Saturday, December 31, 2005

100th Blog in Pinoy Top Blogs

Filipino Librarian asked his readers how can life be measured. I say, in cups of coffee. And of course, (measure your life) in love.

Well, as far as blogging is concerned, Pinoy Top Blogs measures my blogging life. My blog is ranked as the 100th blog for today (or month), December 31, 2005. I must be doing something right.

Happy New Year to all!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

2006 is Year of the Fire Dog

Lilian Too will be launching her Feng Shui book on January 15, 2006. Know what the year of the Fire Dog has to offer each year of the Chinese Zodiac. Now I got this info from my mail today. It is sort of a personal mail, but if you're interested, why not contact Anvil Publishing. You may also check their webiste.


Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Best of SLIA 2005 : SERIES

2005 is about to close and I can't help but remember the year I begun blogging about school librarianship. I am very sentimental so I'm going to do a recap of "best posts" for the year 2005 for the next few days. It is dual in purpose, of course. The posts I've culled together are the ones that have relevance to school librraianship. These are the kind of posts that I would want to keep for future references. And boy, I have been productive!

Let me start with the 'series' post. These are post in three - parts that I wrote from May until September of 2005, except for Yan Ang Pinay Series which I plan to do it on a regular basis. Read on and do not refuse the invittaion ot go down memory lane. When we remember events and people in our lives, somehow, we see a better picture or a new perspective to life. Enjoy!

Series Posts

Promotions & Marketing STrategies for School Librraies
Bridging Gaps
Buidling Bridges
Bridge Under Construction

IASL Conference
Blogging in HKU
IASL Conference 2005
IASL Conference 2005 A Continuation
Echoes From Hong Kongm

Useless Issue
Useless Librarians
Useless Again
Schools of Thought

IMAGE of Librarians
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Book & Library Month
Parents' Role Part 1
Reading Culture Part 2
Genuine Love for Books & Reading Part 3

YAP Series
Filipina in Children's Literature
Buhok ni Lola
Uuwi na ang Nanay kong si Darna
Rosang Taba

Monday, December 26, 2005

Book Review Blog for the Reading Filipino

There are plenty of interesting and worthwhile discoveries I make every so often in the Internet and the blogosphere. I came across this impressive blog for the reading Filipino. This blog is a book review blog aptly named as Pinoy Book Reviews Para sa Pinoy na Ma-book . Then again, it is more than a blog. It is a "local-based electronic magazine dedicated to Filipino book lovers. The site provides reviews, commentaries and feature articles about local and foreign books, magazines and graphic novels".

It has very noble objectives focused on "building a connection between local authors and readers; encouraging readers to voice out their opinions on the books they've read; and establishing a stable online community for Filipino book lovers and readers".

Pinoy Book Reviews also offers plenty of links for the reading Pinoy. I was glad to find KUTING's old website there and websites of Adarna Books and Anvil Publishing. There is also a space for bookstores with websites. NBS, Goodwill, Fully Booked are just a few of the Philippine based bookstores linked in the site.

What is the relevance of this blog/e-zine to Filipino Librarians then? For one, librarians can check the site for current news on book launchings and books available in the market. It is another
source of information for book acquisition that presents Filipiniana materials as well. Second, the book reviews featured every issue undergo editing so librarians can actually disseminate and share this with their clients and users. Third, as librarians are involved in the "book business", they might as well contribute to the blog or e-zine by sending a list of books with reviews or anotations. For this purpose, I encourage you to check its FAQ and contribution guidelines.

I can say that the people behind Pinoy Book Reviews are friendly to librarians. Aside from yours truly Filipino Librarian is also linked in the site.

With the Internet and blogging technology, people from different disciplines can collaborate and work together.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas!

Peace to all! Goodwill to humanity!


Friday, December 23, 2005

Back Up Your Blog!

Once again, Sassy Lawyer has taught us (bloggers) another important lesson. Back up your blog entries.

While Sassy has the resources and the people to help her with, I am begining to think of precautionary measures to save important posts myself. I could not clearly afford a database for my blogs for now, but there must be a way to save the ones worthy of keeping for posterity or perfunction. The volume of my entries is still small. I can only think of copying them in a CD.

Maybe you have a better idea? Do share. Please.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christmas Reading List

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you'd know that I've started a monthly reading list of Filipiniana for kids. This month, since it is December, I'm shelving my recommendations of Filipiniana books for kids until next month (January 2006) to make way for some Christmas books instead. Look out for these titles as they can be enjoyed by the young and the young at heart this season.

1. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
2. The Grinch Who Stole Christmas by Dr. Suess
3. A Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton
4. Bertday ni Jesus Bukas by Alberta Angeles
5. 12 Kwentong Pamasko by Rene Villanueva

And my special pick for the season is Barbara Robinson's The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. The book is suitable for readers age 9 - 12 in aspects of content and readability. Judith Gwyn Brown renders a playful illustration in black and white.

It is only seven chapters long, but the humor and the hilarity of celebrating Christmas with a pageant led by misfits and orphaned kids is enough to make this book a delightful read. A perceptive reader will easily understand why, despite the imperfections of the Herdman siblings who play Mary, Joseph, the Wise Men and the Christmas Angel, this Nativity play is the most unforgetable yet.

The book was published in 1972 by Tyndale House Publishers.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Christmas is for Children

Cheers to kids this holiday season! Below is the press release of the Alitaptap Storytelling Contest for Kids.

It was an enjoyable and exciting Sunday last December 11 during the search for this year’s best kid storytellers at The National Library Auditorium. Parents, teachers and children were treated to a whole afternoon of storytelling at the 11th Annual Alitaptap Children’s Storytelling Competition 2005.

Iñigo Paulo Hernandez Untalan, grade 6 at PAREF Northfield School for Boys, is this year’s champion for Senior Category (grades 4-6) for his interpretation of Nemo: Ang Batang Papel. Veronica Cynthia Ko Millado, a grade 1 student at School of St. Anthony bagged first place in Level 1 (Grades 1-3) for telling Si Nonoy Banoy.

The second and third place winners in the senior category were both from Colegio San Agustin. Second placer Alyssa Sarapuddin Ismael, grade 5 told Ang Binibining Tumalo Sa Hari, and Third placer Maria Selina Peralta Dagdat, grade 6 told Ang Prinsipeng Mahabo ang Ilong.

For the junior category, another student from Colegio San Austin, Isabel Bianca Fule, grade 1 won second place for her rendition of Nemo: Ang Batang Papel. Grade 2 student at Claret School of QC, Noel Christoffer Lorenzo Ochoa Lazaro got third place for telling Ang Bisikleta Ni Momon.

Organized by Alitaptap Storytellers Philippines and The National Library, this year’s competition was participated in by a total of 40 students from different elementary schools in Metro Manila, Pampanga, Laguna, and Batangas.

Alitaptap Storytellers Philippines’ aims to propagate book-based performance storytelling in schools, libraries, and other public performance venues to convey to as many kids the joy of reading stories and pride of knowing stories authored by Filipino writers.

(Please ask for better photo quality of pics below if you wish to print them. Resolution has been reduced for easy downloading in your pc - 45 seconds)

Ali 2005 Sr

Winners Inigo Paulo, Alyssa, and Maria Selina (center)
with the other nine finalistsin the senior category.

Ali 2005 Jr

Junior finalists with winners Isabel Bianca, Christoffer,
and Veronica (fourth, fifth, sixth from left respectively)

Friday, December 16, 2005

Going Graphic : Graphic Novels in the Library

This is an article I wrote for the school web site. Much of the information was taken from past entries. I just want to preserve it in an online format.

Early this school year, the GS LRC thought of acquiring comic books. You read it right. Comic books.

This is a bold step for a school library considering the very traditional perception people hold on libraries in general. But, the GS LRC is not made from the conventional mould. Put aside its issues on library automation, the GS LRC boasts of a rich, up dated and well balanced print collection. It provides books and print materials that cater to its readers’ varied reading interests and different reading levels. Aside from supporting the curricular offering of the school through its collection, it also strives to encourage students to read for fun and recreation. Reading is, after all, not entirely a perfunctory endeavor.

Comic books or graphic novels are in trend these days because current research shows that it is an effective tool to motivate children to read. In a highly graphic world, comic books help young learners understand visual representations in a highly graphic environment. It presents these advantages for the child who is still learning to be (Lavin, 2000).

Assist Poor Readers. Comics and graphic novels are excellent tools for use with children and young adults with poor reading skills.

Connect with Visual Learners. As educators become increasingly aware of the importance of different learning styles, it is clear that comic books can be a powerful tool for reaching visual learners.

Develop Strong Language Arts Skills. Several studies have shown that students who read comic books regularly have better vocabularies and are more likely to read above grade-level.

Encourage Unmotivated and "Dormant" Readers. Teachers often use non-book materials to encourage reading. Comic books are an ideal medium to spark interest, equate reading with enjoyment, and develop the reading habit.

When building a Graphic Novels collection, there are policies to consider in selecting the ones that are appropriate to the needs and nature of growing children. It is vital that librarians collaborate with subject area coordinators and reading teachers in determining the graphic novels to acquire. Teachers and librarians must work together to create learning experiences that will merit the children’s reading of such materials.

Expanding Horizons

The recent author visit program held last Friday, December 2, 2005 at 2.30 p.m. in the GS LRC Storytelling Area is one example of this collaboration and learning experience. The GS LRC invited Dean Alfar and his better half, Nikki Alfar, for a session on graphic novels. Selected clubs from grade 5, 6 and 7 were the audience that afternoon. It was an interesting session, as well as enlightening.

Dean Alfar is a fictionist, playwright, businessman and comic book creator. He has eight Palanca Awards to his name, one of which is a recent award given for his novel, Salamanca. Nikki, on the other hand won the third prize for children’s fiction for her story, Menggay’s Magical Chicken this year

The guest writers presented a brief but comprehensive history of graphic novels; the different kinds and variety available in the market; the relevance of comic books in Philippine culture and the arts; and the hard work that writers and artists put into the process of creating a graphic novel. At the end of the session, the boys understood that the whole process is one that requires a lot of creativity, patience and perseverance. Dean and Nikki emphasized that above all the technical and production value, what matters is a good and well written story.

A graphic novel is a means to tell a story. The writer and the artist work closely together to achieve wholeness to the concept. It takes two to tango, so they say. In creating graphic novels, the writer and the artist must dance to the same beat with the guidance and the supervision of an effective editor who clearly sees the big picture.

Role Models

Winning literary awards left and right is just icing on their cake. They are real people, like you and me who lead normal lives. But two things set them apart from their contemporaries. They are willing to share their skills on writing to children and their genuine love for books and reading. Dean has these tips for the aspiring writer, artist and comic book creator.

1. Read
2. Read more and TAKE NOTES (my caps)
3. Know your grammar, master the words
4. Know the rules before you break them
5. Be prolific - produce consistently
6. Do not fall in love (with your work)
7. Expand your horizons
8. Be inventive
9. Join competitions, seminars and workshops
10. Keep a workbook, a journal or a blog

Aside from this, the Alfars are advocates in creating quality *grafiction that will eventually lead to raising the bar of comic books production in the Philippines. And they have been successful so far. Their grafiction, Siglo : Freedom won the critics approval. It was awarded by the Manila Critics’ Circle as Best Comic Book of 2004. Last Decemeber 10, 2005, Siglo : Passion, along with an anthology (Philippine Speculative Fiction vol. 1) and a comic book for younger readers (Project Hero) was launched in Fully Booked Greenhills. All are available in local bookstores in Metro Manila.

I was glad to have attended the launching last week. I did get good discounts, but the highlight of the evening for me was meeting three Xaverians, Andrew Drilon, Sean Uy and Joel Chua who contributed their story and art to Siglo:Passion, Philippine Speculative Fiction and Project Hero.

Come Januaray, the GS LRC, in coordination and collaboration with the Reading & Language Arts Dept. will launch its graphic novel collection. We may have our own preconceived knowledge on comic books. Some are good. Some may be otherwise. But as long as there are teachers, librarians, writers and artists, people who care enough to provide children with the literature that they will enjoy and learn from, half the battle for the campaign for a reading culture is already won.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Winners of the 2006 Salanga Prize

Congratulations to the winners!

For the 2006 PBBY-Salanga Prize, The Philippine Board on Books for Young People awards honorable mention to three authors: Ian Casocot(Rosario and Her Stories), J. Dennis Teodosio (Tonyong Turo), and Marielle Nadal (Can you see?). No grand prize was awarded this year.

The three winners shall be awarded cash and certificates from the National Library and the Cultural Center of the Philippines at the National Children's Book Day (NCBD) celebration in July 2006 to be held at the CCP.

Aside from being multi-awarded and well-published, Casocot maintains a website on Filipino writings and literary criticism. Like Casocot, Teodosio has also bagged many awards for his writing, including those for Best Screenplay at the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature. Marielle Nadal, on the other hand, is a graphic ar

Monday, December 12, 2005

Zara's Zoo : A Picture Book

Working in a school library offers a lot of perks. One of these would be the privilege to read books for acquisition first hand. I'm very good friends with our acquisition librarian and our cataloger too, so my frequent trips to our technical section often lead me to "book talks" with them. And eventually, since I do the PR work, I get to read the books that the library will be releasing for circulation.

The relationship is symbiotic. My involvement with the PBBY and KUTING works to an advantage. Our school library gets to know the current crop of Philippine Literature for children available in the market. Since NCBD is a long seven months away, I recommend foreign titles instead. I've echoed the availability of Funke's Ink Spell and the 12th book in the Series of Unfortunate Events to my colleagues. It will only take a few weeks before we buy it.

I'm preparing a list to recommend for next school year's acquisition and I will include Augie Rivera's gift.


For obvious reasons you may think, but as the old saying goes, do not judge the book by its title, er, cover. Written and illustrated by Irene Sibley, Zara's Zoo is a picture book for readers age 3 to 93. The strength of the book is anchored on the concept of an abcedaria of fantastic animals thriving in Zara's zoo. The zoo is in a place so wonderful that even the reader can easily visit. That is, if you're imagination is that of a child. If realism has not pinned you to the ground yet, you'll be able to suspend your disbelief and wonder as Zara wanders at the make believe animals she takes care of.

The illustration provides legs to this simple but delightful book. To the child reader, it is a book meant to be enjoyed. To the adult reader like you and me, the book is an invitation to relive that child-like sensibility we've lost somehow while growing up.


Sibley, Irena. Zara's Zoo. Melbourne : Lothian Books, 2001

Friday, December 9, 2005

Book Reviews by Libraries and Librarians

Ivan Chew sent word about book blog partners. To know more about what this partnership entail, visit High Browse Online

I already posted a comment in Ivan's blog. If you have a blog where you post book reviews or library blog that has book reviews to share, check the links and know more about this bit of interesting news.

Thursday, December 8, 2005

Linked and Blogged

Oh please. Allow me to brag a little. After all, I am a senior teacher in my school and a seasoned librarian (according to the standards of some).

Check these sites!

The Information Literacy Land of Confusion


Getting linked and blogged is a motivation to do better. It is also a good pat on the back. The timing couldn't have been better.

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Book and Library Month (3 of 3) : A Genuine Love for Books & Reading

This three part post has deviated from my original intent of writing about reading campaign initiatives that begin at home, followed up in school through reading and library programs and spread into local and national policies. Turns out that I need to do more research. No matter. I will end this post with a topic that still hammers on this year's Book Month theme.

I have written a lot about Author Visits in this blog. I have encouraged many a school librarian to invite writers and illustrators in their schools and libraries to interact with children. The experience is beneficial for both visitor, writer or illustrator, and child.

For the writer or illustrator, it is PR and knowing the audience he is writing for. For the child audience, it is a learning experience that models literacy skills and a genuine love for books and reading. Since we're big on developing a reading culture, we have to work hard to acculturate our children into the reading habit. The school library is just one venue. The school librarian is one able agent to promote the reading culture. The Author Visit, only one of the many techniques to achieve this goal of fostering a reading culture.

However, such programs must be evaluated in all its aspects. Its impact to a student centered philosophy of learning must be identified. Its relevance to curricular offerings should be defined. It is important that tools for assessment on library programs and activities are present. How else can management and the school administration take school libraries seriously if evaluation of its policies and programs is not done and communicated? Evaluation allows us to improve and learn in the process. Librarians must realize though, that such programs and activities are similar to planting trees. The investment in time and effort will be reaped years after the seeds are planted.

I still have to hear an alumnus talk about the unforgettable activities he had in his school library and the learning he gained from his school librarian.

Let me wrap this up with the recent visit of the awesome Alfars, Dean and Nikki, to Xavier School Grade School Library. We invited them to talk about graphic novels and the process involved in its creation. As writers and creators of grafiction, this husband and wife team was at their element. It was Dean's first foray to talk among elementary boys and he was excellent. His presentation is complete and simple enough for 11 - 13 year old boys to appreciate.


Dean started off with a history of comics in the Philippines. Comics peaked in the Philippines with the American occupation, but in time, the Filipino's creativity and culture were reflected on the issues produced by its creators and publishers. The long and short of it, comics is a medium where we can express our unique art and rich cultural heritage. It is an avenue to showcase the Filipino talent, ingenuity and imagination. Dean and Nikki, along with their friends in the business, do just that but they raise the bar a notch higher. Come to the launching of Siglo Passion and see for yourself. Project Hero, a graphic novel for younger readers will share the limelight with Passion, as well as Dean's anthology of Philippine Speculative Fiction volume 1. The event will be on December 10, 2005 at Fully Booked Greenhills.

Many writers of today were influenced by comics. There are movies and TV shows inspired by comics. This is possible, not only because stories in comics and graphic novels are pop culture fodder. It happens because of the process by which comics are made. Dean and Nikki revealed (in an interview) that in the early stages of a comic book's conceptualization, a script is written. Think Panday and Carlo J. Caparas. Spiderman and Stan Lee. There was the comic book. There was the movie. There stands the writer.

In the scheme of things, artists and illustrators merge and collaborate to create it. Unlike story books for children where illustrations follow after story writing, writer and artist work as a team to shape the novel. This is necessary since word and visuals must be married to achieve a wholeness to the concept. And it is a lot of hardwork for the editor. For Dean, whose advocacy is the creation and readership of grafiction, the time and the effort is all worth it.

For fans of graphic novels who also dream of one day creating one, Dean recommends the following:

1. Read
2. Read more and TAKE NOTES (my caps)
3. Know your grammar, master the words
4. Know the rules before you break them
5. Be prolific - produce consistently
6. Do not fall in love (with your work)
7. Expand your horizons
8. Be inventive
9. Join competitions, seminars and workshops
10. Keep a workbook, a journal or a blog

Take it from the Alfars whose genuine love for books and reading make them life long learners worthy of emulating.

Thursday, December 1, 2005

Elias Dakila Storywriting Competition

Elias Dakila Competition for Children's Storywriting on Environment
and Culture Contest Rules

1. The Elias Dakila Competition for Children's Storywriting on Environment and Culture is open to all Filipinos.

2. Entries must not have been previously published, and all entrants must warrant the
originality of their submitted entries.

3. Writers may submit only one entry, in English or Filipino, which shall be of 800 words or less. Entries that exceed this limit shall automatically be disqualified.

4. The objective of this contest is to come out with interesting, original and uplifting stories celebrating the environment and/or culture of the Philippines. Each entry must be based on, or inspired by the contest piece below, an illustration specially rendered for the contest by INK member Sergio Bumatay III.

5. The story must be suitable for a 32- to 36- page read-aloud book.

6. Entries shall be evaluated based on the following criteria:
• Relevance to Environmental/Cultural Theme (30%)
• Character Development (30%)
• Quality of Writing & Suitability for 6 to 8 year old children (30%)
• X-Factor (Judges' discretion) (10%)

7. CANVAS shall shortlist the five to ten best stories from which a panel of judges shall collectively choose the final winner. If the judges cannot come to a
consensus on the winner, they shall take a vote and the entry that gains the most
number of votes shall be declared the winner. Judges shall not see the entrant's name until winner is chosen.

8. Entries must be submitted by email, as a Microsoft Word
attachment, to with the subject heading ELIAS DAKILA STORY COMPETITION. Entrants must include a cover sheet with their name, mailing and email
address, and telephone number. Only the story title should appear on all pages of the

9. The deadline for submission of entries is 5:00 p.m. (Manila time), 31 January 2006. Entries received after the deadline, even if sent earlier, will no longer be considered for the competition.

10. CANVAS and INK shall not be responsible for entries which are not received, or which are received after the deadline, due to technical failure or for any other reason whatsoever.

11. By submitting an entry, all entrants thereby agree to authorize CANVAS and INK to post such entries on its website, as they deem fit, and free from any payments, royalties or fees whatsoever.

12. There shall be only one winner, who shall receive a cash prize of PhP 25,000.00 for his/her entry. The winner shall be responsible for all applicable taxes.

13. There is no guaranty of publication, but the winning writer shall also be entitled to five (5) free copies in the event of publication.

14. The winner shall grant and transfer to CANVAS all intellectual property and publication rights to the story, including any translations, adaptations or modifications thereto. It is therefore understood that the cash prize to be awarded to the winner shall include consideration of such intellectual property and publication rights to the story, and the writer shall not be entitled to any other royalties or fees from earnings, if any, that may result from future publication of, licensing of, or other transactions on the same.

15. CANVAS shall not retain any rights to entries that are not selected as the winner, but may enter into separate agreements with other writers for the
publishing rights to their entries.

16. CANVAS shall exercise full and exclusive editorial and artistic
control over the publication of the book.

17. While, it is the full intention of CANVAS to publish the winning entry as a full-color children's book, CANVAS reserves the right not to publish the same for any reason whatsoever.

18. The winner of the CANVAS storywriting competition will be
announced in February 2006 on the CANVAS website ( The winner will also be notified via email on the same announcement date.

19. CANVAS reserves the right not to award the top competition prize in the event that the judges decide that no entry was received that is deserving of the top prize. In such event, however, CANVAS shall have no right whatsoever over all entries that were received; and shall not publish any entry, in its website or in any other venue, without the prior written consent or agreement of the author.

20. The decision of the competition judges shall be final, and no correspondence or inquiries into the same – including requests for comments/feedback on entries – shall be entertained.

21. Employees and members of CANVAS and INK, and members of their immediate family, are disqualified from participating in the competition.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Web Resources for Busy Teachers and (even busier) Parents

My husband and I take turns in tutoring and following up our eldest son, Nico, with school work. Since both of us are working, imagine how we draw upon our "powers" and energy to do this parenting responsibility. From his notes, worksheets, quizzes and progress reports, Nico, must be given drills. Lots of them!

Encoding these drills and activity sheets in Word document can still eat up a lot of precious time. So what I did was to Google them drills and worksheets. And I'm quite satisfied with the results. Allow me to share what I found in the Internet. These web sites of free Math drills and worksheets prove to be useful to the busy teacher as well. Most of these are in PDF so better have Acrobat in your PC before downloading.

Busy Teachers Cafe : WS Pages for Math This webpage is a link to its main website, Busy Teachers Cafe where other drills and worksheets on content areas like Reading, Language Arts, Social Studies (US context) and Art activities are found.

Donna Young's Math Drills Her drills are appropriate for K-2 levels. Check her homepage since she has other exercises and prcatice drills on other subjects too.

Here are some more. I haven't browsed through them, but these web sites will be my next resources for easy to print and produce drill sheets.

Math Drills

Math Exercise, Word Probles, Flashcards and Online drills (timed)

School Express

And here is Surf the Net for Kids that looks very comprehensive in terms of content. It even has a Book Club!

Sadly though, I did not encounter any Filipino Teacher made web site for such purposes. Filipinos are claiming a niche in cyber space in blogging, web design, literature and the allied arts. What about teaching and education?

Yan Ang Pinay: Bruhaha! Bruhihi!


Corazon Remigio's Bruhaha! Bruhihi! is a favorite read aloud piece among storytellers. This is attributed to the simple but action packed narrative. Her language is direct to the point and unmistakably child-like. Talk about "economy of words", she achieved what many a writer for children stuggle for.

In the story, the reader becomes a companion to the main character's psychological unfolding. A little girl suspects of having a witch for a neighbor. She conjured all the superstitious beliefs on witches that her experience afforded. From this schema, she believed that Mrs. Magalit is indeed a true blue witch until a humiliating incident shattered all perceived ideas of the old woman. She is after all, just an old woman - shriveled, lonely and alone. Thus, the little girl extended her compassion and friendship to Mrs. Magalit.

This quality of setting beliefs according to perceptions is very Filipino. Then again, Pinoys are never short of compassion and are overflowing with well springs of friendship. Such traits are possessed by this little girl in this beloved storybook that truly makes her a Filipina.

Recommended - Age 7 to 10

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Librarian Blogger Finalist!

Von Totanes started it all - blogging for Filipino librarians, that is. Unless I maybe wrong, go ahead and leave a comment or tag. But really, his blog Filipino Librarian (minus "the") inspired other Filipino librarians (like me) to blog about the profession. And it is wonderful to note that Von continues to improve his blog. What's more, his blog has become my "news source", my grapevine, my daily reading. That's why I'm delighted when I learned that Filipino Librarian is finalist in this year's Philippine Blog Awards under the Most Informative Blog Category.

Woot-woot! I want Von to win, of course. Making it to the finals says it all. You've raised the image of librarians several notches up the bar. Mabuhay and More Power!

Role of Librarian in Information Literacy

It is challenging, if not exciting, to be a librarian these days. We cannot afford to let this evolving landscape pass us by. Our professional expertise is needed all the more to enrich this landscape. We have a contribution to make in the development of this landscape. It is about time that we make a loud noise for its advocacy and the role we play in its implementation.

My lecture for today’s forum will focus on three things; 1) borderless society; 2) Information Literacy and 3) the role of librarians. The ideas I will be presenting may not be new or fresh, some of it may seem to be radical and too idealistic. But whatever these ideas are worth, I hope that it would inspire you to reflect, or possibly move you into action to make a difference in your own little way. It doesn’t have to be enormous or magnified a hundred fold. The important thing is, you, me, us, we are doing whatever we can to touch lives and affect change.

I. The Lay of the Land - A Borderless Society

What exactly is the borderless society? By the word border, we mean limits, demarcation lines and boundaries. The suffix “less” breaks the boundary, crosses the demarcation lines and allows limits to be extended. For a society to have no limits, no boundaries and no demarcation lines can be frightening. For a country like ours, whose educational history reflects that of subjugation, we value limits, borders, boxes and demarcations.

Advances in technology fuel a borderless society. We did not immediately jump into the bandwagon of the techies. It took us some time before we embraced technology. We wrestled with technology, only to find out that we are fighting our own demons. The technology that moves a borderless society is merely a gadget that can be manipulated. What matters is the mind set or the philosophy to which we apply in using the tools.

A lot has changed and continuously so. The concept of a borderless society we so feared in the late 80’s and the early 90’s is already upon us. It is known by many names; age of ICT; electronic era; global community and information society. The tricky part is, it does not have clear definitions, only signs and elements. It does affect our lives, our modes of communication and our thought processes. There are three characteristics that constitute a borderless society or an information society. These are information and knowledge; proliferation of ICT’s and access to and use of ICT’s (Singh, 2003).

The presence of these characteristics permeates all aspects of society and human activity. It has an effect in teaching, in learning and in the way information is created and communicated.

More and more teachers are exploring ways to improve instruction using ICT’s. Learners today are very much different from the ones we had ten years ago. They are more visual, more interactive and are able to tap different modalities for learning. The basic skills of reading, writing and mathematical reasoning remain paramount as foundations for learning. However, different kinds of literacy are inevitably emerging in this borderless society. Computer literacy, technology literacy, family literacy, cultural literacy, media literacy are examples. Information is present in all these. Somehow, the ability to read, write and compute is not enough to be able to understand and appreciate them.

In an information/borderless society, the need to handle and use information and the acquisition of these competencies is intertwined with another kind of literacy – INFORMATION LITERACY (Duesch, et all)

II. Information Literacy

Information literacy is the ability to access, evaluate, organize and use information from a variety of sources. The American Library Association (ALA) specifically defines Information Literacy as a set of abilities requiring individuals to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information.

The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) provides a conceptual framework and guidelines for describing the information literate student. It has three categories with nine indicators. The three categories are a) Information Literacy Standards; b) Independent Learning Standard and c) Social Responsibility Standards. Below are the nine indicators:

The learner who is information literate
a. accesses information efficiently and effectively
b. evaluates information critically and competently
c. uses information accurately and creatively
d. appreciates literature and other creative expression of information
e. strives for excellence in information seeking and knowledge generation
f. pursues information related to personal interests
g. contributes positively to the learning community and to society and thus recognizes the importance of information to a democratic society
h. practices ethical behavior in regard to information and information technology
i. participates effectively in groups to pursue and generate information

If you take a closer look at these indicators, you may simply say that it is but a set of research skills or higher order thinking skills. But Information Literacy is also a philosophy or a way of thinking. It goes beyond the confines of the classroom. It is best applied when it is integrated with other literacy and content area.

III. Role of Librarians

By going back to the indicators, you must have observed that these are the core skills required of librarians as well. It is what we do. We have in our libraries information and ideas. We evaluate our collection and we organize it. We write abstracts, make indexes – this is a way of analyzing and synthesizing information. Finding, locating and gathering information is a basic readers and reference services. We campaign for the ethical use of information. We are involved in networking and resource sharing. We are models of Information Literacy. We are living testimonies of Information Literacy and how it works. Therefore, we have a role in advocating and fostering Information Literacy. In this case, we are information specialist who are called upon more frequently to consult with teachers and learners, and to provide training and guidance toward the sharpening of information literacy skills not only in school and academic libraries but in public and special libraries as well (Deusch, et all).

Christophers (2004) identifies four roles that librarians play in Information Literacy.

a. Teacher and Consultant– one who designs instruction; one who collaborate with teachers in the planning and implementation of lessons; one who has a grasp of the curriculum able to match and fill the needs of clients.
b. Instructional Technologists – a provider of different technology for teaching and learning processes as well as resources of varied formats.
c. Manager of computing services – a creator of databases and knowledge resources.
d. Manager of learning resources collection – content managers of information systems that facilitate the efficient and effective storage, retrieval, use and communication of learning resources and instructional media

Since our roles change, our libraries also do. Libraries are no longer repositories of materials but activity centers. It is an extension of the classroom and a laboratory for life long learning. Now let us reflect. Are we prepared to face these roles? Do we adhere or agree to the philosophy and skills that Information Literacy present? How are these possible in our own context and culture?

In a borderless society, an information literate person is more likely to succeed. The information literate person may have gone to a good school and it is possible that he develop skills for life long learning. The librarian is part of the process by which he acquires and applies these skills.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Book and Library Month (2 of 3) : The Reading Culture

November 26 came to pass. The general assembly of PNULISAA was a succesful one, likewise, the forum that followed it. PNULISAA was fortunate to have Dr. Diljit Singh, from the University of Malaya to speak about Reading in the Age of Technology.

In his talk, Dr. Singh identified indicators to a reading culture. These are; book production, book distribution, book reviews, book preservation and book translations. Given these signs, I can say that the Philippines continues to strive for a reading culture to develop in its people - young and old alike.

I do get informed of book launchings here and there. Almost every month, I get to be invited to at least one book launching. This is a good sign as far as book production is concerned. Add to this are the numerous book awards we have in our country whose winners are highlighted every year. I just do not know the numbers, but it is interesting to find out how well book publishing and the annual sales are doing these days. Ani Almario of Adarna House claims that children's story books are at a steady growth. What of other publications?

I'm not aware of translations, but as far as book reviews go, there are entities who do. There is the Book Talk Society of the Philippines who, as an organization campaigns for reading and recognizes writers from different fields of discipline; SCBWI conducts a monthly review and book talk; PBBY's Neni SR Cruz is a book reviewer who gets published all over; then there are bloggers in abundance who do book reviews.

Now we're left with book distribution and preservation. Public libraries in Manila may be wanting, but the efforts of the librarians who run them are not. I met a couple of them during the course of the Book Month celebration. Their projects and the programs they run are worthy of dissemination. Last Saturday, a few good librarians shared their reading campaign projects in their schools. Sadly, they were all private school librarians.

The reading culture is alive in this country. The signs are there. To make it possible and for a reading culture to manifest fully, we all have to do our part. The responsibility rests in all of us, in every Filipino.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Judging the Salanga 2006


I'm halfway reading the entries for this year's Salanga. I have set aside seven entries for a second reading. I'm afraid I can't finish by the end of the week since graduate studies and work in school must come first. Anyway, I still have a week more to read the rest.

I am not judging on the context of a writer for children, but rather, as a children's librarian. There are of course factors to consider like the craft of writing and the artistic and literary values of a story. I'll leave that to Rayvi Sunico. What I am looking for is a story that children will find easy to read and comprehend; a story that empowers them; a story that speaks their experience; a story that entertains them and challenges them to read more books or books of that genre. I don't know what the other judges has to say. We can always deliberate.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Book and Library Month (1 of 3) : Role of Parents

In the Philippines, November is book and library month. Peachy Limpin has blogged about the program for this year's 71st National Book Week celebration. The theme for this year, Developing the Culture of Reading Through Books and Libraries, is one that is very close to my heart. It is in fact, what I have always advocated and always will.

No matter how advanced we push through with technology, books and printed materials will stay. There is permanence to the existence of books and printed materials. I have always believed that for children to grow up as readers, one must start with the spoken word and firm up the skill with the printed word. This can further be enhanced when adults - parents, teachers, care givers, and those who look after them, develop a culture of reading or an environment that promotes reading.

Gone are the days when reading is forced to children. The idea that children must develop the skills to read is already part and parcel of good parenting. It is already an additional responsibility for parents of today to teach and model the reading habit to their kids. Times may be hard these days and buying books may be too luxurious. But if parents see it as an investment, it is worth the money.

There are also other ways to cultivate a reading culture at home. The home is actually the first school of the learning child. Before I go into the techniques and tips, parents must first realize that reading is necessary. Second, they must look into their definition of reading.

Reading is comprehension. It is the ability to understand symbols, signs, sounds and non-verbal communication. It is a global skill divided into three major parts namely; Word Recognition, Comprehension and Study Skills. It is not just a skill, but skills that are interconnected. The growing child may start with learning the alphabet, sounds and letters, but he is already capable of understanding a story read aloud or told orally. The learner may still be in the process of mastering skills to comprehend different text structures but at the same time, he may be able to apply them as tools to acquire content from the subjects in school. An adult may appreciate a variety of literary genre likewise be a strategic thinker and a critical user of different information sources and technology.

Reading has indeed, so many benefits. Starting them young is the key. I hope that these tips may help you parent a reader for life.

1. Model the reading habit.

2. Read aloud. Read everything, from telephone bills, street signs, restaurant menu, billboards, price tags, CD labels, Internet sites, SMS messages, etc.

3. Buy books. Give them as gifts. If budget is tight, borrow from the library. Have a variety of books from non-fiction to fiction, poetry and prose.

4. Involve your child in chores that follow a process; activity that requires a set of instructions to do; a creative endeavor that allows them imagine and make their own products. Examples are cooking, baking, art activities, gardening, taking care of a pet, learning a musical instrument, etc.

5. Be conscious of your child's needs and interests. This will help you choose materials for him to read and toys to play with.

6. Guide your child in using media and technology. Be there when they watch the TV, select CD's and videos. There are ways to read and understand them. How? Will post after this 3-part entry.

7. Let him interact with others. Acquiring new words and speech patterns help in vocabulary building and schema development.

8. Tell stories! Lots and lots!

9. Bring your child to bookstores and museums, to farms and factories, to parks and playgrounds. Bring him anywhere not just to malls.

10. Reach out to other parents and be friendly with you kid's teachers. They are partners in making your child, a life long reader.

This all for now. Next post will be about school and libraries, teachers and librarians.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

PTN is 4 months old!

Pinoy Teachers Network turns four months old on November 12, 2005. Like a new born baby, it is being nurtured and nourished by the very people who concieved it and by the growing members of Filipino and FilAm teachers from all over.

Since its conception in July 2005, PTN has become many things to its members. For Pinoy teachers, based abroad and otherwise, PTN is their support group; a network of ideas and information; a hub of professionals from the academe and allied disciplines; and, a news source about the Philippines. For Pinoy teachers who are budding and aspiring writers, it is a doorway in the publication of articles, essays, compositions and contributions about technology, parenting, education, teaching and life in general. Those with blogs are lucky to find that PTN is a free space to plug their blogs. From job hunting, press release of events and seminars, resource sharing and campaign of teaching advocacies to gossip and "kikay" stuff, PTN has indeed achieved a lot in its four months of existence.

PTN is already a growing e-community forged with the values of commitment and cooperation. The same values that inspire its members to continuously collaborate with in the network and outside of it. Using technology to reach out and connect with people and organizations, PTN is a living example on how collaboration can bridge the distance and fill the gaps.

Last month's visit to the Philippine ambassador in Washinton DC was a successful one. The ambassador gave his support to PTN and was very proud of the projects of PTN, one of which is the donation of winter clothes to Pinoy teachers based in Maryland. This month, PTN Washington DC Chapter is organizing a Meet and Greet activity with Pinoy Teachers in Virginia, USA. Partnering with Gawad Kalinga through Ed Tiongson, this is a collaborative effort of both organizations that is aimed at helping new Pinoy teachers adjust in a new environment. By 2006, the Manila Chapter is dreaming of having the same activity but with a twist to the Meet & Greet of its sister chapter in the US.

If you think that you can contribute to PTN in any way that you can that will inspire and encourage Pinoy teachers to be the best that they can be, do it now! Collaborate and be empowered!

Mabuhay ang Gurong Filipino! Mabuhay ang PTN!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Filipiniana For Children: Handicapped and Special Children

Beginning this month, I'll be posting bibliographies of Filipiniana for children. Ani Almario of Adarna Books was so nice to send two titles of their book blurbs. The rest are taken from our school library's Filipiniana Collection.

For this month, the theme is about handicapped and special children. The interest to start a bibliography of Filipiniana for children was inspired by a session on Bibliotherapy by Ms. Therese Pelias, Xavier School Grade 7 Counselor. She shared her thesis on Bibliotherapy among KUTING members last September. I'm mkaing this "little" project for the following:

a. Teachers and Care Givers - so they may have references of Filipiniana to use and integrate in their lessons.
b. Parents - so they may know that there are books written for their children discussing issues of chidlhood and growing up
c. School librarians - so they can build a Filipiniana collection that caters to the needs of Filipino children and in the process, promote Filipino culture.
d. Writers and illustrators - so they may be inspired to write more stories for children
e. Publishers - so they may publish more stories for children and lastly,
f. People in the allied professions and to anyone working for and with children

Rivera, Augie. XILEF. Quezon City : Adarna House, 2000.
Felix is a young boy afflicted with dyslexia. Through the support of his parents and his teacher's commitment to teach him, he eventually learned how to read and earned his self esteem. Illustrated by Beth Parocha-Doctolero.

Evasco, Eugene. Hilong Talilong. Quezon City : LG&M Corporation, 2005.
A loving aunt helps her nephew survive ADHD. Illustrated by Mark Ramsel N. Salvatus III

Bautista, Feny de los Angeles. Ang Kuya ni Karina. Quezon City : Cacho Publishing, 1996
Karina's brother is deaf. But no matter she loves him all the more. Illustrated by Abby Goy

Evasco, Eugene. Federico. Quezon City : Adarna House, 1997
*One of the most daring attempts at using storybooks to teach sensitive issues is Federico, which won in 1997. Eugene Evasco weaved the story of a child experiencing Down Syndrome into a very stirring narrative while Paul Eric Roca managed to interpret the story in such a way that the physical appearance of the main character would not be a source of malevolent amusement.

Molina, Russel. Titoy's Magic Chair. Quezon City : Adarna House, 2002
*Here comes Titoy's magic chair! Watch it turn into a car, a plane, or a train, and take Titoy to many wondrous places! Here is a heartwarming story about how a child's boundless imagination helps him overcome his limitations. Illustrations by Marcus Nada.

*Courtesy of Adrana House

Monday, November 7, 2005

Librarians = Missing Ingredient in the Library Hub Recipe

While I am happy to know that the Dep Ed's efforts to create Library Hubs all over the country is moving to reality, I am disappointed at the news that librarians are not directly involved (or not all, so it seems from the press releases) in the project.

Neni Cruz wrote in her article that training of "teacher-librarians" is part and parcel of the plan of action. Training has actually begun in Naga City. This bode well in the development of the library hubs. In another news item by Sandy Araneta, the library hubs are envisioned to hold 10,000 to 200,000 books since DepEd aims to bring books to public schools nationwide and make every Filipino child a reader. DepEd has, in fact, the "Every Child a Reader by Grade 3" program. These are all laudable efforts for both government agency and NGO's that support reading and literacy development.

The creation of libraries and reading centers pave the way for inculcating a genuine love for books and reading among the young. Training of teacher-librarians is important. Book collection is equally important. Access to books and reading materials is what our public school children deserve. Networking and collaborating with people, organizations and foundations are strategies that can sustain the growth of these libraries and reading centers.

However, librarians MUST be there, and MUST be visible to support and nurture these reading centers and library hubs for children to grow as readers. Teacher-librarians are not full time personnel for libraries, unless, the definition and job description of teacher-librarians in the country has changed. As far as I know, teacher-librarians are teachers with content area teaching load and part time librarians on the side. How can children access the books if the library is open only for an hour or so in the afternoon when classes are dismissed? Would the teacher-librarian prioritize the implementation of reading activities and programs when he/she is expected to teach first in the classroom? Are these teacher-librarians always present when a teacher is in need of books and learning materials for the students?

Books can come as gifts and donations by the millions but the school secretary or school custodian does not have the academic preparation to organize and maintain them specifically answering the developmental needs of learning children. Besides, book collection does not end with numbers. One poor school library may only have 10,000 but its quality may be immeasurable. Can custodians and secretaries evaluate the quality of a book collection? Can they articulate what area in the collection is weak or strong? Do we expect them to recommend titles?

Then, there is networking to consider. Nearby schools with library hubs can actually organize consortium to share the wealth of the book collection and fill up gaping needs. Aside from books, they can share ideas and expertise with each other, thereby, making the responsibility of reading development a community effort.

The Library Hub project of the DepEd is admirable. But if we want to raise readers, let's start by investing on LIBRARIANS. Create more items for public school and public libraries for librarians. Librarians can set up reading centers and libraries. Librarians can run programs and implement services for their clients. They are trained in library school to do so.

what would become of those library hubs without librarians? Have we thought about that?

Friday, November 4, 2005

I'm one happy School Librarian these days

Two news that make me smile-

the press release about the Department of Education's Library Hub project that was published last October 31, 2005 and

the recognition of Mr. Troy Lacsamana, point person behind the Aklatang Pambata project, as one of the Top 5 Faces of Volunteerism by HSBC.

Mabuhay and More Power!

Thursday, November 3, 2005

Bags of Books

Hi-ho! I'm still alive and kicking! It's semestral break but the PC I'm using at home is filled with spy ware and useless cookies. You can just imagine my frustration for not being able to update my blogs. Good thing that Internet Cafes are in abundance in Metro Manila. Thank you, Lord!

This morning, I brought two bags of books to the Marikina City Public Library. My good friend Evelyn Nabus is librarian there. She's been so nice inviting me for storytelling gigs and workshops that I just thought I'd return some favor by sending her my old and still very useful books. I donated most of my Newbery Collections, tons of pocket books, a good number of hard bound art books and biographies. I still have two more bags at home and I intend to donate it to her library just the same.

Evelyn was recounting her dreadful experience on the book shower-book drive activity they organized a few years back. She received lots of books alright, but she spent a year separating the chaff from the grain.

Public libraries are indeed wanting of books to put in their collection. But people who are kind enough to show compassion to public libraries must realize that they are donating to a LIBRARY and not a junk shop. Then again, the librarian can actually bundle the trash and sell it to a junk shop. Now that's additional earning for the library.

Book donations are always welcome. The librarian will always appreciate the generosity of the library's patrons. For those who are willing to give love to public libraries by book donations, kindly consider the following:

1. Book Condition - Donate books that are still in good condition. The kind that can still stand on its spine and pages are still complete. Be sure that the body is still intact. No missing texts, chapters or pages.

2. Book Quality - There are lots of reasons why you want to donate books. But when you do so, I hope it's not for the sake of getting rid of the trash. You may have outgrown some of them and yes, they gather dust, but others may find it usefull so you give them away. Donate books like you are imparting something precious to another person.

3. Library Management and Staff -Be sure that your books go to a library where there are people who will take care of them. Often, we don't really consider this. Your old books may still be in good condition and they may be of good quality to the reader, but if no one will organize, develop and maintain the books donated or acquired your generosity ends where your intentions began. A library without a librarian is nothing.

Indeed, libraries are growing organisms. Librarians make libraries grow. Help nurture your library. Donate books! For more tips on book donations, click here. I remember writing about it a few months ago and the tips may further help you decide where to deliver your books.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

November Events

I'm two posts behind schedule, but I'm posting these events and going ons for next month just in case you are out of Internet reach for the long weekend and Holiday ahead.

- All alumni of PNU are invited to attend both the General Assembly and Forum. Build your network and renew your ties. Tag or leave a comment. Non-alumni are just as welcome to the forum.

The PNU Library and Information Science Alumni Association, Inc. will be holding its 5th annual general assembly this coming Novermber 26 at the PNU Library Conference Room from 8 am to 12 noon.

There will also be a forum on
Reading in the Age of Technology
with Dr. Diljit Singh from the Department of Information Science of the University of Malaya, in Malaysia as guest speaker. Dr. Singh will be discussing the importance of reading in the age of information technology and how school librarians and teachers play a crucial role in enhancing reading skills. He will also present possible schemes and strategies in organizing libraries in schools with limited resources taking into consideration the context and culture of the learning community.

Registration fee is 250 pesos.

**From PATLS and the Book Talk Society of the Philippines -

To usher in the Library and Information Month, the National Book Week Subcommittee on Special Projects in cooperation with the Philippine Association of Teacher of Library Science (PATLS), Book Talk Society of the Philippines (BTSP), and the PNU Library and Information Science Alumni Assoc. (PNU-LISAA) a series of activities will be held on 28 October 2005 from 8 am to 5 pm at the Associacion de Damas de Filipinas located at Quirino Ave., Paco, Manila.

There will be an outreach program for the abandoned children of Damas, a book talk on "12 Little Things Every Filipino Can Do To Help Our Country", and a lecture-forum on the Librarians' Role in Information Literacy in a Borderless Society with Peachy Limpin and yours truly as resource speakers. Prof. Randy David will be presented with the Ama ng Panulat at Pamulatang Sosyolohiyang Pinoy award and Prof. Emerita Quito will be presented the Ina ng Panulat at Pamulatang Pilosopiyang Pinoy award.

Seminar fee is 300 pesos which will cover food and certificates.

**Original source for the press release is Ms. Peachy Limpin.

From the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators -

Paseo de Roxas, Makati
Facing Asia Tower and AIM
Book Talk!
A round-table discussion of children's books

Host : SCBWIphilasia
The Philippine chapter of the Society of Children's Book
Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI)
Come and join us

When : 2nd Monday, 2005 November 14 from 6 to 9 p.m.
Where : McCafe, Paseo de Roxas, Makati (facing AIM)
Bring : A children's or young adult book you can talk about.
We will try our best to let everyone speak, so come on time.
Food : Everyone pays for his or her own snack and drink.
Fee : P100. For current SCBWI members, it's P50.

Tell us if you're coming
Contact : Ani Almario, 0917-628-7546 or
Nikki Garde Torres, 0917-6671267 or
Beaulah Taguiwalo, 0917-787-4956 or

Monday, October 24, 2005

Bloglet Subscription

It must be the change in template that disabled BLOGLET in SLIA. Please tag or leave a comment if you get notices of updates from SLIA.

I also suggest that you do some readings of previous entries.

Basic or Beyond

Two questions that struck me in my recent accreditation:

1. Is technology as applied to library services and programs a basic component to have or is it an advanced "feature" that can be adapted once collection, staffing and management are in place?

2. When can (Philippine) school libraries claim their rightful place as the "hub", the "center" and the "core" of its academic soul?

It seems that technology as applied to school library services is an extra and not a must-have to boost the staff's skill and competence; nor is it considered a tool to augment and strengthen the collection; nor is it a strategy to upgrade its programs and services. Teachers are exploring and learning technology for use in instruction. Can school administrators afford to leave the library behind?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Scouting Month in the Library

October is Rosary Month. It is also the month when the Boy Scouts of the Philippines celebrates and commemorates Scouting Month.

In line with this, the GS LRC staged an exhibit in coordination with the Scouting Club of Xavier Grade School. With the help of Mrs. Bubles Sudario, Student Activities Coordinator, Mr. Enzo Fuentes, Music Art and Computer Coordinator and Mr. Marc Magsalin, Assistant Principal for Unit 2 and Scout Master the exhibit successfully opened yesterday, October 17, 2005. Through the exhibit, grade School students will be able to see and witness how a Xaverian alumni, Scout Master John Dee De Guzman, can contribute and reach out to the society and the global community through scouting.

Scout De Guzman (Batch '67) is an established engineer/businessman and a successful scouter. He has trained scouters in national and international camping, jamborees, meets and conferences. He holds the rank of Silver Tamarraw.

oct17act 055

miniature camp


scout deguzman

scouters all

Photos are courtesy of Mr. Tony Resurreccion.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

As a Children's and *YA Services Librarian...

If your clients are children and teenagers, please READ this post. It is of importance to school librarians like you and me. If you are highly concerned about what Pinoy children and teenagers are reading so you can provide them the reading materials that they need and are appropriate to their level, do READ this post. And if you want to know what a 15 year old teenager is clamoring to READ, you MUST read this post. If you are not interested at all, you know where I will put you in the librarians' two school's of thought (of course I'm kidding! There is still time to redeem yourself. Joke!).

To understand where the whole story begins, go to this site. To know the sequel, go to this site. After going to both sites, go back here in SLIA, read my post and comment all you want. I will not take it against you. Promise!

Then again, you may not want to go back and forth from one blog to another. You're Internet connection may be slower than snail mail. So, I'll just summarize the whole issues as briefly as I can.

A 15 year old reader wrote Butch Dalisay asking why she could not find, locate and buy any Young Adult novel in the bookstores today written by Filipino writers. Butch Dalisay, the Filipino Literary giant that he is, replied as best as he could. But Carla Pacis who writes for children and young adults gave better answers as one who writes for her audience. So if you want to know the "nitty-gritty" of it all, go to the links I cited earlier.

Now, as a school librarian, I am deeply concerned about the clamor and lament of this young 15 year old reader. Call me over-acting (OA), but there are valid reasons why.

First Reaction. Why would the teenager reader go to a bookstore and not in her school library or public library to find and locate books to read for RECREATION? Yes, bookstores are more accessible than the school library or public library, but aren't libraries supposed to provide books and reading materials both for education and entertainment. Libraries are too identified with research, academic endeavors and scholarly undertakings. Nothing wrong there. Then again, learning can be fun. Libraries are capable to do that, to give the "fun factor" to its clients particularly to children and teenagers. Unfortunately, this is not made manifest in Philippine school and public libraries. Why? I think I've written bits and pieces about it in my previous posts.

Second Reaction. Like what Carla Pacis told Butch Dalisay, there is a group of Pinoy writers producing literature for Pinoy children and teenagers. KUTING is trying its best to finally realize the publication of BAGETS, an anthology of short stories for teenagers and adolescents that discuss their issues, their whims and their awesome and painful stage of life.

Third Reaction. Pinoy children and teenagers must be exposed to the values, beliefs and heritage of their culture through the literature that they read, either crap or Palanca best. Our Filipiniana collection for children and teenagers is very limited. How then can they appreciate their identity (both self and national) if they could not taste a flavor of Pinoy literature? You might be raising an eyebrow, thinking that our kids are growing in a global world so why let them read Filipiniana? Sweetheart, before they can contribute and compete in the global arena, they must know who they are and what they are made of. They must bring in something unique and different from themselves or they'll be like everyone else.

Pinoy writers of kid's lit these days maybe beating their chest, pulling their hair and gnashing their teeth to get published for their intended audience. Publishers of kid's lit maybe in their discerning moods, praying to God which among the many manuscripts they have in their hands are worth of publication. Teachers maybe forever on the lookout for books as required readings in his/her literature class. This could be the present scenario that make me to ask, what about school librarians?

What are we doing to help promote readership of Filipiniana for children and young adults? Are we too concerned with technical task and clerical tasks in the library that we lose sight of the needs of our readers? Are we too hooked on IT magic and how it can lighten our technical and clerical jobs that we could not translate its magic to better readers' services? Are we concerned to provide reading materials to our child readers? How do you see yourself, as a school librarian in the development of literacy and the appreciation of one's culture? Are the technical and clerical work we do just an end to itself or a means to an end?

What is the end? I'd appreciate a comment or two.


*Young Adult

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

ANIMALAYA in Xavier Grade School

The Animalaya Exhibit of Ang INK and Haribon had a successful and simple opening last Monday, October 10, 2005.


Here are more pictures from the exhibit's first days.


hubert's hit

green and happy

Photos are courtesy of Mr. Oyet Concepcion.
commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Why libraries? Why not?

There is this comment in Filipino Librarian that I will dissect. You may find it petty, and some may argue that it is the person's opinion so better leave it. Sorry, but I can't just leave it. Take this as an "intellectual" discourse -something that we all can think and ponder.

But before I do that, I suggest you go and read Filipino Librarian's post where the comment was made. That way, you have a working schema and an understanding to where I'm coming from. Just click the bold FILIPINO LIBRARIAN in the first paragraph and you're there.

Here is the comment-
depends. it's individual for everyone. sometimes you just gotta own your own copy of a book. sometimes it's best to just borrow. what's with the inferiority comples w/librarians these days anyway? a substantial amount of them always seem to be saying "what about us! look at us! helloooo!!" books are good, music is good, information is good. so potentially are the places that serve them: stores, internet, libraries, and informal places. who cares. each has it's own pros and cons.

First dissection - sometimes you just gotta own your own copy of a book. sometimes it's best to just borrow.

Yes. Agree. I do have my own collection of books though I'm working in a school library. I'm proud at my school library's collection, print, AV and online, however, it is a school. I have my own reading needs and interests to fill and satisfy that my school's library could not. Isabel Allende and Niel Gaiman are treasures to have, but how many "children" will read them? There are teachers who may borrow fiction also, but their professional needs come first in the school. Instead of buying a book about teaching strategies that cost Php 1,500, they can borrow a variety of books on the same topic in the school library.

There are different kinds of libraries catering to particular and special needs of clients. Libraries also cater to a specific reading public. Bookstores do not. Libraries offer alternative titles and more options for its clients. Bookstores offer what they have in the shelves.

One time, I was looking for Dean Alfar's Siglo (you must have figured that he's one of my favorite Pinoy writers for I always mention him in my blogs, but really, his wife Nikkiwrites better)and it turns out that the poor boostore ran out of copies. The poor saleslady could not give me an alternative, where as, a librarian who has a content and product knowledge of the library's collection can lead me to other titles of graphic novels or the speculative fiction genre.

Second dissection - what's with the inferiority complex w/librarians these days anyway? a substantial amount of them always seem to be saying "what about us! look at us! helloooo!!"

Current research shows that high degrees of student achievement is attributed to succesful library programs. Librarians are needed to run these programs. Librarians can teach and faciliatte learning. Libraries are learning laboratories. Are bookstores venues for learning? Are sales people in the bookstores have the educational preparation to facilitate learning?

Bookstores help libraries and libraries help bookstores. But in the case of the Pinoy reading and learning experiences, bookstores supercede libraries as learning avenues. If one needs a book, one goes to the bookstore. Now I don't blame people who do go to bookstores because, public libraries are lacking in the Philippines. That's reason enough why librarians must make a loud noise on the importance of libraries.

If you hear or encounter a librarian lamenting ""what about us! look at us! helloooo!!", be glad that you meet that kind. That librarian does not have an INFERIORITY COMPLEX. That librarian has a clear understanding of his/her role in the individual lives of people and in society at large.

Third dissection - books are good, music is good, information is good. so potentially are the places that serve them: stores, internet, libraries, and informal places.

With this last part of the comment, let me address my fellow librarians who are reading this post. If a person exist with this kind of "perception" about information, it's retrieval, location and access, it implicates that as a professional group, we have to strive harder. We must impact the lives of people we meet, interact and serve. And as we push further to the digital age, the challenge to do so is greater.

Back to Filipino Librarian's question. Are bookstores better than libraries? My answer is a resounding NO.

What if we turn the question over. Are libraries better than bookstores?

Do librarians always have to be on the defensive end all the time? Librarian or not, I want to hear you say your piece. Go on. I won't bite.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Filipino Writer (dot) com

The Internet never cease to amaze me.

With the help of my tracking system, I'm able to see who visits and referrers to my blog. Last week, I was pleasantly surprised to find the KUTING Workshop announcement in Filipino My discovery of Filipino was a timely one. Fueled by the Philippine Literature discussion in Ian Casocot's blog and in Dean Alfar's observations on what it means to be "literary" in the Filipino novel in his blog, I began crawling the web for publishing opportunities for Filipino writers. I told myself at that time that If I find one, I'll blog about it and promote its readership.

Winning awards left and right is one thing, but being read is another. A writer may win accolades and awards for writing exceptional literature, but if it is not published (in the case of some Palanca winners) read, reviewed, discussed, tried and talked about, the writer's work is dead. Filipino librarians have a stake in helping Philippine literature come live. We can nurture Philippine literaure.

And so, I am encouraging my subscribers and readers to go visit Filipino Read the many works of Filipino writers there. Be a member (free). Comment and give feedback on the writings, articles and literature.

It's objectives are the following: aims to help every kind of Filipino writer –- technical, commercial and literary -- improve his or her lot, especially financially. It also aims to encourage Filipinos to read works by Filipino writers, and thus promote a "reading culture" among Filipinos. Finally, aims to popularize Filipino-written works in the international scene.

I hope the girl who wrote Butch Dalisay gets to read this. Or better still, discover Filipino Can someone send the email of Butch Dalisay?

Sunday, October 9, 2005


I value all kinds of comments and feedback from my workshop participants and/or blog subscribers. Here's what I got from my mail from Yen Operio.

I've just finished my demo yesterday and it was a
successful one. The principal was so impressed. I'd
like to give you credit for that. Thank you so much. I
storytell "The greediest of rajahs and the whitest of
clouds" by Honoel Ibardolaza.
I've added some techniques and I've included
some story I've learned in the seminar.

Yen attended my Storytelling seminar-workshop in Phoenix Educational Systems Inc. last September. Congratulations Yen!

Friday, October 7, 2005

Friend of the Library

How often do you get to read a blog post about libraries from non-librarians? Imagine my delight to discover this blogger who made a comment in Von's blog. Libraries need "friends" like her!

Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Teacher Writer

Today is World Teachers Day! Mabuhay ang mga Gurong Filipino!

Teachers are in a very good position to spot materials for stories that children can enjoy and relate with. The school environment, with its children coming and going day in and day out, is filled with all kinds of voices waiting to be heard. One teacher, Kristin Canon, was perceptive enough to the voices, little as they may be, that she hears and listens to every school day.

Having listened to a niece's story after school one day, inspired her to write Bakit Matagal ang Sundo Ko. It won her the PBBY Salanga in 2001.


The story started when the school day ended. Roller bags were racing to the gates as students rush home. Yayas and drivers, mommies and daddies fetched their kids one by one but for a little girl who was left behind as her mom has not arrived yet to pick her up. Wrought with worry, the young girl imagined all the possible reasons why her mom wasn't there yet at the school gates. And what fantastic images she conjured in her mind! Mariano Ching lends his playful style of illustration to make this story a reassuring read for the young reader who has experienced waiting for so long by the gates of the school.

Canon wrote in Filipino and magnificently captured the angst of a waiting child. Her own experiences as teacher and mother helped in framing the character's coping mechanism. Her familiarity with chidlren's thought processes was an advantage. In the story, Canon depicted her lead character as a natural dreamer. Aren't all children? They can retreat into a corner of their minds to nurse their suffering mental state. The little girl in the story build on make-believe situations to calm and reassure herself. Upon exhausting all possible imagined reasons, her mother came just in time to prevent her tears from falling.

They say teachers have no time to write with all the work load. With Canon's example, teachers who wish to write and get published better start managing their time well. Who knows, you, dear teacher, may be the next Salanga awardee!

Related Post - 2006 PBBY SALANGA PRIZE

Tuesday, October 4, 2005

FYI: Links in Categories, Comments and Suggestions

My dear subscribers,

Thank you for patronizing School Librarian In Action. For the past seven months now, I've been posting topics of relevance to Children's Library Services, Information Literacy, IT Integration in Basic Education, Philippine Children's Literature and Reading Advocacy. I hope that the ideas, news, trends, tips and suggestions, information, reviews, facts and opinions you read in SLIA are all very helpful. To further assist you with whatever SLIA provides you with, I have added links to the four categories in my sidebar.

I've added Dean Alfar's Rosang Taba under YAP: The Pinay in Children's Literature; Technology Bytes has three new links from my previous posts; and teachers and parents may find 10 Reasons to Invest in Children's Literature an interesting article so I included it under Reading & Literacy Advocacy.

Keeping this blog for the past seven months has been delightful. You have no idea how therapeutic it has been for me. But of course, my objectives of managing information and knowledge, as well as promoting school librarianship will always be paramount to its existence. I welcome all your comments and suggestions for improvement.


In Memoriam

IASL mourns the passing of Dr. Anne Clyde while, the UP Institute of Library and Information Science prayerfully remembers Prof. Divina Pascua-Cruz who died last September 30, 2005.

Let us pray for the repose of their souls. May they both rest in peace.

Monday, October 3, 2005

Marketing the School Library

Von Totanes, in his blog, Filipino Librarian (I've dropped "the") has identified the guiding principles of marketing. I suggest you print a copy of this and share it with colleagues. Or, in your next departmental meeting discuss the issue of marketing the products you offer to your clients. Better yet, consider devising a marketing plan for two or three years that is anchored on departmental goals.

This way, you can prepare logistics for the marketing strategies you wish to do. Aside from the "money" issue, identify other resources to help you realize your marketing plan. It may be another library, a foundation, a publishing house, a book dealer/jobber, the local government, the alumni association or the school's parents association. Collaborating with them lightens the load and widens your connections. Networking is always good for the library for it to survive. Just make sure that objectives are clear and that the benefits will always go to the library's clients.

You may think that only the library coordinator is in the know of such decisions, plan or strategy. Again, I reiterate the importance of leadership both in the top level and in the ranks. The force must be strong on both poles or there will be an imbalance. Goals may not be realized and resources (including money) may go down the drain. When this happen, your clients are short changed.

Lastly, marketing is one way to improve an image problem. School librarians need a make over. We do. Let's admit it. Start with polishing your communication skills. Reflect on your role in the school community. Be prepared. Plan ahead. Plan long term. It will not be easy, but it can be done.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Website Evaluation Criteria

School librarians evaluate curriculum based and developmentally appropriate books, magazines, newspapers, AV materials and learning resources for their students. Online resources are not spared from such scrutiny since this format is a favorite among today's youngsters. Apart from TV and mobile phones, Filipino children are also captive audiences of the WWW.

I find it disappointing though, how many of them perceive Internet technology as something for pure pleasure. In my years as Reference and IT Librarian, I seldom meet a student whose answer to the question, "What is the Internet for?", is "for learning and school work". Yeah, consider me kill joy (KJ), but really, there's more to these electronic resources than games and entertainment. Now this is one reason why school librarians must pursue Information Literacy classes or Library instruction periods in their libraries. Likewise, teachers must effectively model the use of technology to their students.

It is important that children understand the facets of the technology of their generation. What they learn in basic education, they carry on for LIFE. Who else must campaign for the responsible and ethical use of the WWW but school librarians. Teachers and parents are our natural allies. So to start with, here are websites on selection/evaluation criteria for teachers, librarians and parents who guide children in the proper use of the WWW. It is my pleasure to share my finds with you.

ALA Great Websites for kids gives a very brief but substantial set of criteria. Tips on how to maximize the WWW in the classroom are also included.

Kid's Selection Criteria identifies four simple criterion that children can use. Emphasizing on the evaluation of both content and design for better projects and reports help the student appreciate the value of assessing a website independently.

Kathy Schrock's website is teeming with resources for online teaching. She has different web evaluation worksheets for students across grade levels. I'm using the elementary level and this has proven to be an easy exercise for my grade 6 and 7 boys.

In this age of IT, it is not enough that we provide our students with learning materials. Teaching them the skill to intelligently use the technology and resources available is just as necessary. Let me know of your experiences too. Then we can learn from each other!

Happy surfing!

KUTING Workshop : Writing for Children

Kwentista ng mga Tsikiting (KUTING), the premier organization of Filipino writers for children, in cooperation with Phoenix Educational Systems Inc., will be conducting a workshop on


5th flr. Robinson’s Galleria Corporate Center, Ortigas, Pasig City on October 22, 2005 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Workshop topics and speakers are the following

Why write for kids? Why not?!
Dr. Luis Gatmaitan MD
Palanca Hall of Fame Winner and TOYM Awardee

Writing for Kids : Labor and Love
Carla Pacis
Palanca Winner and Manila Critics’ National Book Awardee

Rhyme and Reason : Writing Poetry for Kids
Heidi Eusebio-Abad
Published Writer and Professor of Creative Writing & Children’s Literature
University of the Philippines, Diliman

Workshop fee costs Php 1,000.00 inclusive of snacks, lunch and workshop kit. A 15% discount will be given to early registrations on or before October 15, 2005.

For reservations and inquiries contact 09164340167/09209602884/723-0481 loc 424

Or email /

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Image is EVERYTHING (3 of 3)

Going back to the Camden Librarians' move to go sexy for a cause, I think these gals aren't really selling thier products, which are books and the information they have in their libraries. They are selling an idea - that librarians are 'exciting' and 'stimulating' professionals.

Exciting in a sense, that, librarians can offer something new. New ideas. New trends. Innovations. Stimulating in a sense, that, librarians have the skill to inspire and motivate their clients to learn, relearn and unlearn. Discovering new things and continously learning are two things that can actually occur in the library through the librarian who works there. And that makes the librarian a "sexy" thang

Sex, then, in this context is all about life and living it up to the fullest. To always associate it with carnal desires and physical contact is downright limiting. It is the passions in our lives that move us to do great things even in the simplest of ways.

The question remains though. How do you sell your profession? How do you sell your products? As a school librarian, have you thought about marketing strategies to increase your 'earnings' for the library and improve your image? More on this marketing stuff in next week's posts.

Let me end this 3-part post with my reply to the Filipino Librarian -

Image tells a lot about a person. Living up to the "image" is another thing. One has to "walk his/her talk" or else, it's all image and no substance. That is sad...
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