Friday, September 21, 2012

Man Opens a Real Home Library

It's been a while since I've found an interesting library story to highlight, but I really like this one, so maybe it was worth the wait.

Seems that a man in the Philippines takes the "pass it on" principle very seriously.  Because Hernando Guanlao wanted to share his passion for books, he set up an official lending library in front of his Manila home twelve years ago.  Interestingly, the library has no rules.  Take as many books as you want; bring them back when you want; keep them permanently if that works better for you.  The big surprise is that the library has grown from less than 100 books to approximately 3,000 books despite its its free-for-all policy.

The BBC has a nice article, including pictures, that can be accessed here:
He was looking for something to honour their (his parents) memory, and that was when he hit upon the idea of promoting the the reading habit he'd inherited.
"I saw my old textbooks upstairs and decided to come up with the concept of having the public use them," he says.
But it's people like Celine who sustain the library.  She lives down the road from Guanlao, and she arrived with two bulging bags of books - some of which she was returning, others of which she was planning to donate.
She says she loves the concept of the library, because Filipinos - certainly those who are not particularly wealthy - have limited access to books.
"I haven't been to any public libraries except the national library in Manila," she says, explaining that it is quite far away - and it is not possible to borrow any books.
I've said it at least a dozen people are special people.  Hernando Guanlao proves my theory.

I'm not even going to pretend to understand what the commentators are saying in this news video, but it offers a good look at the library (and includes a few words of English here and there).


  1. What a terrific story. Yes, Book people are special people.

  2. The Home Library story is a real feel-good story, isn't it, Susan. I'm convinced there is not a more generous and friendly group of people in the world than that of avid readers.

    After all, we can't possibly keep all those books. LOL