LOOK: Cebu City library to start 24/7 operations on March 8

Don Kevin Hapal

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LOOK: Cebu City library to start 24/7 operations on March 8
In the long term, Mayor Tommy Osmeña promises that other rooms in the building will be repurposed to 'give students doing group work a place to talk'

MANILA, Philippines – Earlier than promised, Cebu City’s Rizal Library will be open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week starting Friday, March 8, after a netizen’s request online got the attention of Mayor Tomas Osmeña. 

Osmeña initially promised the library’s operations will be extended until midnight by Friday, while it’s still preparing to shift to a 24-hour operation. However, on Thursday afternoon, March 8, he announced on his Facebook page that the library already has “enough staff” to keep operate nonstop.

“Mitch Roldan, two days ago, I said that Rizal Library’s hours will be extended to midnight starting Friday. I lied. 24/7 operation will commence tomorrow,” the mayor wrote. 

Osmeña said additional air conditioning units will be running in two days and that wireless internet will be up in a week. Electrical outlets will also be installed in the floors, and a printer and photocopier will be available. Coffee is also for sale, while and a small store selling snacks will be put up outside.


In the long term, the mayor promised, other rooms in the building will be repurposed to “give students doing group work a place to talk.” The hall above the library will also be renovated to make more reading space. 

A netizen’s request

This all happened after netizen Mitch Roldan made the suggestion on Osmeña’s Facebook page.

“Mayor, I’m also hoping and praying that you will consider having the public library be open for 24/7for us students who really need to study in a library setting,” Roldan’s comment read.

She also added that this would be more beneficial for students instead of staying in fast food chains. 

To this, the mayor replied: “Ok! Give me a week.”

On Monday, March 5, the mayor posted a screengrab of Roldan’s comment with the caption, “Many students would find this useful yes?”

Less than 24 hours after posting the screenshot, Osmeña posted an update, saying that Rizal Public Library is being outfitted for 24-hour use.

After hearing about what happened in Cebu City, the Quezon City Public Library also said that they’re considering opening for 24 hours a day.

“We just met about it, we are studying the proposal,” Mary Ann Bernal, head of QCPL Readers Services, said on Thursday, March 8. – with a report from Bong Santisteban/Rappler.com

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Don Kevin Hapal

Don Kevin Hapal is Rappler’s Head of Data and Innovation. He started at Rappler as a digital communications specialist, then went on to lead Rappler’s Balikbayan section for overseas Filipinos. He was introduced to data journalism while writing and researching about social media, disinformation, and propaganda.