IN THESE changing times, planes no longer just fly on the air, they can now float at sea and cars are starting to explore the sky but books, they can still take you everywhere even while you’re in one place, the library.

I can remember my professor through a lot of fond times when I was a student who was really eager on learning the magic of writing. And, I will never forget that she will always say that before you become adept in writing, you must discover the power of reading first.

I thought I was already on track because my childhood was all about children encyclopedias and dictionaries. I felt that my knowledge on general facts are enough to call myself a writer but in every write shop I only get grades from 80-85, sometimes 78 (there was only one time when I got a 95 and it was a personal feature).

And so I reflect on her mantra - you can only write from what you read. Reviewing my papers, I observed that just like the books I was reading, I was only stating facts, not expanding. There was no story, there was no variety.

By this time, another professor’s teaching finally came in to me - you must write the language of your reader. And as someone who wishes to get to a national paper, I expect that my readers would be from different age brackets. I already like Greek Mythology then so I started digging on Jane Austen, Ernest Hemingway, Stephenie Meyer, John Green, Bob Ong, Bo Sanchez, Macario Tiu - yep, that diverse.

Since I can’t afford to buy those books with my allowance, I go to the school library (another professor’s voice would echo in my mind saying, “Make use of the library, the university is paying millions!”).

The government is also spending as much just to enrich the community and its people. Public librarians go through diligent work just to feed the residents of the books with the information they need.

In an interview, National Library of the Philippines' Jilven Amar, he said, “we match what the community needs. In a place with promising agriculture, we make sure we have the books that tell them the latest technology and technique to use in their fields so we can be of help.”

These librarians gather once a year to educate themselves on better ways to make the library more useful in the modern times. The National Library of the Philippines (NLP), in partnership with the Davao City Library and Information Center, conducts the National Conference of Public Librarians on March 14 – 17 at the Apo View Hotel, Bonifacio Street, Poblacion District, Davao City.

Their theme, “The Emerging Libraries: Connect, Collaborate and Build Strong Communities,” reflects just what the NLP imposes - to establish interdependence within the community that they belong. We need them and they need us as well to continually sustain themselves.

Unlike the library of the past, today’s library can provide people with digital literacy as computers attached with webcams are installed inside.

There are also sections in the library especially made for kids, the elderly, and of course, they also have a mobile version of the library.

“To those who cannot go to the library, we will go to them,” Davao City Library Head Pedrita Badar said.

The world is continually evolving and so does our dear libraries so don’t let yourself get left behind. Visit your city library today.

And if you don’t feel like it, invite yourself. More like, force yourself.

There are worlds on those books that are waiting to be unraveled. We develop ourselves through reading and through reading more, we maximize our capabilities.