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Library renovation to finish by May 2024

By April Villagonzalo, Sean Duran, and Nicole Villarin | December 6, 2023

Silliman University (SU) Library underwent renovations “to usher transformative laboratories and additional amenities,” according to Dave Marcial, Mariano Lao Global Studies Center Director.

The renovation project included features and services ranging from newly installed furniture and polished floor tiles to an elevator donated by the Silliman University Alumni Council of North America (SUACONA) for easier access between floors. 

Prof. Jane Belarmino, SU Vice President for Development, said that while SUACONA originally intended for the elevator to be in the administration office, they later decided it should be installed in the library instead, citing it as the “heart of the university.”

One highlight of the university’s renovated library will be the introduction of a transformative lab on the first floor. 

This innovative space will house 3D printing machines, multimedia creation tools, technological equipment, additional computers, and WiFi connections, providing students with an “immersive and interactive learning environment.”

The SU Library will also include an audio-visual room, with a green screen and recording equipment to enhance multimedia capabilities.

As the renovation took place, considerations for usage and permits were carefully addressed by the staff. Plans to establish policy guidelines and allocate specific areas for engineering, agriculture laboratories, transformative labs, digital libraries, and medical and health sciences are also set. 

Godswill Carino, SU Library office staff, highlighted that other courses, and colleges can use the equipment depending on their needs. 

“It is specified for engineering students and related technology courses because they need to. But we are catering all the courses,” said Sarah Ragay, SU Library Officer-in-Charge. 

Despite redesigns and alterations to the library’s interior, the exterior will remain mostly intact. This decision is an effort to preserve the architectural style of the building, which predates 1970s-era Philippine architecture. 

The only exception to preserving the SU Library’s exterior is the replacement of the windows with “more modern glass panels.”

The entrance will feature an LED screen that displays greetings to visitors, library staff, and students as they enter the building.

A Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) gate entry system will also manage and monitor the library’s arriving and departing traffic to increase security. 

Moreover, the second floor will be converted into a reading area and repository of books, featuring movable collaborative-type furniture. 

The third floor will house a lounge area, with six discussion rooms and an activity area, including a section dedicated to Filipino literature, such as Sillimaniana and theology.

An off-site book storage facility with space for up to 2000 volumes, depending on the needs of the collection, will be situated at the rear portion. The librarian also considered setting up preservation tools and a room for archiving and maintaining historical records.

Prof. Belarmino, however, dismissed initial speculation about a café within the library, citing fire safety issues relating to open-flame cooking in the canteen.

“There are fire hazard concerns. So, the university decided to let it go,” she said.


Editor’s note: This post is part of the Weekly Sillimanian and the College of Mass Communication collaboration. Students taking COM 33 – News Editing and Production under Asst. Prof. Irma Pal temporarily take over the operations for a week or one issue as their final requirement.

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