By: John Maico M. Hernandez, DOST-PSTC Batangas
Access to hundreds of thousands S&T information will no longer be hard to students of Golden Gate Colleges Batangas City with the installation of STARBOOKS, 51st system deployed in Batangas province.
STARBOOKS is the country’s first digital library with hundreds of thousands digitized science and technology resources in various formats (text and video/audio) placed in specially designed “pods” set in a user-friendly interface. It stands for Science and Technology Academic and Research-Based Openly Operated Kiosk Station (STARBOOKS upgraded and rebranded as SuperSTARBOOKS) developed by the Science and Technology Information Institute (STII), an agency of the Department of Science and Technology. As a standalone information kiosk, information access through STARBOOKS is possible even without internet connection. In fact, it is considered as a one stop S&T information source because of it serves a compendium of S&T information gathered from all over the world.
Given its relevance to education, many academic institutions, local government units, and national government agencies among others are requesting for its installation. Golden Gate Colleges has also found this digital library advantageous in providing S&T resources to their students, the reason why they have signified its adoption.
An Online Orientation-Training on SuperSTARBOOKS was pursued upon deployment of the units to Golden Gate Colleges on March 25, 2021 via Google Meet. A total of twenty-four (24) participants comprised of the College Dean, coordinators, teachers, and other staff from Elementary to College level of the beneficiary institution partook the online activity. DOST PSTC Batangas staff, Ms. Madel I. Macalinao, served as the speaker while Mr. John Maico M. Hernandez served as the program facilitator.
Before the discussion, Mr. Hernandez provided a brief background about the SuperSTARBOOKS and asked the participants to share their idea about it. Ms. Marie Paz B. Closa, Chief Librarian of GGC, shared her understanding of STARBOOKS and mentioned her familiarity of the system begun when she was still with the Library Hub of DepED Batangas City where another STARBOOKS unit was deployed.
The discussion on SuperSTARBOOKS pursued on a two-part structure. First part was the introduction to STARBOOKS and orientation on available STARBOOKS platforms. Ms. Macalinao, presented the available platforms which participants can access during normal, new normal and better normal which include STARBOOKS Offline, Online (www.starbooks.ph), Mobile Application, Quiz Application and Geomap Application. Tons of resources itemized as books, magazines, journals, scientific and research papers, disaster preparedness materials, interactive courseware, and K-12 supplement materials were also discussed as contents of STARBOOKS. Based from STII report, upgrading of the content of STARBOOKS was carried out in 2016 where more materials have been added into the collection including full-length livelihood videos from the former Technology Resource Center, scientists’ profiles, DOST publications, Science: Cool Facts, significant dates in Philippine Science History and new science articles.
The second part of the discussion focused on the site admin training for both Offline and Online STARBOOKS. The speaker encouraged the participants to take note of the responsibilities of the site admin as it requires technicalities which incorporate the assistance on users, submission of transmittal files, uploading on the citizen’s archive, updating on the contents of SUPERSTARBOOKS, and administration of the STARBOOKS kiosks. Questions and concerns of the participants were also addressed after during the activity.
Meanwhile, roles and responsibilities of Golden Gate Colleges as stipulated in the provisions of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) were likewise covered in the first part discussion. Emphasis on the submission of the transmittal file quarterly as a basic monitoring requirement of DOST was laid out.
According to Mr. Patrick Sanchez, the activity was a big help to them. “Great job in giving the overview of how STARBOOKS works and its potentials for use,” he mentioned. More than this, they consider STARBOOKS advantageous in their pursuit to produce more competitive students in the fields of Science, Mathematics, and Technology.