Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Filipino Librarian: Ann Grace Bansig

The blog's Ms. March is none other than Ms. Ann Grace Bansig, Readers Services Librarian at De La Salle Zobel School. She's a BS LIS graduate from UP SLIS and is pursuing her masters degree in Reading Education at UP Reading Department, Diliman.
a. What's your lib story? Describe how you made the choice of majoring in LIS and what was college life like for you as a LIS major. You can cite challenging stories and success stories while studying the course.
LIS is not my first course. I never thought that I will become a librarian, seriously. When I first entered UP, I am a Chemical Engineering student. After two years of hard work and frustrations, I began to realize that Engineering is not for me. So, I shifted. Back then, LIS is not  a popular course yet. But during the time that I shifted, many Engineering students are also shifting to LIS course. That’s why we have a running joke about it. We always say that LIS is a very hard course because it requires a two-year Engineering pre-requisite.

When I become LIS student, life changes for the better. For one, I was never ineligible to enrol. Two, I always have maximum number of units (18). That’s why I finish the academic subjects in two and a half years plus thesis writing. I also like the general education of the course which was very diverse plus the foreign language course that we had to take.  At SLIS, I led a simple life. I am not active in the library organization because before entering, I am already an active member of a socio-civic organization. 

You might wonder, why shift to LIS? Well, I am a hopeless student back then. Looking back, I am very thankful that there was SLIS who accepted me wholeheartedly.

b. What has been the greatest challenge you've faced so far as a licensed and working librarian? Why do you say it's a challenge?

So far the biggest challenge was how to entice the students to come to the library, read and borrow books because our students are what we call ‘digital learners’. They will rather play the iPad than read books. So we have to do something about it. We did several things to address this challenge such as: redecorating the library (make it more colorful, more inviting and happy in ambiance); putting up a Reading Nook where a portion of the library was carpeted and surrounded by bean bags where students can read in a more relaxed manner; posting regular trivia (yes trivia! And it depends on monthly theme…it is now a regular feature and students are looking forward to it); collaborating with teachers specially with the English department (we had tandem storytelling and literature quiz bee last year ); planning monthly activities (ex. February – Blind date with a book…it’s a success by the way! ); and of course it helps if the librarian reads as well! Given all of these, I am happy to say that our grade school are still readers.

Ms. Bansig in Helinski. She attended the IFLA World Congress 2012 and presented a paper on DLSZ Library's Mobile Library with friend and colleague Darrell Marco (who, I think is the one who took the photo).
c. What is your area of expertise in LIS? 

This is quite hard. I’d say at this point, one will be storytelling to kids. I always love to tell a story especially when we do our Book Mobile Project. 

Two, Children’s Literature as it is one of the fields close to my heart. Three, Library promotion in terms of books and reading.

d. What do you think are the requirements and preparations necessary for becoming a LIS professional?

More than Education and training, being service-oriented, open-minded, innovative and a heart for librarianship are the requirements necessary for becoming LIS professional especially in this digital era.

e. What rewards have you reaped from being a LIS professional? 

I was really surprised to be selected as one of the participants in library management training abroad which was life changing and professionally uplifting. I was also able to present papers both in local and international conferences. I’d say LIS profession has opened a lot of opportunities to me and I plan to grow more in this profession. 
I love being a librarian!

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