Saturday, August 18, 2012

Live Blogging: United We Read the 2nd Filipno ReaderCon

The 2nd Filipino ReaderCon kicks off with an opening message by Atty. Andrea Pasion-Flores, Executive Director of the National Book Development Bord (Philippine). The breakout sessions will follow after.

Here are the questions I'm tasked to answer in the panel Reading Everywhere: Scanning the Reading Environment.

What made you decide to open up a bookstore/be a librarian?
My mother decided for me. I wanted to major in English (I wished to improve my grammar) at the PNU but she intervened by telling me that librarians are in demand in the job market. Afraid to end up unemployed, I heeded her advice so, here I am today. No regrets. Good thing I grew up reading. That’s’s reason enough to be a librarian in this day and age.

Do you think your store/library addresses a gap in providing books to Filipino readers? If so, what gap does it fill?
I want to answer this question by first presenting library concepts.  What is your concept of a library?

Library concepts to discuss: a library is culture;  a library is a community; library is a structure; a library is a system or an integration of systems. Libraries bring communities together to celebrate book awareness and the reading culture. In the process, structures that promote physical access, intellectual access and virtual access to information, ideas and knowledge are made possible. The system of knowledge creation and communication is perpetuated through solid and appropriate library services and programs.

              In real life, librarians struggle to create services and programs geared to reading and book promotion that are financially viable. “KEVIN COSTNER ang mag manage ng library reading programs and services”. But there are successful library stories to share:
a. ADMU’s Rizal Library - Book Bench
b. Book Mobile Projects of Museo Pambata & DLSZ
c. Classroom Library / Read-athon of SAS
d. DepEd’s Library Hub
e. School libraries with graphic novel collections, bookfair events, literacy and literary activities, and instructional programs
f. Annual celebration of National Library and Information Services Month by the NLP and PLAI
g. Librarian groups dedicated to reading promotion and literacy development - BookTalk Society of the Philippines, CLAPI, PASLI
h. NGOs involved in library development (Book Bridge and Sambat Trust)
i. Run for your Libs
j. UP LibRadio

             Despite the odds, these library initiatives that promote book awareness and reading culture continue.

Based on your book selling/library experience, how would you characterize the Filipino reader?

            Librarians go by the principle: Every book a reader. Every reader a book.

Do you think brick-and-mortar bookstores and physical libraries are still relevant in this day and age? If so, in what way?
           Yes. There are different kinds of readers and learners acquire information and knowledge in a variety of styles using not one but many modalities. There are readers and learners who are more confident reading and learning in the digital environment, but there are also those who perform better in traditional environments. Libraries need to address both virtual and physical learning spaces for ALL its readers. Reading is a right and libraries are venues where that right is exercised.

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