Thursday, October 30, 2014

Spooky Books and Spooky Sweets

One of the more interesting questions asked of me in the 6th Rizal International Conference after presenting my paper concerned reading promotion to young adults. I answered by starting off with the three kinds of readers: avid readers; reluctant readers; non-readers. Different strategies can be employed to make them visit the library and borrow books. The easiest to entice are the acid readers. 

Here is the proof.

This week, I introduced the library's Spooky Sweets Spooky Books borrowing promo. Students who will borrow three "spooky books" will get a spooky sweet. It's a one day book-reading promo that will start in Oct. 30.

On Monday, I first displayed books that fall under the horror, mystery, sci-fi, fantasy genre. Any title that would qualify as a scary or spooky read, I set it up on display. Stephen King was a default choice. Along side his book, I put up Jonathan Stroud's The Amulet of Samarkand and Rick Yancey's The Monstrumologist. The library has two PC desk I use as display area for books. I set the books there for everyone to see.

On the other PC desk, I set up Joe Hill's Locke and Key, Erin Hick's Brain Camp and G.Willow Wilson's Alif the Unseen.

After recess, four books were borrowed by two students who are avid readers and frequent borrowers of the library. I then, replenished the vacant display racks with new books. I pulled out classics like Dracula and Frankenstein; contemporary Pinoy graphic novels like the Trese series by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo; and the parody on the three wise men, Unholy Night by Seth Graham Greene. By lunch time, Dracula and Frankenstein were gone.

On October 30, reluctant and avid readers flocked the library for the books, and yes, the goodies. We had a good number. We had 25 spooky sweets this morning. At the end of the day, we only had 10 spooky sweets left. So this book promo spiked our circulation statistics today.

Locke and Key and Alif the Unseen were borrowed at recess.

The spooky sweets were made by Ms. Joan Everly Macalalad. She is the baker behind Cup N Cakes Wonderland.

The Best of Philippine Ghost Stories was borrowed too!

What I'll be doing next is to get feedback from the borrowers by having them fill out a bookmark for a quick review of the books. I will then post these bookmarks on the library bulletin board for everyone to read. It will be up there for one term. What happens to the bookmarks at end of term?

That is another story. Keep visiting the blog and you will find out what we did with the bookmarks! 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Photo Essay: The 6th Rizal Library International Conference

There is learning and insights gained from the 6th Rizal Library International Conference and they're just so many to mention. I am still distilling them in my mind. Definitely, I will blog about these insights and learning from one of the more organized conferences I have participated in. For now, these pictures will have to do.


The present director of the Rizal Library, Dr. Von Totanes, welcomes guests, participants and speakers of the 6th Rizal Library International Conference.


Hon. Lourdes David of the Board for Librarians moderated the question and answer in Session 4, which happened to be the session where I presented my paper, 
and delivered a report on the ASEAN 2015 Convergence.


In every conference held in the Philippines, I am bound to meet a friend or bacth mate from PNU.
This is Malou who is now a librarian in St. Paul University, Manila.


John Hickok of the ALA International Relations is gathering stories of inspiration and influence among librarians of the South East Asian nations. He's been to the Philippines several times over and he never tires of going back. He will be at the PLAI Congress in November 2014.


At Fellowship Night, John Hickok, Sherwood MacCaskie and Muhammad Hendrawan didn't sing along but waved along to a song sung by one of Rizal Library's staff.

Friday, October 24, 2014

PPT: School Librarian as Literacy Leader

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

Abstract
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


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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.



Sunday, October 12, 2014

Bridging Books and Children Into the World of Digitization 2 of 4

The Context: Who is the Filipino Child

I would like to begin by identifying the Filipino Child. We cannot talk about transformed children's library services unless we have a good working knowledge of who we are providing services for or who we wish to empower through our services and programs. We need to always remind ourselves, as children's librarians that we wake up every morning to work in the library for the children who need us. Children may not tell us they need librarians, but they do! The adults who care for them and work with them, parents, teachers, caregivers, counselors and the like need partners. To quote an African proverb, "it takes a village to raise a child." We are part of that village. We are in this enterprise of rearing, teaching and caring for children who will become leaders of this nation and responsible citizens of the world. Most importantly, the Filipino children we provide services and programs for must grow up as empowered adults.

We are actually given a delicate task. It is not less important or more relevant than our counterparts in the school, college, research and special libraries. But the young adults and the grownups these librarians are servicing were children once. So, a question I would like us to think long after this conference is over is this: to what extent have we provided effective, efficient, meaningful and transformational children's library services? There must be a time and a place when and where we can talk about results, evidences and manners of evaluation of our services and programs. How can we transform continuously if we are comfortably seated in our comfort zones? We will not thrive when we stay in the status quo. Moreover, the children we serve will catch on this habit of complacency instead of imbibing the value and philosophy of lifelong learning.

In broad strokes, we need to remember that:

a. Children have needs.
Like all of us, children's basic needs must be provided for them. Food and nutrition. Health care. Safety and security. Education. They need to belong, to be appreciated, to achieve, to love and be loved.

b. Children have rights.
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child identifies nine most important children's rights.

1. The right to life.
2. The right to freely express his or her opinion.
3. The right to an identity, including citizenship, a name and family ties.
4. The right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
5. The right not to be separated from his/her parents against their will.
6. The right to have a name and acquired citizenship, and where possible, the right to know his or her parents and receive their care.
7. The right to standard of living required for physical, intellectual, spiritual, moral and social development, as well as the right to education, rest and leisure.
8. The right to freedom of association, peaceful gatherings, and other such rights.
9. The right to have regular and personal and direct contact with both parents (if separated).

c. Children learn.
Children learn in different ways, in varied styles and modalities. Learning is very much a part of a growing child's life and the environment he or she lives in contribute greatly to his or her development as a person. A better understanding of the brain and how it develops can help us understand the learning child's needs. Looking at the learning from an oral, aural, visual and kinesthetic modalities

As children's librarians, we can contextualize our library services and programs to the needs, the rights and the learning capabilities of the children we serve. When we prepare our collection development program, we take into consideration not only the budget and logistics of the program, but likewise, the children who will read and use the library's collection. When we design a children's section in the library, we see this area as a learning environment where children can frequently visit and stay on for hours reading, playing and discovering new ideas and ways of knowing them. When we plan library activities that foster learning and literacy, we need to involve them and get feedback from them especially after the activity has been completed. Having children participate in our work in the library opens up a learning opportunity not only for children for us too. In short, the age of participation should not only occur online and in social media. It should also happen in real life situations and the library is one venue where children can be active participants to the library's many programs and services.

Going micro, let us look at the Filipino child. Living in an archipelago, our children's profile is as varied as the many kakanin and rice cakes we serve and eat for merienda. But to know them better, we can look at the environment and the time that our Filipino children are growing up in.

Our Filipino children are growing up in a fast paced world driven by technology and media. Knowledge creation and knowledge sharing is the world's economic dictum. Climate has changed drastically. There are breakouts of diseases in different parts of the globe. War and conflict does not seem to end. Bullying exists in the classroom and in government offices. Moral decline is the trend especially among our local government officials and heads of state. The traditional dynamics of family life and the values we grew up knowing is being challenged by these technological, economic, cultural and sociological changes. The problems the world comes face to face with affects us in global proportions. What a dangerous, yet exciting time for a child to grow up in!

Given these global challenges, the Filipino child of today will be a Filipino person of tomorrow who is very different from whom they are now. We cannot separate the Filipino child with the world. In line with ASEAN 2015, there is a great demand to strengthen the knowledge and skills base of our educational system. Thus, our DepEd has been working doubly hard on the K-12 program and reformed curriculum.

Where do we fall in the scheme of things? If we call ourselves children's librarians, how are we contributing to the mission of the global village in raising empowered children? What support and initiatives have we started and set up to contribute to the DepEd's K-12 program? How are our library programs and services enriching the lives of the children we serve but the parents, teachers, care givers, counselors and stake holders of the community who are just as responsible for their well being? What local and international partnerships have we collaborated with to install transformative programs in our libraries thereby creating an impact to the community we serve? Have we taken care of ourselves too? How do we respond to these global problems and demands of the 21st century?

It is a time to ask hard questions. Our culture of ambivalence need to change, if not drastically, then slowly and with much thought and reflection.



I look at the program and I feel positive that many of my hard questions will be answered as the conference rolls along. In fact, these questions may have been answered already by the two resource speakers who spoke before me. So, allow me now to discuss the last two topics that, I believe has a strong connection to the mission we do as children's librarians. The literature that our children read and the technology they tinker with as a tool and an environment that, when designed, managed and properly facilitated to children, can propel them towards empowerment and transformation.

Bridging Books and Children Into the World of Digitization 1 of 4

I will be posting my plenary lecture on transformed children's library services in four parts. The plenary lecture is for the 1st International Conference on Children's Librarianship. It is a three day conference in Tagaytay City.

Here is the first part.

Introduction

Today I am going to speak about three areas of children's library services that are very close to my heart: children's literature, particularly the ones created by Filipino writers, illustrators and publishers; the Filipino child; and technology in general. I have included examples and models of digitized stories for children created by our local writers, artists and content providers which I will share with you in the later part of my presentation.

Before I give my input on the topics at hand, allow me to digress since I am struck by the theme of the conference, especially with the word transformed. In this age of rapid changes, there is a demand for librarians to be transformed and to transform others. The fact that you are here, in a children's librarianship conference proves that you are open to transforming yourself so that you can be a transformer, someone who is capable of transforming others. We can establish connections and linkages when we are transformed librarians. We can provide transformed children’s library services when we have fully experienced a transformation. But what exactly does it mean to be transformed? When can we say we are transformed?

William Spady, the proponent of Outcomes Based Education, identifies the transformed learner as an empowered thinker, a visionary and focused on the future. Empowered thinking entails critical thinking. Being a visionary requires creativity and innovation. Keeping an eye towards the future would mean valuing the given time to develop resources, to plan strategies and to reflect and figure out what works and what does not in real life situations. Transformed learners understand the human potential to learn continuously. From skills and competencies, learning for life becomes a lifestyle, a culture, a philosophy.

Transformed librarians are lifelong learners capable of influencing and inspiring the community to work together in the design and delivery of library services that connects and links children to information and resources aiding them in the fulfillment of their potentials.


Let us begin to transform. Let us continue to transform. Let us transform others as we in turn are transformed by them!

The School Librarian in Action Slows Down


I endured a sprained ankle for two weeks. I went on therapy to cure the swelling and to build on back its strength and mobility. It was a sign to slow down. So I did.


Together with family, we went to San Juan, Batangas where we spent a weekend at Balai, San Juan. The beach has dark brown sulfuric sand. Low tide is in the early morning until early evening. The tide comes in at night time. It was off season when we went there so, we practically had the beach all to ourselves.


I don't swim but I love beaches. 

We went night swimming too since there were two warm pools in the resort. The night sky looked fantastic since there were so many stars above. I have not seen that many stars in a long while.


I wish to have more quiet moments. 

Yes. I have grown old.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

MIBF Moment: Meeting Kids and Parents Who Care for Them

Weeks after the MIBF, I got this email from Mrs. Teresa Gumap-as.

This is what she told me in her letter:

I just want to let you know how your workshop turned one-on-one activity with my eldest son (Yanthy) influenced him. :) 

Teresa is a writer too. She is the author of the books, When My Bridegroom Comes, How to Have the Wedding of Your Dreams and BREASTFEEDING: A Journey Worth Taking. She home schools her two kids and blogs about motherhood in Mommy Bares All

She narrates Yanthy's experience during my workshop and the follow up activities they did at home together in her blog. Read it all here!

Thanks, Teresa! I hope to meet you again, sometime soon!

A Tale of Two Author Visits Done by One Author

Candy Gourlay is already back in the UK doing the usual stuff (I think): writing, visiting schools, enjoying her time with family and friends. Her two weeks stay in Manila has left me with good memories to keep until she visits again next year. Here's a photo essay of Candy Gourlay's visit to The Beacon Academy and Tanauan South Central Elementary School.



At the Academy, she talked about her new novel, Shine, the positive things one can get with a series of rejections, and the challenging and dangerous experiences she had during the Martial Law years and the the People Power Revolution as a journalist.


She had book signing after her talk. Students and teachers bought her books, of course. She signed my copies of Tall Story and Shine too.


I gave Candy a tour of the school and, like a true blue, dakilang writer's fan, I had a picture taken with her. A week after her visit, we met again to open a school library in Tanauan, Batangas and to visit schools there.


A gleeful Candy Gourlay with students of Tanauan South Central School. The kids held the books like gifts received at Christmas day! The school library is a project of the Sambat Trust UK.


Once a journalist, always a journalist. Candy's camera is fabulous! She has an eye for stories. She snaps pictures of little things that do not seem to matter but in close scrutiny, such mundane things tell so much about life and culture.


The students prepared thank you cards for the UK authors and donors who sent books through Candy's outreach, Authors for the Philippines.


Nicoel Ramos, Candy's niece, a budding artist and TV personality came along. She sang A Whole New World to the delight of the kids present during the program. Nicole brought the house down with her rendition of Let It Go! The kids sang along. Even the adults were impressed.

See Candy taking a photo of Nicole. Isn't she the perfect stage aunt? She could be one of them Titas of Manila!


All together now! Here we are with teachers and DepEd Officials, Barangay Officers and Parents of Tanauan South Central Elementary School. They gave is certificates of appreciation.


The entrance to a whole new world of reading experiences begins at the library!


The Grade School Department of Miriam College donated 40 boxes of books. Thanks so much to Ms. Theres Pelias who made an effort in staging the book drive and the librarians of the Miriam Grade School Library for adding up more books to the collection.


Teachers on stand by. Waiting for Candy to cut the ribbon.


The crew: Estan Cabigas, photographer; Wijo Fernandez, fim maker; MJ Tumamac, writer and Ghe Gulles, field coordinator. 

With the opening of a new library on one Tanauan City's most populated district, I hope that more kids can have better access to books and reading. Candy saw two more schools that day. The Ambulong Elementary School and the Janopol Elementary School. Ambulong ES is trying its best to keep the library alive but Janopol ES was struck by the recent typhoon. So, a recovery plan is on the way. Special thanks to all the donors; Anvil Publishing House for providing Candy's transportation; and to everyone who made Candy's visit to Tanauan a humbling and meaningful experience.

This 2015, which library will Candy Gourlay visit next?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

International Conferences on Libraries this October


It's a very busy month for me this October.

I am scheduled to participate in a slew of conferences, talks and workshops among colleagues in the LIS and teaching profession as resource speaker and paper presenter. Among these professional development activities, two are international conferences which will be held in Manila. One is the International Conference on Children's Librarianship by the National Library of the Philippines and the other is the 6th Rizal Library International Conference that focus on Leadership and Change.

Go to the NLP website for conference registration. Visit the Rizal Library link for information on the conference.

There is a good mix of resource speakers coming from Asia and the Pacific for both conferences. I hope that many school librarians will attend either one of these conferences and from here on develop mechanisms to continuously converse about issues relevant to the profession. I would like to see more best practices or models of learned concepts applied in libraries from such conferences. Maybe this is one area of professional growth development activity that local, regional and national library organizations can loo into.


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