Over 5,000 sign up for free Japanese classes at Cebu City Public Library

MANILA, Philippines – Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña said in a Facebook post on Tuesday, March 26, that over 5,000 have signed up for free Japanese classes being offered by the city’s public library. 

“I am happy to announce that we are now more than halfway through the backlog of people who are interested in the free Japanese class,” Osmeña said in his Facebook post.

“Apologies for those who have had to wait, when I first made the post we only had one instructor and I expected maybe 200 people to be interested,” he added.” “More than 5,000 people showed up to register.”

Osmeña first offered these classes on February 26, and said that volunteers from the Japanese community offered to help meet the demand for those interested in learning Nihongo.

On March 9, the library also began offering a Korean language class, which initially offered only 50 slots.

The library is also planning to offer Spanish, Mandarin, and German language classes.

On March 21, the city’s public library – the first one to open 24/7 beginning in 2018 – was recognized as the country’s top-performing library by the National Library of the Philippines and the Asia Foundation.

Since beginning its all-day operations, the library reported a visitor of increase of 296%, or a total of 103,000 visitors in 2018.

This is up from 26,000 total visitors in 2017.

The Rizal Memorial Library and Museum Building is set to celebrate its centennial anniversary this April 13.

Other plans in the works for the library include an RFID (radio-frequency-identification) system and literature for deaf and LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) patrons. 

Shortly after Cebu City opened its library 24/7 in 2018, Quezon City's library did a test run, extending its hours, although it has not yet decided to open 24/7.

A new public library is set to open in Davao City in April, and it also plans to operate 24/7. – Rappler.com 



Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers Cebu and the Visayas for Rappler. He covers all news in the region, but is particularly interested in people stories, development issues and local policy making.