Thursday, April 28, 2005

The 1st Philippine Blogging Summit

There will be a summit for Pinoy Bloggers on May 7, 2005 from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.. Venue is in UP NISMED. I got this from Astrid's blog. For those interested to attend go to iblog

Isn't it good to know that blogs go beyond rants, raves and ramblings?

Sunday, April 24, 2005

on top of all things

I often think about the work school librarians do. Yes, we do the regular stuff. Acquisition. Cataloging. Readers' Servcies. And from where I am standing at, I have the impression that school librarians are fairly comfortable at doing the regular stuff. However, in the light of the changing landscape in the information environment, I often wonder how school librarians have responded to these changes.

For sure, the 11 public schools in QC are responding to the challenges beyond the inner workings of public school politics and the bigger information environment taking shape out there. This of course is possible through the initiatives of school library supporters both with in and outside the country.

While my collegaues and contemporaries are waist deep in the waters of Information Literacy, I take to land once in a while and retrace the basic roots of literacy development. Aside from the IL advocacy, I believe that school librarians should also be as active in its advocacy on reading development. In Xavier School, we employ different strategies to contribute on the reading culture campaign. Storytelling programs and Author Visits are two of the successful activities that can be easily worked upon by any school library.

In line with this, here is an excerpt from a write up about Carla Pacis. She is a writer, professor, friend of the school library and reading advocate. She has been to Xavier School many times to be with children, giving booktalks, workshops and sharing her carft as a writer to chidlren. Carla makes herself available for Author Visits to different schools and libraries.

Dreamer weaves bedtime stories for children
By Candy G. Villanueva, Contributor

THE DREAM started out of sheer boredom. While the rest
of the working population dreamt of promotions and
high salaries in their cozy beds, Carla Pacis worked
the graveyard shift for Citibank's new program,
Citibanking. At a time when telebanking was still
unheard of, Pacis led the pioneering team of the new
system. No doubt a trailblazing project, it would have
been an exciting moment for any bank executive. But
not for Pacis. She was bored out of her wits. She
thought there must be something else she could do. The
nearest thing at hand was a pen and paper.

Education and inspiration
Pacis also wrote several storybooks for Adarna House
including "There's a Snake in the House," "Mayroon
Akong Alagang Puno" and "Hipon and Biya." Dwelling on
values and morals, Pacis' works are not only
entertaining but inspiring as well. "Hipon and Biya"
for instance is a story of friendship and teamwork.

In all of these stories, the writer claims that there
is always a little bit of something in her. "All of
them reflect my life. There is at least an element in
each," she affirms. "You can't avoid using your
experiences. Your story wouldn't count so much if you
didn't use your experience. It is an extension of

Writers as advocates
Seeing how words and pictures can affect a child,
Pacis believes that her purpose does not stop at
writing children's tales. "I feel that writers for
children in the Philippines should not be just
writers. They have to be advocates for reading and
literacy because what is the point of writing if
nobody is going to read it? You just can't be a
writer, you have to be more than that."

Pacis believes that children's literature is not in
the mainstream of the academe yet. According to her,
children's literature has been around for quite awhile
but is still considered as pop culture and marginal.
Although there is still a lot of acceptance required
in the academe, she claims that children's books are
doing better than adult books in terms of publishing
in the country.

As part of her thrust, she also co-founded Kuting
(Kwentista ng mga Chikiting) and several other
movements for reading and literacy in children's
literature. During the summer, she conducts writing
workshops for adults, teenagers and children and
participates in activities and talks that impress the
power of reading.

Adventure and exploration
Presently, she is trying to put together a peers'
award for published children's books that will be
judged by people involved in the industry like
librarians, reading coordinators, writers and
teachers. Her quest does not end there. She wants to
make books as easily available as possible and hopes
to open children's sections in public libraries. In
fact, one of her immediate goals is to set up a
children's section at the Vigan public library where
she traces her roots.

Looking back, she is glad that she only got into
writing after a taste of the corporate life. "In a
way, I'm glad I didn't discover I liked to write early
because I can see it in those who are writing in high
school. They don't really have much to write about and
that is always a problem; I think. At that age, I
think you should be reading more than writing." In the
meantime, she advises budding writers to open
themselves up to opportunities and adventures. "I
would suggest they go out into the world and explore.
Travel if they can afford. Try any job that appeals to
them or they are attracted to, and it doesn't have to
be related to writing. I think writers should really
know what is going on. They should be interested in
many things."

(E-mail feedback to

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Philippine eLib Launched

And so I read from Von's blog that the Philipine eLib was launched. Good for us! I first heard about the project last August 2004 at the Philipine eConference at the Ateneo. I visited the website and I was impressed at the design of it. It also appears to be "user friendly" (and i mean it, the positive way...). It is easy to navigate and it's index page contains the basic information a reader or user needs to know.

With the eLib, collge students and academicians have an online resource they can access even when at home. And, don't forget, it's Philippine Made. As a graduate student, it would save me a lot of time when doing research as far as gathering info is concerned. I can narrow down my info choices using such databases. Scholars can easily focus, get organized and make decisions on the next step to take in their academic endeavors because such info are available. It will surely help a lot of people in the academe and in the field of science and technology, research and the humanities.

Now I feel the impetus to make Information Literacy a part of the basic education curriculum. Grade school and high school students must be prepared to tackle more difficult materials in the future; to be able to master the skill of separating the chaff from the grain when using a variety of information resources; to make value judgements on the information at hand and to be able to communicate the gathered information for the benefit of others. With such sophisticated tools for research and learning, the responsibility of educators in the basic education is heavy. It is one that "we" must carefully plan and study; to look into strategies of facilitating this new literacy to younger learners is extremely important.

Others may think that ICT Literacy is enough to keep the young scholar alive and kicking. Think again. And think hard we must. Being able to know the ins and outs of computer software, hardware and infrastructure is different from being able to construct an understanding of conepts and ideas. Better still, go beyond that understanding to define and apply one's own.

At the recently concluded IFLA Workshop for Public School Librarians and Principals, IL was heralded as a literacy that leads to life long learning. Simply put, IL is helping children become better readers, better learners. Some always tie IL with ICT Literacy. I beg to disagree. I think IL deserve to be with it's twin sister, which is Reading Literacy. Both adhere to the Cognitive and Constructivist Learning Theories. Both find a place in the teaching of content areas. Both can be used as approaches, even strategies for learning.

Filipino librarians may be building the technological infrastructure as a means to organize information and provide easy access. But, it is my constant reminder to myself, and to those who share the same vision, that children in the schools should be given the exposure and training necessary for them to make meaning out of the information flooding them everyday; to be responsible for it; to create their own and share it with those who will also learn.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

IFLA Workshop For Public School Librarians

ifla workshop
Originally uploaded by sumatra_woman.
Something is afoot in Philippine School Librarianship. Last April 13-14, 2005 school librarians and their respective principals from 11 public schools in Quezon City attended a workshop on Information Literacy. The project was spearheaded by Dir. Lou David of the Rizal Library, Ateneo de Manila University. Two esteemed resource persons from the field of LIS were present to lend their time and share thier expertise and knowledge on IL (Information Literacy). Dr. Diljit Singh from the University of Malaya and Prof. James Henri of Hongkong University are the two new best friends of Filipino Librarians. Mabuhay!

Proud to be a Librarian

This is my second blog that will concentrate on that thing "I really like to do". Now I have to credit Von Totanes for influencing me to put up another blog. I met him last April 13, 2005 at the Ateneo de Manila Univeristy. We were there for a workshop for pubslic school librarians, a project initiated by my dear Prof. Lou David. Wonder what that project is? I'll be raving about it soon! Promise!

As for Von, who happens to be an Ateneo alum and a librarian too (ADB), may our tribe (flipino librarian bloggers) increase!
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