A few months back, Ani Almario, PBBY Secretariat, asked the PBBY Board for concpet papers in relation to the 25th year celebration of National Children'sBook Day (NCBD) in July 2008. As board member representing the library sector, I whipped up something for brainstorming in one PBBY meeting. Below is the rationale for a proposed award in recognition of a community library with a strong and working library services and literacy programs for children and young adults.
Community libraries offer a variety of services and programs to different age groups in the community. By looking into the needs of children and teens in the community, its library can plan and implement services and programs geared towards the development of life long learning skills as well as, an appreciation of literature, culture and the arts. Indeed, the community library of today is no longer a place to store and keep books. It is a laboratory for interactive learning and a venue for the enjoyment of the finer things in life.
In reality, many community libraries in the country lack the support needed to function as an effective agent of literacy. There are, however, resourceful librarians and groups of people who further the cause of library development for children and young adults. These unnamed individuals battle the odds and face challenges that come their way. They continue to provide library services for children despite the limitations in funding and the political support. They seek ways and means to make literacy programs in their community library possible.
Such effort deserves recognition and appreciation. More than that, it is worthy to see, examine and highlight the library services and literacy programs that have an impact for the children and teens that they serve. By doing so, more librarians, NGOs, LGUs, foundations and civic organizations can be motivated to develop community libraries.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Here's hoping that libraries can be recognized as agents of literacy development.