The seed of a library cooperative was conceived in a brainstorming session of 13 head librarians of accredited and soon-to-be accredited colleges and universities who attended the first PAASCU-sponsored academic librarians conference for Visayas and Mindanao held in Cagayan de Oro City on February 24-25, 1972. The librarians agreed to look into the feasibility of a library cooperative and initiated a survey among the libraries concerned for the purpose of drawing up a profile of needs that would bring out common problems that the cooperative should seek to solve. The lucky 13 are: Ateneo de Davao, Central Philippine University, Holy Cross College of Digos, Notre Dame of Jolo College, Notre Dame University, Notre Dame University, St. Paul College of Dumaguete, St. Theresas College of Cebu, San Nicolas College, Silliman University, University of San Agustin, University of San Carlos and Xavier University.
On September 14-15, l972, during the second PAASCU academic librarians・conference, also held in Cagayan de Oro City, the outline for the cooperative venture was drawn up and was named Academic Libraries Book Acquisition Services Cooperative, or ALBASC. It was to be concerned with group purchasing of books here and abroad, with soliciting book donations, and with other library activities that could be engaged in by the group to minimize expenses and maximize results. It was during the first ALBASC conference dated March 1-2, 1973 held in Cebu City that the working draft of the constitution was drawn. Three months later, a second ALBASC conference was called at which a progress report on the effort to register the cooperative was given.
ALBASC started its operation in July 16, 1973 with a part-time manager and temporarily based in Manila while following up the application to obtain legal status. Because of the complications of registering it as a cooperative, it was decided to register it as a non-stock, non-profit association in order to facilitate its registration and to hasten the release of grant pledged by the Asia Foundation to cover its operational expenses. While waiting for the approval of the application, the manager selected books from the Asia Foundation Book Program and arranged a temporary office and storage room at the University of San Carlos.
Because the laws at that time did not allow a group of schools to form a cooperative, the legal advice was for the group to form a corporation. To set up the corporation, initial capitalization was needed, so 2 institutions were added namely: Divine Word University ・Tacloban and De La Salle University.
On November 20, 1973, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recognized ALBASA with a legal personality as a corporation, henceforth ALBASA has 13 founding members plus the additional two institutions who put in added capital.
This approval paved the way for the processing and release of Asia Foundationfs grant of P8,647.00 for operational expenses for one year. As a registered legal body, ALBASA found it easier to purchase books on account and soon invited other institutions to join.
The first ALBASA manager was Ms. Eva Brillo, the then director of Xavier University Library. When Mr. Diosdado David was appointed as Business Manager stationed in Cebu, Ms. Brillos designation was changed to Executive Secretary.