The birth of educational institution gives rise to the creation of its library. For it is incumbent upon an academe to have its resources before it can operate and offer courses relevant to the needs of its constituents. Its roots therefore can be safely traced in 1932 during the time its pioneers conceived of putting up an educational institution.
Based on present standards for academic libraries during this age of computers, the first Northwestern Library may not be as developed as it is today but its collection was enough to meet the needs of the students. It is wit to recall that the first few hundreds of collections were housed at the main building of the old NWU at downtown Laoag. Since there was no professional librarian to manage the collection, Rebecca Aurelio-Hernando was assigned as librarian/custodian of basic titles acquired. Hence, the organization of the library with Mrs. Hernando as first librarian.
After a decade or two, some time in 1949, Dolores Corpuz took over the helm of the library which resulted into the acquisition of more books particularly on Arts. Because it was during that year when Associate in Arts was offered.
In 1950, more academic programs were offered which prompted the academy to acquire more books. It was Balbina Torres term when the bulk of these resources were acquired.
The transition period for the Northwestern Library was in 1964 when Alfredo Nicolas Jr. was appointed as Chief Librarian. Nicolas was the first full fledged Librarian of Northwestern. He initiated the reforms to protect the collections and at the same time maximized the utilization of the resources through his good interpersonal relationship.
It was during his time that Northwestern saw the influx of enrollees. To meet the growing demands of the clientele, the Northwestern Library transferred its resources to its newly acquired property at Bengcag, Laoag City. All collections were housed at the Engineering Building. That was in 1985. Sometime in 1985, Nicolas initiated the separation of nursing collections. In order to institutionalize his plan, he created a service unit exclusively for nursing. Nursing collection was moved to the Administration building.
Nicolas was Chief Librarian for 25 years before another leadership took place. Undeniably, the new leadership may be considered as the launching path for Northwestern Library to attain a higher ground.
It was on August 21, 1989 when the word reform was associated with the word Villarin. With Eliza Gorospe-Villarin in the helm, the Northwestern became the byword in Laoag City and Ilocos Norte. Thousands books were purchased which paved the way to the glorious takeoff of Northwestern.
Villarin’s grand vision was to make it the best library in Region I. The Administration changed the name of the Library into Northwestern College Educational Resource Center so as to fit with her desire not only printed materials but also all resources that would support the educative process. One of the programs of the University was to keep pace with the global trend of library and information science was to ship from conventional system of library administration to automation. In fact NWUERC was the first educational institution in inner Ilocandia that claimed the name as the first computerized library. Rightly so, because to date, NWUERC is already through with this program. The Northwestern University Educational Resource Center garnered first runner-up during the first regional search for the most outstanding/functional library in Region-I.
November 21, 1995. Marites Narciso-Quides was appointed Director of the NWUERC following the resignation of Villarin. Immediately she called for a meeting to revitalize the dying enthusiasm for personnel. Her humble spirit to man the library inspired her staff to rally behind her.
The grand vision of the NWUERC for the years to come is focused mainly on the new trends of library and information science which is automation and networking. The realization of this vision relies on the willingness of the administration to meet the changes. It is capsulized in the statement of Alejo Villanueva when he said, “An underlying cause to explain the irrelevance or decline of any institution or organization could be the lack of capacity for imagination and willingness to pursue a dream for its realization… without synthesizing vision, the velocity of change that is sweeping through the world today could be confusing, disorienting and even threatening.”
With this, it is hoped that the NWUERC through the unconditional support of the administration, will be able to synthesize its vision in order to become competitive and effective in its role in an information-conscious society.