I was in a historic place yesterday.
The Nielsen Tower, Manila's first international airport during the pre-war years, still stands at the corner of Makati Ave., and Ayala Ave. What is now a cosmopolitan center was, in the past, an airstrip. The tower now houses the Filipinas Heritage Library (FHL). Home to rare books, vinyl records, selected Filipiniana, photos and resources on museology, the FHL (my acronym) is a haven for researchers, artists, scholars, students and the curious on Philippine arts, culture and history. Ms. Maritoni Ortigas of the FHL was a gracious and amiable lady who gave the tour.
It has many function rooms and events venue for rent on special occasions such as book launchings and workshops. The bookshop houses souvenirs, mostly Filipiniana, of course. What caught my attention though was the location of the library. It's in the basement. In school librarianship, libraries must be central to the physical location of the school for accessibility. At FHL, the collection is secured below.
This is not to say that the library is a bunker. It is well lighted and airconditioned. There is a room for readers and researchers and the Filipiniana collection is growing! The good thing about this basement location is the security and privacy afforded for users and its resources. The upper rooms can be noisy places when workshops and events occur.
There's a membership fee for those who wish to frequent the library and attend its events on a regular basis. This cat seems like an interested patron. Cat can't wait to curl upon a good book.
I found it standing by the door of the library. The library staff does not seem to mind the cat. Mrs. Ortigas didn't even shoo it away when she led me and the rest of her visitors to the door at the end of the visit. Now that's one kind of library service that speaks for itself. Everyone is welcome in the library be it beast or man!