Literacy enables a person to consume and create information and knowledge in order to, ultimately, improve his or her quality of life. Filipinas Heritage Library aims to be an essential space for literacy for the Filipino, on the Filipino.
Aside from initiating programs that aspire to bring physical and virtual libraries and library services to more users, FHL, with the help of private and government partners, plans and carries out special projects that celebrate literacy and Philippine culture. With its programs, FHL hopes to encourage teachers, information specialists, and communities not only to know more about our country, but to be creative and constructive in using that knowledge as well.
In the effort to expand and enrich the learning experience of students and other members of communities, the Ayala Foundation, through FHL, is spearheading the OurLibrary project. This project aims to: 1) improve the collection of resource and reading materials available in the public or school library in cities and municipalities in the country; 2) improve libraries’ facilities; 3) enhance libraries’ services; and 4) set up related activities that aspire to promote love for reading and learning.
FHL is hosting LibraryLink, a one-stop resource center for Filipiniana resources. It aims to provide one search engine or point of entry for researchers and students of Filipiniana. It now has 112 institutional members sharing over 350,000 catalog records of their Filipiniana collections through the LibraryLink website. FHL also organizes the LibraryLink conference, a biennial gathering of library professionals from the Philippines and abroad to discuss relevant issues in the library and information industries.
The Herencia Lectures are based on Herencia: A Legacy of Art and Progress, which BPI Foundation published in 2008. The book and teacher’s guide explore the BPI Art Collection which represents nearly all periods, styles, and genres significant to Philippine visual art history. Through the Herencia Lectures, BPI Foundation aims to address the lack of art education projects and training programs for teachers in the country, and thus “initiate a discussion into the dynamic relationships between the economy, the artist, and art, between material and spiritual progress.”
The lectures relate a brief history of Philippine art and introduce art appreciation, and provide hands-on instruction for creating art-oriented lesson plans and classroom activities. Facilitated by artist and art teacher Don Salubayba, art critic Cid Reyes, and art teacher Malou Roque, the seminar-workshop is usually cascaded to fifty local public school teachers selected by the Regional Office of DepEd.
The fifth Herencia Lectures took place in October 2013 in Bacolod City. The free seminar was previously held in Makati and Cebu in 2011; Zamboanga in 2012; and Baguio in April 2013.
ArtConnection is a teacher training and development program of the League of Corporate Foundations, through its Art and Culture Committee, supported by the Charities Aid Foundation of Australia.
From 2008 to 2010, more than 1,000 teachers from Metro Manila and its neighboring towns received free training on teaching Philippine history and culture, while 70 teachers were given a copy of the ArtConnection resource book on teaching Makabayan.
The resource book is a comprehensive guide to Philippine cultural history and includes a CD of sample lesson plans and pieces of Philippine music that teachers can use in the classroom. The training program on the other hand is made up of lectures conducted by experts in the fields of History, Literature, Music, and the Visual Arts, as well as class demonstrations of how an interdisciplinary classroom is run.
With the support of LGUs or corporate sponsors, the resource book and training program can be cascaded to public school teachers in other parts of the country.
FHL also provides consulting services in archiving, research, and print and digital publishing. Among the Library’s recent projects are archiving the episodes of a television show, researching and copywriting for a public exhibition on Philippine Independence, and generating website content for Ayala Land’s twenty-fifth anniversary.