Thursday, October 20, 2016

Interpersonal Relationship in Reference Services

Karen and Andrew role play the reference communication process
As I was preparing my training module on Reference Services for the Effective Librarianship @Work Conference in Southville International School and Colleges, I realized that librarianship is a people oriented work. There are the tools and the technology that librarians use in establishing systems and structures to operate day in and day out. The end goal of this endeavor is to service people, receive feedback from them and develop stronger systems and efficient structures that will address the community's context, enrich their culture, hone their personal skills and professional competencies.

This is why, in my presentation, I went back to Ranganathan's Law of Library Science (1931) and included my Library Concepts (2012). I did discuss and share best practices, but I invested a good amount of time on Interpersonal Relationships, Active Listening and how these topics and concepts can be applied to the reference communication process.

We had role playing activities. One role playing session involved volunteers to show the reference communication process to the bigger group. Another one was done as a big group where participants gave suggestions on how to answer the reference query of a professor/teacher.  It was an amazing session! There were engagement and involvement. The participants were a combination of young and seasoned librarians. I think the activity afforded them learning opportunities.

With young LIS professionals of Southville International School & Colleges
As a workshop facilitator, my objective is not only to present my topic as my field of expertise, but I also make sure that the participants are learning together as a community.

Congratulations to the library staff of Southville International Schools and Colleges! I see and meet them every year in October for this annual event. They are growing as a team! Thank you to Mr. Eric Ramos who, in his own unique way, mentors me to become a facilitator of learning by throwing challenging topics on my path. Good luck to all your endeavors, librarians of Southville! More power!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Books and Coffee at the Quezon City Public Library

During my term break from the Academy, I managed to conduct two workshops for librarians. One was for the librarians of the Quezon City Public Library (QCPL) and the other was at Southville International Schools and Colleges' Effective Librarianship at Work.

For this post, I am going to concentrate on telling you about the workshop I did with the QCPL librarians.

I conducted a basic bibliotherapy workshop with them since they were keen on helping out of school youths in Quezon City. The QCPL main library is supervising 19 Barangay Reading Centers and each has a staff assigned to run programs and services for children, teens, adults and senior citizens. What I did was to give them a 101 Bibliotherapy session. It was a touching moment. The morning was filled with sharing of insights and ideas on how they can put together a homegrown Bibliotherapy program. The QCPL librarians were all engaged.

I was further impressed when they served us coffee from the Library Cafe. Yes, the QCPL has a cafe inside the library. The Iriga Public Library has a coffee shop too. I visited Iriga a long, long time ago and I am mot sure if the coffee shop is still there. Nonetheless, this coffee shop is a sign that more and more, librarians and libraries are beginning to embed itself in the community.

QCPL also had a reading superhero in the persona of Heneral Basa. Their librarians conduct outreach programs in Quezon City and in different provinces. They donate books and help communities establish reading centers. If you have old books, I recommend you donate it to the QCPL! They will surely know what to do with them.

Before I left for home, the QCPL librarians gave me and Darrel Marco (he was with me that day!) a glimpse of their future! They showed us their new building being built with in the compound of the Quezon City Hall complex.

Congratulations on this good news, QCPL! May your example bring inspiration to many!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

2017 PBBY Salanga Prize Call for Entries

Taken from the PBBY website:

The Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) is now accepting entries for the 2016 PBBY-Salanga Prize. The contest is co-sponsored by the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and The National Library of the Philippines (NLP). The grand prize winner shall receive Twenty-Five Thousand Pesos and a medal. Prizes will be awarded in an appropriate ceremony to be held during the celebration of National Children’s Book Day in July 2017.


  1. The contest is open to all Filipino citizens except those who are related to any PBBY member up to the third degree of consanguinity.
  2. Stories should be intended for children aged 6 to 12 years old. The plot and the sequence must be capable of sustaining an illustrated book of 28 to 32 pages.
  3. Entries may be in Filipino or English.
  4. Entries must be in hard copy, double-spaced, on short bond paper. Maximum length is five (5) pages.
  5. A contestant may send in more than one (1) entry.
  6. Each entry must be signed by a pen name only. Five (5) copies of each entry should be placed in an envelope, on the face of which only the pen name of the contestant should appear.
  7. Together with each entry, contestants must submit a second envelope, on the face of which the pen name shall appear. This must contain the contestant’s full name, address, contact numbers, a short literary background, and a notarized certification from the author, vouching for the originality of the entry and for the freedom of the organizers from any liability arising from the infringement of copyright in case of publication, and affirming that the entry or any variant thereof has (a) never been published nor (b) won any other contest i.e. that it has never won 1st, 2nd, 3rd, honorable mention in any other contest or otherwise been awarded a medal, a citation, or included in a publicized list of meritorious entries to a literary contest.
  8. All entries must be sent through snail mail to the PBBY Secretariat, c/o Adarna House, Inc., Scout Torillo cor. Scout Fernandez Sts., Barangay Sacred Heart, Quezon City.
  9. All entries must be received by the PBBY Secretariat no later than 5:00 p.m., December 2, 2016.
Grand prize and honorable mention winners shall be subject to a bidding process to be facilitated by PBBY, to determine which publisher/s will publish their winning stories.
The winning story will be the basis for the 2017 PBBY-Alcala Prize.
For more details, interested parties may contact the Philippine Board on Books for Young People, at 3526765 local 203 or email pbby[at]

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Book Review: A Torch Against the Night

A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes, #2)A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The murder, the mayhem and the magic continue in book 2 of the series. As Elias and Laia set forth to save Darrin from his prison cell in Kauf, new characters are introduced and old ones resurface. The plot turns in varied directions eliciting surprises and WOAH moments. I can't wait for book 3!

What worked

The very obvious chemistry between Elias and Laia thickens even more adding a romantic flair to the entire series so far. However, two things come between them: Keenan, who will be a great surprise at the end of book 2; and that greater mission to save the world. I love the women characters as they all can kick ass and then some. Even Laia, despite her poor judgement of her emotions, is turning out to be a mature character in the series. Dear me. So I hope Ms. Tahir keeps this development of the lead character.

I love the Kehanni, Mamie Rila. She knows the power of storytelling and how stories can influence and move peoples. Her meeting with Elias was touching. By the time she was done telling her story, I was in tears for she was not only telling stories to save the world, she was telling the story of her son to save his life. What sacrifice!

Afya Ay-Nur lived up to my expectations. I was sad see to Izzy go. And it looks like Shaeva, being a female jinn has more to reveal in the future installments. Keris is consistently ruthless and Cook is proving to know more than she lets on. Ms. Tahis has, indeed, some more tricks up her sleeve.

In this array of amazing women characters, it is Helene Aquila who turned up to be more than what I expected her to be. Yes, I fell for the mistake of underestimating her. The Blood Shrike's journey and growth as a key character was not easy at all. Thus, becoming the Empire's inner strength is a position well deserved. It would be exciting to see how she interacts with Marcus and Keris. And Harper too! Haha. I am hoping for another pairing here.

While the women got their share of the limelight, Elias completely transformed into the hero he is becoming to be. A master of light and dark, a conqueror of death and a protector of life. He is Elias Veturius. He who walks among the living and the dead. Messiahnic archetype? I am so stoked to find out.

What did not work

The violence. There is so much.

But I suppose, this is essential to a novel, a series that is trying to show the best of humanity in a time of chaos, darkness and conflict.

As a reader, I am staying on for the ride.

View all my reviews

Thursday, October 13, 2016

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