The University of the Philippines Institute of Creative Writing (UP-ICW) recently offered its Philippine Literature collection for free online browsing amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
On June 15, UP-ICW announced on Facebook and Twitter an initiative called “Freelipiniana: Malayang Pagbasa sa Gitna ng Pandemya” wherein it offered its online library of Philippine or Filipiniana literature and attached links to the free archive and the introduction page.
“Para sa malayang pagbabasa sa gitna ng pandemya!” the post read.
THE FREELIPINIANA ONLINE LIBRARY IS NOW OPEN!
— LIKHAAN: UP Institute of Creative Writing (@LIKHAAN) June 15, 2020
In its introductory statement, the UP-ICW said that the goal of this project is to bring these materials, which are mostly unavailable in digital format, closer to readers as they cope with the global financial and economic crisis.
“As libraries continue to be inaccessible due to COVID19, the people’s access to reading materials remains limited. This is especially true for Filipiniana selections which are prized for their cultural and intellectual value but are largely unavailable now because many have not yet been digitized and opened for online access,” the statement read.
The UP-ICW also hopes to “encourage literacy and make education accessible” through published literary texts such as novels, zines, poems, books and anthologies.
“Through the Freelipiniana Online Library, the LIKHAAN: UP Institute of Creative Writing aims to collect and upload Filipiniana works to allow readers to consume these local texts from the safety of their homes, be they for leisure or research. We want to encourage literacy and make education accessible even while the pandemic limits many of our essential activities,” it said.
It also stated that Filipino authors and publishers of the featured works volunteered for this project curated by Filipinos for Filipinos. However, these selections cannot be “printed, reproduced, or sold without permission.”
“Uploaded works may be read on the website, with some available for download. While these materials are accessible, they cannot be printed, reproduced, or sold without permission from the author/owner,” the statement read.
On the archive page, selected works of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and children’s literature are accessible to read and download for free. Those under drama and graphic literature, meanwhile, will be made free soon.
Libraries, museums and other leisure or recreational places are still not allowed to reopen during the relaxed general community quarantine phase.
However, before May ended, the National Task Force against COVID-19 allowed their gradual resumption at reduced capacity which started on June 7.
Since strict lockdown measures were imposed last March, big digital libraries such as Scribd, JSTOR and Science Direct offered a part of their large databases for free access during the duration of the pandemic.
As of writing, some content on Scribd, JSTOR and Science Direct can still be accessed for free.
We've expanded our free online reading program until the end of 2020: You can read 100 articles for free online every month, without institutional affiliation.
— JSTOR (@JSTOR) June 9, 2020
Meanwhile, UP-ICW recently announced that the website went down over some technical issues but is now up and running.
“The website is back up and running! We’ll keep working to prevent similar incidents in the future. Thank you for your patience. Feel free to check out the Freelipiniana library now,” it said on Facebook.
UPDATE: The website is back up and running! We'll keep working to prevent similar incidents in the future. Thank you for…