The present Library as it stands today started when the Ateneo High School was transferred to its present site in 1956. At that time, the space was enough to maintain the collection and provide services to the more than 900-student population. In the early 70’s, the Audiovisual (AV) Section was established, realizing the importance of the use of audiovisual materials and equipment in the teaching-learning process. A room adjacent to the Library was used as the Projection Room where the small collection of AV materials and equipment were also housed. This section was placed under the supervision of the HS Librarian and a technical assistant was hired to provide services to the users.
Simultaneously since then, the collections and services of both the Library and the AV grew, at the same time that the population being served by the two sections increased. For this reason, a new building was constructed in 1991 during the term of Fr. Jose A. Cruz, S.J. as principal. The new complex housed two projection rooms, one large enough to hold three classes and a second one adequate enough to hold two classes. Likewise, it was also designed to contain a work/stack room, a multi-purpose room, a prayer room and a set of activity rooms for students, which can be converted to classroom use for special Math or tracking classes. Eventually, these activity rooms gave way for the offices of the Parents Union for School and the Home (PUSH) and its adviser/coordinator, the coordinator for Lay Friends of the Lord and the Prefect of Discipline for freshmen.
The creation of the said complex paved the way for the expansion of the Library reading area, together with the construction of the Silent Reading Room, the Faculty Reading Room, the Library Lobby and Foyer as well as the renovation/expansion of the Librarian's office with the panoramic view of all areas mentioned. With the continuous expansion of the student population, the faculty population has also increased which necessitated the conversion of the Faculty Reading Room into a Faculty Computer Room while the latter was moved to the Silent Reading Room in the Summer of 1997.
"Since the practice among schools...is towards a unified media program and related services...the re-integration was approved by the School Council in its meeting last February 28, 2001."
The Instructional Technology Center
On the other hand, the creation and expansion of the Audiovisual Room required the employment of a media specialist who was tasked to organize, coordinate and put to effective use the resources of the new complex. In 1993, the new complex was named the Instructional Technology Center (ITC) and the new media specialist, being a professional librarian and a master’s degree holder in Educational Technology (with 16 years experience in the field of librarianship), was given the free hand to supervise the Center, reporting directly to the then Assistant Principal for Academic Affairs. From 1995 to 1997, during the term of Rev. Fr. Carmelo A. Caluag II, SJ, as principal,, the ITC satellites were created, namely: the ABS-CBN Media Room, the Class '70 AV Room, and the Hayes Hall.
Recent developments in staffing, physical structure and supervision of programs and services once again call for the integration of the two sections. Since the practice among schools, both here and abroad, is towards a unified media program and related services encompassing all formats in line with the development of a multi-media approach to teaching and learning, the re-integration was approved by the School Council in its meeting last February 28, 2001. The newly integrated set-up was given the name Educational Media Center (EMC), following the Grade School model. With the retirement of the librarian in March 2000, the former ITC Coordinator was appointed as the EMC Coordinator.
"The renovation of the Library commenced in the summer of 2008 and the transfer was finalized in December of 2009."
In SY 2006-2007, a new Satellite EMC was constructed on the third floor of the Arrupe Hall. In this satellite, both print and non-print materials adn equipment were made available to the students and faculty, thereby making the services of the EMC more accessible to everyone. This was further reinforced with the relocation of the ABS-CBN Media Room to a bigger space on the same floor and the transfer of Class '70 AVR to the middle of the second floor. However, the Satellite EMC was not able to achieve its objective of attracting a big number of users. As such, it was decided to just expand and renovate the Main Library and convert the Satellite EMC into student activity areas.
The renovation of the Library commenced in the summer of 2008 and the transfer was finalized in December of 2009. The traditional L-shaped design in a 942 square meter floor area was modernized with contemporary-designed furniture and fixtures. A networked voice and data system has been installed to accommodate an increased number of telephones and computer units as well as Wi-Fi routers in three different areas for students' laptops. Another innovative idea is the provision of teen spaces where students can feel more comfortable and relaxed, making the Library more conducive for study and recreatory reading.
Compared with the old library, additional space was added to accommodate a bigger seating capacity (15% of the student population) following international standards. There are now two entrances/exits complemented with two circulation counters. The Faculty Reading Room which was transferred to a new location is now beside the Faculty Computer Room. The EMC Coordinator's office was also transferred and placed adjacent to the staff lounge/work area.
As the school's contribution to a sustainable environment, the following changes have also been adopted: from flat ceiling, the Main Reading Area has been sloped following the contour of the roof in order to heighten the perception of space. The traditional fluorescent lights were replaced by LED uni/directional lights for longer lifespan and low electricity consumption. And finally, the old traditional windows were replaced with aluminum-framed tempered glass to allow more lights to come in and, at the same time, to better see the green landscaped garden outside.
With all these innovations and changes, the AJHS Library is now more prepared to better serve the needs of its community and face the challenges of the new millennium.