As the Guam Public Library System celebrates its 70th year of serving the island, there are some changes that have been made to the department.
As of last Thursday, Aug. 15, the Barrigada public library ceased its services as a circulating library and has begun its conversion into an archival center for the island’s residents.
According to Arlene Santos, the Acting Director of the Guam Public Library System, the center will store documents from all government branches on the island to serve as reference for research.
“We decided to use Barrigada because it’s the closest … centrally located … and it’s the closest to the main facility here in Hagatna. And it’s also in the area where you have high schools and the University of Guam. You have GCC. You have people there who go to school and may want to do research, so we figured that might be the best home for those documents,” Santos said.
Santos says that because some of the documents are several decades old — with a few dating back as far as the 1st Guam Legislature in the 1950s — hard copies of the documents will not be available for circulation, but patrons will have access to scanned copies.
She hopes that the conversion will be completed by next month, along with some renovations for the facility.
In addition, GPLS is excited for the revitalization of their mobile library, which debuted earlier at this year’s Liberation Day Parade after being non-operational due to mechanical issues in 2013.
The book mobile would provide residents with additional access to not just books, but internet services.
“So hopefully, it’ll provide real access to everybody when they want any kind of service from the library because it’s not just provided to some villages due to the facilities, but it’s going to be going around as well through the book mobile.”
While the book mobile is currently undergoing some retrofitting, the Guam Public Library System hopes to have it driving around the island by the end of the year.