Last March 16, 2014, a ceremonial turn-over of donation amounting to $6,000 was held at the Mabuhay Restop, T.M. Kalaw, Manila by the American Library Association (ALA) to the Philippine Librarians Association, Inc. (PLAI). It is the result of the Philippine Relief Fund campaign that was undertaken by the former to help the libraries and librarians who were victims of the Typhoon Haian (Yolanda) that hit the country last year. The money came from 80 generous donors (individuals and groups) from 29 states of the United States and three countries outside the US (i.e., Australia, Canada, and Luxembourg).

Present in the turn-over to represent the PLAI were Mrs. Elizabeth Peralejo (President), Ms. Susan Pador (Treasurer – NBOT), Mrs. Emma Rey (Treasurer – NCR LC), and Mrs. Lily Echiverri (former President), and to represent ALA was Mrs. Nancy Bolt, immediate past Chair of the ALA International Relations Committee. At present, Mrs. Bolt serves on IFLA’s Library Services to People with Special Needs and was here in the country to speak at the1st International Conference for Public Librarians held in Cebu City last March 19-21, 2014.

The PLAI intends to use the money to purchase selected technical books (as requested by affected academic libraries), Filipiniana books, as well as non-print materials such as maps and globes. The President has been talking with book distributors/printers and manufacturers to donate and /or sell said materials at discounted prices. Whatever books will be collected from this will go to selected libraries in Leyte and Samar and will be distributed there by the President and Treasurer sometime in May 2014. Previous to this, the PLAI has already donated second hand books and old/duplicate professional journals to several libraries in the regions, namely: Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte (c/o Davao Region Librarians Council); La Union (c/o Ilocos Region Librarians Council); Iloilo (c/o Western Visayas Region Librarians Council); and Zamboanga Peninsula (c/o Western Mindanao Region Librarians Council). These materials were solicited from other libraries in line with the outreach project of PLAI dubbed “One Million and Counting . . . : Book Drive for Libraries, Victims of Calamities”. Together with books and journals, the Councils also brought basic necessities, many of which were donated by librarians who answered the Call for Action initiated by the President when Typhoon Yolanda devastated some parts of the country.

To all our generous donors both here and abroad, our heartfelt thanks. We hope that this will be the beginning of another meaningful collaboration and cooperation of librarians in this part of the world.