December 10, 2022

With an aim to bring back the love for reading, the first “Book Nook” site in the province was launched in Kapangan, Benguet last Dec. 20.

Book Nook is an initiative of the National Book Development Board in partnership with Benguet province and the local government of Kapangan, which is among the 52 sites in the country where the Book Nook project was established.

Book Nook Project area coordinator Clarita Prudencio said the town is the pilot area for the province, but they envision to expand this in other municipalities soon.

Prudencio said Book Nook is a not traditional library I, but a hybrid space where there is a children’s corner, a reading area, art space, a cultural center, and an area where people can converge and discuss.

The Book Nook project aims to highlight Filipino authored books and local literature on culture and tradition.

The project also sees the space to be an interactive learning site that would appeal to young people to make reading fun.

The Book Nook can be used by anyone in the community where exhibits, storytelling sessions, poetry recital, art lessons, creative workshops, and other activities for children and adults may be conducted.

One of the additions of the project is the hiring of a local storyteller who underwent training with the NBDB andwould, in turn, train other storytellers in Kapangan. 

Brian Camhit of the governor’s office said they also aim to include books focusing on local history and myths in Kapangan through books and storytelling.

He said the municipality is rich in history particularly of World War II stories involving local heroes such as then Benguet Gov. Bado Dangwa, who was born in Kapangan and has governed the then old Mountain Province and eventually Benguet province.

NBDB has donated an initial 1,500 books to the project.

“It would be up to us, based on our performance, for the establishment of other Book Nooks in the province,” Prudencio said, particularly in areas where access to the Internet access is not easy. 

Mayor Manny Fermin said they would schedule the use of the Book Nook, which has one librarian, for storytelling sessions, poetry recital, art lessons, among other activities.

“We accept the responsibility and we will be going around Kapangan with the provincial coordinator and storyteller to train more storytellers and teachers for the project,” Fermin said.

There are four Book Nook sites in the Cordillera – one in Ifugao, two in Mountain Province and one in Benguet. – Ofelia C. Empian