MANILA, Philippines – The story of Hernando Guanlao, the 66-year-old man who turned his home into a public library has inspired many netizens. (READ: Beyond the pages: Man turns home into public library)
Mang Nanie never thought that his collection of 50 books would grow to two million. People with good hearts, according to him, would knock on his door bringing boxes of books every time his shelves run out of books.
“Books are just there. They come and go. I don’t worry about the inventory,” he said.
Unlike the usual ones, Mang Nanie’s library has no rules. It is open 24/7 and people can take home whatever book they want. He doesn’t follow card cataloguing and database updating because for him, it would be an additional job.
Mang Nanie believes that many people still don’t have access to books because of their prices. He says many poor people consider education, much less reading books, a luxury.
In the Philippines, the 2017 National Book Development Board (NBDB) readership survey showed Filipinos barely know if there’s a public library near their home.
But the sad reality is that most barangays in the country don’t have a library. NBDB chairperson Neni Sta Romana Cruz said libraries are important in ensuring that all Filipinos have access to books. (READ: Filipinos barely know if there are libraries near their homes)
Advocacy captures hearts online
Netizens commended Mang Nanie for his advocacy of empowering people through books. Since Rappler published his story on Saturday, December 15, people have been asking how they can extend help to him.
People like Mang Nanie are the true heroes— Q (@FrancisSolideyt) December 15, 2018
How can you help?
Mang Nanie said he will maintain his library for as long as he can. As long as there are people who are willing to donate books, his mission continues. “How do you stop something if people are still willing to help?”
You can help him by:
- Visiting his library at 1454 Balagtas St, Barangay La Paz, Makati City and donating books
- Contacting him through 0935-153-3031 or sending him a message via the Reading Club 2000 Facebook page and emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.