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Bulacan Provincial Library


The Bulacan Provincial Library was established to supplement the research and educational needs of the Bulacan constituents and nearby provinces. At the time the Bulacan Provincial Library came to existence, 50 years ago, books were hard to find and most students could not afford to buy books and other reading materials, which they needed in their researches. This condition helped spawn the revival of the idea of establishing a public library in the Province. In 1940, then Governor Jacinto Molina born the idea of organizing a library for the province of Bulacan. He signed an agreement with then Bureau of Public Libraries Director Eulogio Rodriguez to form a library. However, World War II intervened and the project was abandoned. In 1948, Governor Fortunato F. Halili, with his objective of promoting the cultural and intellectual progress of the province, pushed the idea started by Governor Molina. But due to a serious illness he had to leave for the US and left the project unrealized. Atty. Teofilo E. Sauco, who was then Secretary of the Provincial Board, assumed the governorship on June 15, 1949. It was during his brief incumbency as Acting Governor of Bulacan that the Bulacan Provincial Library came to existence. On December 20, 1949, the Provincial Library then called Bureau of Public Libraries Division-Bulacan Branch was formally inaugurated with Mrs. Carolina G. Santillan as the first Provincial Librarian. Principal speakers were Bureau of Public Libraries Director Luis Montilla and Undersecretary of Education Cecilio Putong. The first library quarter was a room adjacent to the Governor’s Office in the Capitol building, and it stayed there up to 1953. Under Governor Alejo Santos, the Provincial Library was transferred to a building where later the Marcelo H. Del Pilar High School (then Bulacan High School) main building was relocated. In 1955 when Governor Alejo Santos expanded the said school, Mrs. Carolina Santillan knew that the library would have to be transferred again. She sought the help of a fellow UP Alumni, Senator Gil J. Puyat for funds to build a new library building. It was one storey building situated along the McArthur Highway on what is now the site of Real Savings Bank and Security Bank. In 1971, when Governor Ignacio Santiago’s infrastructure program came in, construction of the Hiyas complex begun. The Provincial Museum, Tourism Office, Office of the Provincial Band and the Bulacan Provincial Library were joined in the same building making it a “one-stop” place for the cultural enrichment of the province. The Bureau of Public Libraries Division-Bulacan Branch now the Bulacan Provincial Library expanded its services by helping organize Municipal Libraries in various Bulacan towns. Notable among them were the Municipal Libraries of Angat, Norzagaray, Bustos, Baliwag, Plaridel, Meycauayan, Guiguinto, Paombong, Hagonoy, San Ildefonso, Pulilan, Sta. Maria and Calumpit. Unfortunately, some of them were later discontinued. Some factors which attributed to the closure of these libraries are the lack of appropriations and the dearth of qualified librarians. At present, the Bulacan Provincial Library has six sections. Bulacanana Section is located at the mezzanine of the library. This section is rich in the cultural heritage of the province. All materials are kept for research purposes. This section has a total area of 50.22 sq. m. The Circulation and the Filipiniana Section has a total area of 50.22 sq. m. Reference Section has a total of area of 10.08 sq. m. And Leisure / Fiction Section has a total area of 12.15 sq. m. The reading area has a total of 50.22 sq. m. at the mezzanine and 50.22 at the ground floor. In addition, it has a reading capacity of 75 readers at a time. The Library has also its stock room with a total area of 8.88 sq. m. at the mezzanine and in the ground floor. Besides lending books to the public, particularly to students and to other municipal libraries, the Bulacan Provincial Library have participated and organized conferences and seminar-workshops. The Provincial Library is very active in the annual commemoration of the National Book Week. Parades with carosas, book shower are held in line with promoting books and raising awareness of the existence of the public library among the constituents of Bulacan. The post EDSA administration of Governor Roberto M. Pagdanganan, with its Provincial Librarian Mrs. Jessie B. Capulong continued with the BPL’s mission of serving the Bulakenos. After Mrs. Capulong’s retirement in 1994, Ms. Vilma Tobias, then Asst. Librarian took over until 1997. An OIC Mr. Ariston Saguinsin took over the helm of the Bulacan Provincial Library until February 1998. Under the administration of Bulacan’s first woman governor HON. JOSEFINA ‘JOSIE’ MENDOZA DELA CRUZ, and with the valuable services of its head librarian, Ms. Veronica C. Cacabelos, the library continued with the upgrading of library facilities and services to better fulfill its mission of serving its constituents and nearby provinces in its cultural and educational needs through its library services. In 1998, their effort and hardwork bore fruit when the Bulacan Provincial Library won an award as one of the Most Outstanding Public Libraries not only in Region III but in the whole country. This award further inspired Ms. Cacabelos and her staff to pursue with the enhancement of its services and making it available to a wider range of users. Today, the Bulacan Provincial Library, with the support of its very able Governor, continues to improve its services to better serve the constituents of Bulacan and other nearby provinces better.