Thursday, October 23, 2014

YALSA's Teen's Top Ten of 2014

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Filipino Friday: Surprise, Reader!

This is already a tradition. If there's a Filipino ReaderCon, expect a Filipino Friday a month before the conference begins.
Surprise, Reader! Hello, it’s the first week of Filipino Fridays 2014! Whether it’s your first time to participate or not, tell us a bit about yourself. More specifically, tell us about your favorite book discoveries for this year. Any author you have started reading this year that you can’t get enough of? A book you didn’t think you’d like, but you ended up liking/loving? Any book series that you just have to get your hands on? Have you discovered anything new from Filipino authors this year?
 So, here goes.

My 2014 reading year can be described in one word: ROMANCE. Thanks to Tarie Sabido for introducing me to Rainbow Rowell. After reading Eleanor and Park, I read FangirlAttachments and Landline.

Another joyful reading discovery is Sophie Divry's The Library of Unrequited Love. The librarian narrator is sarcastic, snotty and very French. I read a book by a Malaysian author this year as well. Tan Kwan Eng's The Garden of Evening Mist is sentimental but honest. I love the language and the dreamy narration of the main character. When it comes to the brutal parts (setting is World War 2 in the Asia Pacific), the author's elegant handling of language cushioned me to safer landings. Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking is a memoir I thought I wouldn't like. But her way of making meaning about death afforded me a mirroring of my own relationship with my husband and my perception of life in general. It is one of those books that will grow on you as you read along.

This year I got hooked on reading more ebooks too. I have a slew of erotic romance novels saved in my Kindle reader. Cora Seton, JA Huss and Melanie Shawn are but a few of my favorite reads. As for Filipiniana titles, I loved Shine by Candy Gourlay; thrilled over Edgar Samar's Janus Silang although I stopped somewhere in chapter 4 to give in to my kids' demands that they read it first; and right now, I am falling in love with Nick Joaquin all over again. Gotita De Dragon, an anthology of his short stories, is my kind of magic realism.

Until next Filipino Friday!

Abstract: The School Librarian As Literacy Leader

I am scheduled to speak at the 6th Rizal Library International Conference on Friday, October 23, 2014. I will be sharing the paper I wrote about school librarians and literacy.

This is the new abstract of the paper.

The School Librarian as Literacy Leader

The 21st Century presents plenty of opportunities for the school librarian to assume leadership roles. One of these roles is that of a literacy leader. As a literacy leader, the school librarian can influence members of the learning community, particularly its young readers, develop a lifelong love of books and reading. By planning and implementing a variety of literacy programs appropriate for them, the school librarian contributes to the literacy skills development of young learners. The school librarian further supports the learning goals and objectives of the school in this manner.
This paper fleshes out the scope of literacy leadership functions that a school librarian is capable of doing. The school librarian as a literacy leader creates and communicates a vision of literacy to teachers, the school leadership and parents, and follows through with the techniques and strategies for it to become a reality. School library standards, academic papers and research based articles are used to amplify this leadership role thus, making the school librarian a valuable member of the learning community.

Five school librarians are interviewed to provide examples and models of literacy programs implemented in their respective libraries. These school librarians are involved in planning and implementing literacy programs in their school libraries. Networking and collaborating with students, teachers, staff, school leaders and parents make a big difference in fulfilling literacy leadership roles. Assessment and evaluation, tracking of students’ literacy growth, and budgeting are identified as challenges and areas for improvement. In conclusion, a school librarian is a literacy leader when he or she lives out a genuine love for reading and believes that lifelong learning is not a set of skills to be mastered but a philosophy to be actualized.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Friday, October 17, 2014

FUSION 2014: Info-edutainment for Kids and Teens

A School Librarian's Breakfast

Here's a video of my guest appearance on the TV show, Good Morning Kuya, where I talked about my favorite breakfast.

Photo Essay: 1st International Conference on Children's Librarianship

The 2014 NCBA winners were displayed at the stage area. My books were on shelf too!

Krishna Grady, a librarian from Connecticut and plenary speaker at the 1st ICCL worked it with a song and a funny dance to start up Day 2 of the conference.

The audience loved it! The audience followed!

Thank you Lampara Books for displaying and selling my books!
I got to sign some copies too for librarians who bought from Lampara Books.

Documenting the conference on the 3rd day via Twitter. 
Key Links presented their product, an interesting blend of print and ebook app for young readers.

The historic Cebu City Public Library. 
I wish to visit Cebu again and if it happens, I will definitely visit the library.

The ever efficient and effective staff of Adarna House. 
Congratulations on the grand slam win in the 2014 NCBA!

PPT: Bridging Books and Children In the World of Digitization


5px"> Bridging books and children.ppt from Zarah Gagatiga

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Live Blogging: Best Practices & Success Stories of Filipino Public Librarians

A host of public librarians is now presenting best practices and success stories.

From Rose Chua of Cebu Public Library: Increased visits of children to the library is attributed to the revamped physical set up of the library; support of local communities in developing programs and services not just for kids but for parents too; resourcefulness and enthusiasm of librarians transform the library.

From Bernadine Maminta Gravela of Urdaneta City Public Library: Great effort in rallying and advocating the library's transformation to the city mayor; the journey to improve and transform the Urdaneta City Public Library is a long and challenging one; Storytelling Program reaches different barangays in Urdaneta and librarians lead the program; library network and linkages involving community based organizations.

From Melai Ramirez of the National Library of the Philippines: tie ups with publishers, like Vibal Publishing House, to stage the annual World Read Aloud Day; literacy programs for kids like storytelling, library hour, workshops in arts and crafts are done yearly; partnership with private institutions, both local and global, help in sustaining literacy projects.

Amazing! Our Pinoy public librarians hurdle so many challenges. The leadership qualities they display is impressive. Their hearts are made of gold and they have a courage made of steel.

Live Blogging: Day 3 1st International Conference on Children's Librarianship

Today is Day 3 of the 1st International Conference on Children's Librarianship. I walked in Ms. Regina Davamoni's plenary this morning. She is a literary coach from Singapore. She spoke about change driven by the digital environment. Children's librarians are at the forefront of shaping this change for young learners so that, they can derive a meaningful experience when engaging in digital resources.

Right now, presenters of Key Links are up on stage for product demonstration. Key Links is a provider of interactive content for children.

Yesterday, I delivered my presentation, met new friends and connected with new ones.

I'll be tweeting the presentations of speakers the whole morning via #21stkidlib. Three Filipino Librarians will be sharing their experiences and best practice after the morning break.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Bridging Books and Children Into the World of Digitization 4 of 4

Enter Technology

And now we talk about technology. Our traditional reader’s advisory and reading guidance services still holds water to children of this day and age. But as mentioned earlier, children growing up in the digital age can develop a genuine love for books and reading even more when we use technology as an enabler. Not only will technology provide access of these books by children, technology becomes the environment where children can explore and discover reading materials that will empower them.

Using blogs and wikis to post new titles of books, accessible through the library website is a start. Having a mobile app like ThingLink to create book promo materials presents a virtual image that chidden can interact with. Keeping a Twitter page and a Facebook account of the library where librarians post books, reflections on books read create a buzz of interesting books to read. Creating book trailers and posting them up on You Tube extends the interest of reading books. Get an account in Goodreads and post book reviews and recommendations. This way your network of children's literature readers expands. This can help in collection development. Involve children in the process of creating their own storybooks. Worthy of mention is the Early Readers Project of the Beacon Academy. High school students make their stories for younger readers which they can download for free. Another is Halo Halo books that follows the same model.

Indeed, books bring people together. You put a transformed librarian between books and children. The results can be life changing!

In conclusion, children's librarians are more relevant today than in any other time in empowering young readers to become citizens of the 21st century. With a knowledge of the young reader, the literature that is valuable for their development and the intelligent use of technology, children's librarians are transformers in their respective communities. It is my hope to see best practices of children's librarianship, backed up by sound research to further improve the profession.

Thank you for listening. Mabuhay!

Bringing Books and Children Into the World of Digitization 3 of 4

The Content: Philippine Children's Literature and Its Values

Despite the problematic scenarios I enumerated early on, we hope. This is what we do best, apart from smiling through the onslaught of typhoons and our country's troubles, we never give up. We hang on to hope that things will change. This positive outlook needs to be actualized. We need to do something proactive.

As board member of the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY), I implore you to take stock of the new titles produced by our local publishers of children's books. Every celebration of the National Children's Book Day (NCBD), PBBY works with local publishers to make known to the market the product of children's books. This year, local publisher had their festival at the Muse Ambato during the 31st celebration of the NCBD. Children's books by our local content creators were featured, displayed, read aloud and demonstrated to children and people who teach and care for them. In July 28, 2014, the PBBY and the National Book Development Board (NBDB) proclaimed this year's Best Reads National Children's Book Awards. Alongside this joyful announcement, selected children from private and public schools convened and identified their Ten Best Books of 2014.

These are the Best Reads NCBA of 2014.

Ngumiti si Andoy (Adarna House) by Xi Zuq (MJ Tumamac), illustrated by Dominic Agsaway  
Hating Kapatid (Adarna House) by Raissa Rivera-Falgui, illustrated by Fran Alvarez 
What You Should Know About Andres Bonifacio and the Katipunan (Adarna House) by Weng Cahiles, illustrated by Isa Natividad 
The Girl in a Box (Adarna House) by Felinda "Bang" Bagas, illustrated by Aldy Aguirre

Here are the Kids' Choice Top Ten Books of 2014.

Berting ang Batang Uling by Christopher Rosales
May Darating na Trak Bukas by Virgilio Almario
Pintong Maraming Silid by Eugene Evasco
The Girl in A Box by Felinda Dang Bagas
Pages (Bookmark)
Sine Madyika by Lauren Macaraeg
Ang Bongang Bongang Batang Beki by Rhandee Garlitos
Ang Ikaklit sa Aking Hardin by Bernadette Neri
Sandwich to the Moon by Jaime Bauza
The Day of Darkness by Zig Marasigan - Kids Choice Award 2014

When Filipino children read books made for them by Filipino creators, a connection of culture and a bridging of identity happen. In a talk by Candy Gourlay, award winning Filipino British author of young adult novels, she tells her story of how she saw the impossibility of writing her own stories when she was young. The books she read had characters that had blonde hair and blue eyes written by authors with the same physical features. Somehow, this orientation of color and race prevented her from writing her own stories. Thank God she had a school librarian who fed her books despite the book borrowing limit of the library. This helped Ms. Gourlay expand her horizons and knowledge of the world. Her love for words and stories real and imagined continued. She became a journalist. She wrote stories of Filipinos during the Martial Law years up until the People Power Revolution of 1986. Her being a novelist for young adult readers is another story.

My point is, Ms. Gourlay read books with characters she could not fully relate with. There was that lack of confidence to write and tell her own stories because she did not see herself, a Filipino, as a lead character in the stories she read from books. But her librarian introduced her to other books that provided her with the freedom to imagine and create. How liberating could that be!

The literature we make our children read will shape their minds, their values and their choices in life. What happens if our children do not read at all? What if access to books and learning resources are few or lacking in some cases?

This is our job. Our mission. We must bridge literature and children through our library services and programs. When we employ the use of technology, the more exciting our job gets. But that will be discussed after this presentation of the 10 Values of Children's Literature (Clarkson, 1969).

1. Children's literature affords delight and a sense of wonder.
         Example: Tagua-taguan: A Filipino Counting Book by Jomike Tejido, Tahanan Books for Young Readers, 2009 / Sparrow Makes a Home by Zarah Gagatiga Lampara Books, 2014

2. It extends the imaginative power of childhood.
         Example: Bakit Matagal nag Sundo Ko? by Kristine Canon Adarna House 2002
3. It develops the child's appreciation of beauty.
         Example: Dear Nanay by Zarah Gagatiga Lampara House 2014 / Elias and His Trees  by Augie Rivera CANVAS 2005 / Naku, Naku, Nakuuu! by Nanoy Rafael Adarna House 2008

4. It contributes to the growth of a more compassionate human being.
         Example: Chenelyn! Chenelyn! by Rhandee Garlitos Adarna House 1999 / The Great Duck and Crocodile Race by Robert Magnuson Hiyas 2011

5. It opens to the wonderland of words and ways of using them.
         Example: Ang Sundalong Patpat by Virgilio Almario Adarna House 1997 / Ang Alamat ng Ampalaya by Augie Rivera 1995 / Ang Sampung Bukitkit by Eugene Evasco LG and M Corporation 2010

6. It offers a vast storehouse of information.
         Example: Nang Maghasik ng Lagim si Lolit Lamok by Luis Gatmaitan Hiyas 1999 / Bakawan by Untalan, Sarmiento and Tobias Adarna House 2009 / Guardians of Tradition by Mae Astrid Tobias Adarna House 2012 / What  Kids Should Know About Andres Bonifacio and the Katipunan Adarna House Weng Cahiles 2013

7. It contributes to art appreciation.
         Example: Song of the Ifugao by Agay Llanera Museo Pambata Foundation 2010

8. It has the potential for raising the self-concept of a child who has a poor picture of himself.
         Example: Xilef by Augie Rivera Adarna House 2000 / The Girl in a Box by Dang Bagas Adarna House 2013 / AY Naku! by Reni Rojas Tahanan for Young Readers 2010 / My Daddy My One and Only by Zarah Gagatiga Lampara Books 2013

9. It forms a foundation for more difficult adolescent novels, poems and drama.
         Example: Sandosenang Sapatos by Luis Gatmaitan Hiyas 2002 / Si Langam at si Tipaklong Albert Angeles Adarna House 1981 / The Greediest of Rajas and the Whitest of Clouds Honoel Ibardolaza Adarna House 2004

10. It gives a heroic image to childhood.
         Example: Tall Story by Candy Gourlay Cacho Publishing House 2010 / A Readers' Story Kwento ng Isang Mambabasa by Glenda Oris Museo Pambata Foundation 2010

Knowing who our readers are and the literature that is available for them is one of the tenets of library services. As Ranganathan said all those years ago, to every reader a book; to every book a reader. We must always remember this basic and fundamental philosophy because we will never go wrong in planning, designing and managing transformed children's library services.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Librarian On TV: Good Morning Kuya Segment Ikonsulta Mo

I have had the pleasure and luck of appearing on TV several times in the past. My first TV appearance was in an episode of Art Angel where I demonstrated making a telescope out of empty tissue holders. The second one was in a game show where I happened to be one of Von Totanes' "land line" in Game Ka Na Ba? The third one was in PGMA, a program on PTV where I was interviewed about books, reading and PBBY-NBDB projects.

With the hosts of Good Morning Kuya

Last week, I was on television again as resource guest for the topic on picture books.

The female hosts of the show were in awe and wonder at the picture books I had with me.

The morning show on UNTV, Good Morning Kuya, has a segment there where guests are asked a question. The guest and the hosts of the show discuss the topic of the day. The question I had to answer was: Why are picture books important?

With Ninang Riza and Angel, they too want to write their stories. Sulat na!

So I said that picture books are a child's first formal introduction to the printed word, books and reading. I gave more relevant answers but I could not recall everything as I write this post. So, a video of the segment must be available sometime soon. Then I can share it with those who didn't see the morning show live on TV.

Signing copies of books to be given away to hosts and the show's director.

My breakfast was also featured on the show.

With Diego Castro, analyzing the nutrition content of my big breakfast: mushroom and cheese omelet, toasted bread and side salad. Black coffee caps off the morning meal.

I can't be more proud being a librarian. The TV appearance was an opportunity for me to promote books, reading, literacy and librarianship.