Who knew Olongapo had a library? The Bugle recently discovered a surprisingly well kept facility. The library building is at the end of hospital road past the museum, convention center and Red Cross near Marikit park. This is one of the only truly tranquil, shaded streets remaining from the original Olongapo.
As libraries should be Olongapo's is run by some dedicated folks who love to read and be around people who do. They are friendly, helpful and attentive. The large one room facility has 19,000 books. The book genres are well organized into fiction and non fiction. And then further categorized into biography, fantasy, crime, adventure, horror etc. Hardcover and paperbacks reside side by side. The children and young adult section is large and varied. The timeless, ever-useful Dewey Decimal system is used at the Olongapo library.
A special section of reference material and text books are available to students and those pursuing special projects. These are securely maintained behind the counter. Three computers are available for use by the public and the day we visited they all worked. A comfortable section with couches and chairs has a reading corner with four Manila daily papers and a collection of recent publications and periodicals.
Libraries always have a unique fragrance that library rats find comfort in. It is the smell of paper in abundance that they find so pleasing. This library though reeks a bit more odoriferous than most as four feet of flood waters invaded the premises last month. A pile of ruined, reeking volumes attests to the tragedy.