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More than 150 library and information specialists from universities and colleges nationwide convened at the Pandanggo Hall of the Manila Hotel last May 12 and 13 for the 8th CE-Logic National Electronic Conference with the theme “Go Green: Sustainable Libraries and Learning Spaces in the 21st Century.”

The resource speakers in the two-day gathering included Arch. Liza Morales-Crespo and Arch. Christopher de la Cruz; Dr. Marlon Pareja, an environmental resource management center director; Prof. Ma. Sharon Esposo-Betan and Prof. Salvacion Arlante, university librarians and archivists; and Dr. Marylendra Penetrante, a wellness coach.

Arch. Morales-Crespo, principal of Liza Crespo Ecotecture, an architectural firm specializing in sustainable green building designs and residences, explained how green buildings and sustainable architecture save energy, reduce pollution, and minimize the harmful effects of pollutants on human health and the environment.

“Eco-architecture incorporates sustainable practices in all aspects of building—from the design to the extraction, manufacturing, use, and disposal of materials and resources consumed—and provides a healthy environment for both the building’s users and its immediate surroundings,” she said.

Dr. Pareja, director of the Environmental Resource Management Center at De La Salle University–Dasmariñas (DLSU-D) stressed the importance of incorporating environmental education in the college curriculum. He gave a comprehensive overview of the DLSU-D Ecological Solid Waste Management Program which saved the university more than Php 400,000 in operating costs and generated an income of more than Php 300,000 in SY 2013–2014. The program enabled DLSU-D to build a plant nursery and install solar lamp posts, solar-powered oval walkways, bicycle racks, and solar bottle bulbs in the campus and in partner communities. It also helped launch Project Carbon Neutral which assessed the carbon footprint of De La Salle Philippines (DLSP), the network of 17 Lasallian educational institutions that strive to be carbon-neutral.

Philippine Green Building Council Chief Operating Officer Arch. de la Cruz discussed the Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence (BERDE) Program, the National Green Building Code, and other local Initiatives that push for radical changes and reforms in building industry practices in the Philippines to prevent environmental degradation.

Prof. Esposo-Betan, head librarian of the University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD) College of Engineering briefly discussed the Green Library Movement and how libraries have been considered as exemplars of sustainability. Her lecture highlighted the UP College of Engineering Libraries’ (EnggLib) initiative of further promoting ecological responsibility among libraries by integrating environment-friendly practices in the functions of various library sections.

“It is with high hope that the simple ways to help make the library environmentally friendly bring about changes not only in the way the EnggLib operates but also in encouraging other libraries to adopt these ways as their own thereby making all our libraries ecologically conducive,” Prof. Esposo-Betan enthused.

Dr. Penetrante, a life coach and the founder of the first mental wellness center in Albay, the Children and Youth Wellness Technical and Advocacy Center (CYWTAC), opened the second day of the conference with a lecture on stress management and happiness in the workplace.

Prof. Arlante, a former UPD librarian and archivist and the current head of the Centro Escolar University Library System, provided the synthesis of the lectures.

“Creating buildings that value and support environments and operations that are healthy, flexible, and that fit naturally in their local conditions, is the primordial goal of green, sustainable libraries. Central to this approach is the creation and promotion of the library that enriches the community and ecology with both the physical building and information-rich environment. This adds vitality and continuity to the quality of life in the area,” Prof. Arlante concluded.

Also present during the conference were Department of Education Assistant Secretary Elvin Ivan Uy who delivered the opening remarks, Manila Hotel President Atty. Joey Lina who serenaded the participants with classic Filipino ballads, and CE-Logic President Maximo Gomez who gave the closing remarks.

Aside from the line-up of lectures, co-presenters Alexander Street, Cambridge University Press, Cengage Learning, Elsevier, Euromonitor International, FE Technologies, and i2S, conducted product presentations and business meetings.

During the event, KITE E-Learning Solutions, Inc., an affiliate of CE-Logic, Inc. introduced its new products, namely, the Philippine E-Journals (PEJ) and the Philippine E-Book Hub (PEBH). PEJ is an expanding collection of academic journals made accessible globally through a single web-based platform. PEBH is a highly intuitive, web-based library designed to provide students, educators, researchers, and professionals with free access to the biggest online collection of Filipiniana e-books.

A Hawaiian-inspired celebration titled “Aloha Aina: A Luau Night for a Green Earth,” was held at Sea Breeze, Manila Hotel on May 12, capping the first day of the conference with a sumptuous dinner, a singing contest, a raffle draw, and band music by Soul Session. “Aloha ‘aina” is a Hawaiian phrase which means to love, respect, and claim stewardship of the land.