De La Salle University's library and its 3,500 books on the performing arts

Where to go for theater books
De La Salle Library and its 2,000 titles on the performing arts
By Walter Ang
July 11, 2015
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Theater lovers who yearn to read books about theater can do so at De La Salle University's (DLSU) library called Learning Commons.

The library currently has more than 2,000 titles (with some titles filling up more than one volume, for a total of more than 3,500 books) related to the performing arts.

It goes without saying that the university's around 17,000 students, faculty and staff every school year, as well as all alumni, can use the library.

But, worry not, anyone can visit the library!

"Visiting users are accommodated during the library's service hours, Mondays through Saturdays. However, we temporarily do not accommodate them during the university's finals week as well as a week before that, and during term breaks (the university follows a trimester calendar)," says Ana Maria Fresnido, director of libraries.

The titles related to performing arts represents only a fraction of the library's current count of 235,000 titles. The library started  operations in 1956 with barely 10,000 books.

The library is now housed in Henry Sy Sr. Centennial Hall and the university's goal is to acquire one million books.

There are books on performing arts in the Philippines, of course, and other countries.

There are books for onstage disciplines: acting, dancing, singing, etc.

There are books for backstage disciplines: stage management, set design, costume design, etc.

There are books for the artistic and creative processes: playwriting, directing, composing, conducting, choreographing, etc.

Books on theory, on techniques. Anthologies and biographies. Catalogs, collections and criticisms.

Ever wondered if native tribes have their own performance forms? There are books like "Myth, Mimesis and Magic in the Music of the T'boli" by Manolete Mora.

Sound engineers or architects who need to brush up on soundproofing theories or want to build the Philippines' next great acoustically perfect theater can read up on the "The Physics of Musical sounds" by C.A. Taylor.

Looking for a philosophical and profound read? Try "The Myth of Invariance: The Origin of the Gods, Mathematics, and Music from the Rg Veda to Plato" by Ernest McClain.

Donate for your legacy
For those who are decluttering their personal collections, DLSU's library accepts donations of books related to theater or performing arts, or otherwise.

It can also accept submissions of theater groups' souvenir programs--good news for groups who aren't too keen or skilled in cataloging their production's documents.

There's no need to physically go to the library to find out the availability of a title. The public can access the library's catalog online at

Guests can seek assistance from the librarians as well as use more than 45 reading rooms and meeting rooms. There is even a bean bag area.

Founded in 1911 in Paco before moving to its current location in Malate, the university is the first of 17 schools in the country run by the De La Salle Brothers of the Philippines, a Roman Catholic teaching congregation founded in France by Saint Jean-Baptiste de la Salle with schools all over the world.

Visit, call 5360244 or 5248835, e-mail

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