiting the internet connectivity in far-flung areas. As of June 2014, the DOST-CAR was able to install a total of 38 STARBOOKS in public and private schools in the region.

Meanwhile, the 2015 partnership between DOST-CAR and DEPED-CAR aims to beef up the availability of the digital library to students, researchers and other stakeholders in the respective provincial offices. Deployment of the STARBOOKS is scheduled for the 3rd quarter of 2015.//smsc