The state of our public school library system is sadly dismal and discouraging. So reading your letter to School Librarian in Action about your plight as a public school librarian brought me back to the reality that stabs at the core of school librarianship in this country.
As librarians, we know that the heart of a school is its library. But do our elected and appointed government policy-makers acknowledge this as a fact? A library in every public school was, is, and will never be high on the political and educational agenda of our country for as long as these policy-makers and even our local school officials are under the misguided direction that focuses only on shortages of classrooms, teachers, and textbooks. Do they realize that there are acute shortages of libraries and professionally-trained librarians too?
It is not enough that we pay lip service to the promotion of the value of reading among the young. The order of the day is to ensure that every primary and secondary school has a library with a trained librarian. That a school library is an absolute “must” (just as important as a classroom with a trained teacher) is crucial to the economic, political and social progress of every nation, and the sooner our government accepts this as a reality, the better for our country if it has to survive, prosper, and compete in the 21st century global information society.
If it’s any consolation to the present challenges and difficulties confronting our school librarians, the ongoing 5-year old Library Hub project of DEPED is now doing well in providing assistance to our public school libraries. Let’s just hope that the project will go beyond its present objective of providing “a transitory warehouse for books waiting to be loaned to public schools on a rotation basis” (borrowing the words of Mindanaolibrarian). There is more to learning than having a room filled with books.
They say that “in the middle of difficulties lie opportunities.” With more Arvin Tejadas among the ranks of our school librarians who are doing “missionary work” as teachers and librarians, we can look forward to greater reading opportunities for our young children.
So Arvin, I take my hat off to you and the many “unsung” hero-librarians who, despite great odds, persevere in their commitment and dedication to make a difference. “READ TO LIVE” (Flaubert)
Fe Angela Verzosa
De La Salle Univeristy
Friday, August 13, 2010
Dear Librarian Reply to Public School Librarian In Koronadal City
The venerable Fe Angela Verzosa of the De La Salle University provides response to Arvin Tejada who wrote me about the plight of the DepEd Library Hub in Koronadal City. Madame Verzosa gives an inspiring and encourage reply to Mr. Tejada.