THE regional offices of the Department of Science and Technology and Department of Education is opening a digital library for students in Cordillera.

The two offices signed an agreement last week to hook up select schools in the region to the Science and Technology Academic and Research-Based Openly Operated Kiosk Station – STARBOOKS for short.

STARBOOKS is the first digital library in the Philippines developed by the DOST designed to use the internet to provide information, create awareness and interest in science and technology and inspire students' entrepreneurship and research competencies.

"Ito po ay isang imbensyon ng DOST kung saan ang ating libraries ay dinidigitize natin," DOST-CAR Director Julius Caesar Sicat said.

Under the agreement, the DOST and DepEd will provide 14 STARBOOKS units to public schools, colleges and Provincial Science and Technology Centers in Cordillera. Total cost of the project: P700,000.

At present, STARBOOKS is available offline with updated and timely books, journals and modules about the fields of science and technology, engineering, agriculture and entrepreneurship.

Sicat said the next phase of STARBOOKS, to be pilot-tested in Cordillera, will incorporate cultural heritage information.

The pilot will include histories and information about indigenous knowledge and systems in farming, weaving, woodcarving and even tattoo designing.

Sicat said he hopes STARBOOKS will encourage local governments to install computers in schools in their areas to gain access to STARBOOKS.

He said 38 elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities have access to STARBOOKS.

Apayao has the most with 15 schools installed with the digital library; 11 schools in Mountain Province; six schools in Ifugao; four schools in Kalinga; one school each in Abra and Benguet.

STARBOOKS “will partly solve the lack in text books and it will supplement or compliment the provision of information," he said.

Last month, the digital library project received a given Presidential Citation for Innovative International Library Projects from the American Library Association.