Library - History

The Adamson School of Industrial Chemistry Library (now Adamson University) was instituted in 1933 when the school was located at the former Philippine Senate Building in General Solano St., San Miguel, Manila. It started with the collections of approximately 500 volumes of library resources. These materials were organized by Mrs. Maxima Magsanoc Ferrer, the first librarian of the University. Mrs. Ferrer was then part time librarian and was helped by two student assistants.

When the University moved to Real St., Intramuros, Manila, orders for reference books accelerated and the serial collection increased. Many chemistry and technical books were also acquired. Mrs. Maxima M. Ferrer became the library consultant and her sister Bernardina Magsanoc (now Mrs. Bonifacio) became the first permanent librarian. The collection grew as much as 75,000 volumes. After the World War II in 1942, the library materials were totally damaged.

The University was re-opened in 1946 at the premises owned by the Vincentian Fathers in San Marcelino Street, Manila (now St. Vincent Building). Shipments of bulk volumes of books came from the United States through Dr. Lucas Adamson. The library was located at the Second Floor of the building and it was organized again by Mrs. Maxima M. Ferrer. Then on early part of 1947, Mrs. Ferrer was appointed by President George Lucas Adamson, as the Chief Librarian. The library collection grew tremendously to approximately 10,000 volumes of books and other library materials since then. Orders for books and serials were made to augment its collection.

From November 1952 to March 1957, Miss Susima Lazo (now Mrs. Gonzales, Chairman, Board for Librarians) served the University as a day shift librarian while Mr. Francisco Singson (1954-1964) as night shift librarian. In April 1957, Mrs. Hilaria Villanueva was hired as the Chief Librarian. In 1968, the University acquired the Meralco Building in San Marcelino Street (now Cardinal Santos Building) and the library was transferred at the Ground Floor of the building. In 1980, the library was again transferred at the second floor of the same building. In 1981, Mrs. Hilaria Villanueva retired, but the President extended her services until July 30, 1982. At the same month, Mrs. Zoraida E. Bartolome was appointed by the President as the Chief Librarian. In January 1983, Mrs. Bartolome was appointed as the Director of Libraries. There were six (6) permanent librarians then, and twenty (20) student assistants.

The establishment of new courses, curricular changes, reforms, and revisions, increase of enrollment and procurement of buildings affected the library’s collections and services. Branch libraries and Study Centers were opened and organized, and acquisitions of library materials accelerated.

On January 4, 1984, the Law Library was separated from the Commerce Library. Then, summer of the same year, the Elementary Library, (then, Learning Resource Center) was also separated from the Girls High School Library. And on November 28, 1986 the Engineering Library was transferred from the Main Library to the Ozanam Building Annex.

The open shelf system was adopted in 1987 with all of the books available for students to consult and check out for their needs. In 1989, the Boys High School Library and Girls High School Library were merged. During the year, the Main Library was repainted, including the Office of the Director of Libraries, the shelves, the steel portions of chairs and study tables. Provisions were also made for indoor plants and the Library Manual was completed. It was also in 1989 that massive purchases of engineering books began. There were twelve (12) librarians, four (4) library aides supported by fifty-six (56) student assistants.

In June 1990, a computer unit was installed in the Engineering Library with a capacity for on-line information. Technical Services Section and other branch libraries were also provided with computer workstations.

In May 1996, the Commerce Library was transferred from ST Building to Leandro Montañana Building 2nd floor. Two years later the Filipiniana, Reference and Periodical sections were transferred from CS Building to LM Building Ground floor. In June 1999, the Engineering Library was also transferred from the Ozanam Building to Leandro Montañana Building, 2nd floor.

In May 2001, a new integrated library system; ATHENA Version 8.1 was installed in the library. The system includes four modules namely searching, cataloging, circulation and inventory. On June 4, 2001, the Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) was made available to all library users. Other sections of the library in the CS building including the Office of the Director of Libraries, Technical, Circulation and Reserve and Thesis Sections were transferred to the LM Building.

On July 2001, Ms. Norma I. Jhocson was appointed as the new Director of Libraries. Four (4) new librarians were hired in August of the same year. In May 2002, additional librarian was hired and in June 2002, an archivist for the new section of the library, the Archives, was hired.

A total of 39 Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) were made available to all library users and situated in the following sections of the library: Ground floor – 4; 2nd floor – 4; 3rd floor – 4; Graduate School - 1; Law – 1; BEd – 2; IMS – 1; DOL’s Office – 2; Circulation – 11; Technical Section – 4; and Internet – 5.

On January 1, 2003, Ms. Erlinda B. Gonzalez was appointed as the new Director of Libraries. Working with her are 17 librarians (15 licensed), 1 archivist, 6 library assistant and 34 student assistants.

Two areas can boast of significant improvement: technology and facilities. An electronic security system has been installed at the second floor entrance. It sets off an alarm when books are brought out without undergoing proper checkout procedures. A gadget desensitizes books so they don’t set off the alarm when brought out; it resensitizes them when returned. Borrowing and returning of books is digitized, which started July 2006. A student’s ID being a smart card integrates the student’s name in the library . When he borrows a book, which is provided with a barcode, a tape receipt listing the title of the book, due date,fines, etc., issues from the thermal printer for him.

Recently available is the online full text journal database subscription. Users can access the full text of articles contained in international journals through the URL : and . Like the OPAC, the journals can be accessed even if one is outside the library. Users can also avail of the Internet within the comforts of the library. With sixteen (16) computer units, the Internet can be used for research purposes at a minimal fee. When printing becomes necessary, such service is also provided for a fee. New equipment has been acquired, namely two Fujitsu lifebook laptops, two DLPs (digital light processing) projector, 3M overhead projectors, television, karaoke and DVD player. Classes that need visual presentations find these very helpful. In step with the acquisition of new technology is the improvement of facilities. A wider audio-visual room, a separate thesis section, wider area for technical services, indoor second to third floor stairway, a bigger archives space and an Internet section are some of the major additions to the library. These are some of the major changes that patrons of the Adamson University library can avail of. Professionalization of the staff, increased monthly new acquisitions, and many other recent accomplishments are also part of the overall drive for excellent service. The Adamson community is especially encouraged to visit and experience what it can offer. Subject to certain policies, consortium members and outsiders are also welcome


Term of Office

Helen C. De Castro

June 2013 –present

Helen A. Ordoñez*

April 16-May 2013

Delia B. Calimag

April 2010-April 2013

Helen A. Ordoñez *

March 16-April 2010

Adoracion L. Ventura

February 25- March 15, 2010

Helen A. Ordoñez*

January-February 24, 2010

Helen C. De Castro

April 2009-January 2010

Helen A. Ordoñez*

August 2008-April 2009

Erlinda B. Gonzalez

January 2002-August 2008

Norma I. Jhocson

July 2001-December 2001

Zoraida E. Bartolome

1982-April 2001

Suzima Gonzales (†)


Bernardina Magsanoc


Maxima Magsanoc Ferrer (†)