Saturday, December 16, 2006

Gawad Kabataan Para sa Panitikan

Pinoy children will finally have their voices heard regarding the books they love to read. Read Or Die's Gawad Kabataan Para sa Panitikan website is up and running. The organizers are inviting schools, libraries, writers and publishers to join and support the initiative.

Below is a brief description of what it is all about. For more information, visit the website here.

About the Gawad Kabataan

The concept behind the awards is somewhat similar to the Red House Children's Book Awards. We will be networking with children's book groups all over the country, give them free or discounted copies of nominated books along with review sheets, and, based on reader response, come up with a list of favorite and recommended books, after which a final round of voting will determine overall winners. The readers themselves will therefore be choosing their writers and their books.

I'm really thrilled with this project and as KUTING president, I'm cooking up some strategies to have the organization involved in it. Though I can not help but think if school librarians would find this worth their time. I have emailed our English coordinator and I'm hoping it's one project where we can collaborate. Now this is petty, but take note that libraries are encouraged to get involved and not the librarians who run the programs and services for the libraries.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Pinoy Readers Choice Award

Read or Die, a book club for the Reading Pinoy is host to the first Pinoy Readers Choice Award. Organizers have short listed best books for Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry and Komiks. So they claim that a special category for Young Adult/Children's Literature will soon be given but, when?

Read more here .

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Law of the Seeds

Gerald Brown of IASL shared this moving parable via email. I feel the compulsion to pass it on to my staff and colleagues.

Isn't it that we have so many wants and needs for the improvement of our library services and programs but we can't have them all? We are shaken by changes either internal or external that challenge our views of the profession. This parable is a perfect story to strengthen our resolve to face changes and challenges in the profession and in life, in general. Happy reading!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Learning Extended

Many still perceive the library merely as a warehouse of books, equipment and resources. Such perception impedes the potential of libraries as viable venues of learning. The books, resources, equipment and facilities it holds are sources of ideas and information. It is in the hands of a dynamic library staff where the creation of new ideas and the constructs of new knowledge are made possible. Through programs and services geared towards the full utility of these resources by students and teachers, school libraries are centers that build a learning community.

Interestingly, “learning community” does not only refer to the intellect. It also pertains to the active involvement of students, teachers and members of the school population in helping the school library grow and develop. In the past quarter, the GS LRC is a living witness to this kind of support extended by people from the Xavier community.

ART SERVICE CLUB. Mr. Jonah Valenzuela of the GS MAC rounded up his boys for a collaborative project with LRC Service Club members and its moderator, Mrs. Chit Olivares. Together, they facilitated a poster-making activity that promoted books and reading; use of one’s talent and skill in drawing; and the ability to work cooperatively with another. The students’ output, colorful posters for the primary students to see, provide visual stimulus to encourage continued use of the library.

Aside from the posters, members of the Art Service Club made book covers for the ones that are worn out. Move over, Silvertongue. There are new “book doctors” in town. Through this activity, the students’ talents and skills were put into good use. Good books that needed repair and covering were salvaged from the weeding box. These were given new covers, simple drawings on oslo paper but most are neatly and colorfully done. Such an activity puts value on books as important technological tools for learning. Likewise, it fosters a sense of community and a willingness to be of service.

BOOK DONATION. Are you familiar with the saying, “Too many books, so little time (to read)?” For Scott Lee-Chua of Gr. 2 A-St. Sebastian, he has all the time to read good books. When he is done reading them or has outgrown them, he donates them to a library.

His mom, Queena, does the sorting of books for donations. When Scott learned that ICA and Ateneo were the regular recipients of their donations, he asked his mom, “Why not my school, Xavier School?” Out of the 416 volumes, around 300 were added to the GS LRC’s growing collection. The rest were given to the Jesuit Mission since they are supporting libraries in the provinces.

Inspired by parents who also read, Scott’s donations reflect a varied and diverse reading interest. Reading has taken Scott into many lands and places. He has been to different worlds, real and imagined. He hopes that others can derive the same delightful experience that reading has afforded him. By donating books, this young reading advocate has taken the first step towards that dream.

GUEST ALUMNUS. Last Thursday, December 7, 2006, grade school students who frequent the GS LRC at lunchtime were treated to an engaging visit from an alumnus. Mr. Joel Chua (’95), comic book creator, illustrator and graphic designer, regaled Xaverians with his artistic adventures.

He presented the process involved in book illustration; shared how computers help him design and illustrate books and graphic novels; showed his work and current portfolio; and drew on the spot caricatures. His audience was filled with wonder. But what really impressed his young and eager audience was his old grade school HSCN filled with drawings and sketches – an early attempt at honing his craft. This memento from his past was enough inspiration for those who dream of becoming an artist someday. As for the ones who were merely interested to meet an artist and illustrator that day, Mr. Chua became a role model to them. His focus, determination and knowledge of one’s self are defining qualities to be excellent and successful in a chosen craft or trade. In Xavier School lingo, it is called magis.

Mr. Chua was grateful for the opportunity to go back and give back a little something to Xavier School. If given another chance, he is open to the possibility to teach digital drawing to students. Visit his website at

Students helping and reaching out. A young reader who shared with others his enthusiasm for books and reading. A visiting alumnus living out the spirit of magis. These are but a few of the many ways the school library can enrich and enhance the academic and formation programs of the school. No more of the warehouse and student services mentality for libraries. The GS LRC is an extension of the classroom.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Opened Doors*

In the fairy tale, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, a magical door to a cavern filled with priceless treasures could be opened using a most interesting password: Open Sesame! Thus, the one who knows the password could easily have access to the cavern’s contents. This part of the fairy tale would always leave me in awe because the school library is very much like the cavern of treasures in the story. The doors of the school library, however, are always open for its main users, students and teachers, who are equipped with the knowledge and skill in using the learning resources that are available.

Learning resources refer to the combination of print, AV and electronic formats for teaching, instruction and leisurely activities. The GS LRC gears up with initiatives that balance the utility of these learning resources.

Storytelling Workshop. Last November 8, 2006, 35 parents trooped to the EED LRC for a fun filled workshop on Storytelling. These parents were all volunteers for the National Book Week celebration in the EED. Already an annual workshop, it had new offerings and techniques for the parents who attended. With their positive evaluation of the activity, more and more parents would be confident enough to tell stories. As one parent puts it, “…[I learned how to be] engaging so that kids would enjoy and like reading books.”

Mediashoppe & Techtorial. These two programs of the GS LRC have helped teachers identify instructional materials for the classroom. One very important service that the AV section of the GS LRC has been giving to Filipino & Social Studies teachers is the recording and dubbing of commercials for their media education lesson. Integrated in the Filipino and Social Studies curriculum, the commercials are used to teach concepts, and enhance critical thinking skills. The good news is, ads and commercials can now be accessed via the Internet. It is only a matter of time until procedures for using and embedding them in PowerPoint presentations could be identified to agree with the correct use of copyright and intellectual property.

Online Directory. Reference & IT Librarian, Mrs. Chit Olivares has come up with an online directory for teachers. Using a free hosting website,, it is now easier to track URLs of websites for teaching. It may sound like your ordinary Bookmark in a web browser but FURL lends help by referring users to other web resources available in its online database. It even has a filtering capability to prevent sites of malicious content. What’s more, building the directory of websites can be done in a communal effort. That is why the GS librarians are putting their heads together to present this directory/database to teachers in the hope that they can use it, and at the same time, contribute to its development.

These are but a few of the many treasures that the GS LRC can provide the learning community. Its doors are always open and no password is needed to access resources and information that are appropriate to students and useful to teachers.

* This article first appeared in the Xavier School Website.

Friday, December 1, 2006

Turtle's Tale by Gerald Brown

I was with Gerald Brown, Honorary Ambassador of IASL, in the National Book Week Fellowship Night. The following day, we met again to discuss his next trip to Manila sometime next year. Apparently, Gerald, has touched base with PATLS for a conference addressing library education in the Philippines. Plans are still tentative and everything else is still floating on air but, given the time and the resources, it may just be possible.

Lunch with Gerald Brown was a full meal of food and conversations. At the end of the productive lunch meeting, he left with me his proposals for workshops, CDs of presentations, a research paper and a story.

In his calling card, you would find important information about him, of course. But the most striking thing about his calling card was the logo of a sea turtle. It took only one question, "why a turtle?", for Gerald to tell the story.

Twenty five hears ago, Gerald's friend and coleague was frustrated at the state of librarianship in that district of Canada where they work. To pacify his friend, he said, "Be like the turtle, slow and steady but it's going to get where it intends to go. It's a mark of leadership." From then on, Gerald has used the turtle's metaphor for change and evolution.

Tutles do know where to go. They have the vision. They stick their necks out but they're slow and steady. They can overcome obstacles and hardships because they're made of tough skin. Or shell, I should say. They lay eggs. And these eggs are like ideas. Some eggs die before being hatched. Some are eaten and manipulated. Some live but are endangered by predators. Some go back to the sea to flourish and live. This has been the turtles' life for years and it has survived.

Leadership like the turtle's is not made of arrogance and bravado, but of hardwork, wisdom, longevity, risk taking and perseverance. Such traits that also bespeak of Gerald Brown.

Have a safe trip back to Canada, Gerald! See you again soon!

Friday, November 24, 2006

National Book Week 2006

Today is the launching of the the 2006 National Book Week. Libraries all over the Philippines have organized activities to celebrate the occassion. Librarians have filled up their leaves and asked permission to attend seminars, lectures and forum for continuous education. For more of these, the calendar of activities of the NBW may be viewed via the UPLSAA website.

What makes this celebration a notable one for me is its theme, "Bata, Bata...Halina't Magbasa". It seems that, after a long while, Filipino Librarians have finally recognized children, books, reading and the role that libraries and librarians play to develop and nurture it.

I may not be in the forefront of the NBW this year, unlike in years past, but I sure would be doing my own little way to promote it. Tomorrow, November 25, 2006 will be my seminar-workshop at Powerbooks. I will be sharing with my collegaues in the profession trends in school library management as well as, current theories why developing libraries for children is a must in this day and age. My seminar begins at 1.00 pm. This is an activity of the Philippine Board on Books for Young People. And though it is not included in the NBW calendar, we, in the Board are happy to have activities in congruence to NBW.

Apart from this, I will also be busy tomorrow morning for the KUTING General Assembly. We will be welcoming new members to the organization. Honestly, I still shudder at the thought of being KUTING officer. Perhaps there is something in the stars that made me KUTING President this year. As a librarian who writes for children, I never dreamed of becoming its president. Then again, maybe, it has a purpose. For after all, KUTING does not only aim to help writers of children grow in their craft but promotes Philippine Children's Literature too.

I hope the second objective justifies my presence in KUTING.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Meeting Emong Borlongan

I missed the launching of Becky Bravo's book, The Rocking Horse, last month. The book's illustrations were paintings done by Elmer Borlongan. When I learned that SAS was planning a training-team building session at the Bolipata Farm in Zambales, I was excited to go. Not only did I have the chance to bond with other SAS trainors and facilitators, I got to meet Elmer Borlongan as well!

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Salanga Award

I have written in this blog many times on the Salanga Award given by the PBBY. This year, I was again, judge in the contest. And what good entries we have this year! This week, Ani Almario, PBBY Secretariat, will send a press release of the winners. But before I let you in on the experience of judging this year, allow me to say some things about the award.

Just to establish recall and context, the Salanga is given by the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY)for the best story written for children annualy. It was named after Alfredo Salanga, one of PBBY's founding members and advocate of Philippine Children's Literature. Very soon, the Alcala Prize, after comic book creator, Larry Alcala, will be opened for illustrators to draw the story that won first prize.

It can be said that the Salanga is the Philippines' counterpart to America's Newbery, the Alcala to the Caldecott. While the Newbery and the Caldecott awards are determined by librarians (yes, Virginia, they have a strong voice when it comes to recommending and recognizing quality literature for children), the Salanga and the Alcala prizes are handed over by advocates of children's literature in the Philippines - non other than, the PBBY.

The PPBBY is composed of sectoral representatives from the field of education, writing, publishing, illustrating, book selling and review, storytelling, research and media.

This year, there are three honorable mention and a first prize winner. Take note that entries for this year consists of issues once considered "taboo" for children to read. This is a good sign that Philippine children's literature is continuously on the move. Homosexuality is one example of a theme that would not be entered in such a contest five or ten years ago. This year, we have around two or three stories on homosexuality to talk about. Death surprised us this year via an entry that confronts the issue straight on. Children are not spared of poverty and disease, thus, a handful of stories dealing on coping mechanisms and getting sick and thriftiness found their way in the judges' top ten.

But of course, there were entries that speak of traditional and tried formats of stories for children. When can our writers, particularly those who are starting out in this promising side of the industry, realize that literature for kids can also entertain. Many still perceive children's literature to be a vehicle to teach a moral. All stories have morals, even the bad ones. Now, how the concept and theme was written and presented for kids to understand and enjoy spells the difference.

The craft of writing for children is for another post.

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Creating Classroom Libraries

Below is the PowerPoint presentation of my workshop session for the Petron Programang Kaakbay Conference. Delivered on October 28, 2006, I shared with public school teachers the importance and rationale of setting classroom libraries. They were also provided basic tips to organize and develop basic classrrom library collection for their students.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Building a Nation of Readers*

More and more literacy campaigns are sprouting in the metro and nearby suburbs. A good sign of hope, that is. While our politicians rumble and ramble, teachers, artists, reading advocates, socio-civic volunteers, NGO's and the religous continue to carry the mission of enlightening young people - their minds, hearts and souls.

BASA & Fr. Ted Gonzales SJ

I was surprised to learn that Fr. Ted Gonzales, our ME Spiritual Director, is founder of a volunteer-outreach project fostering reading advocacy. Bayan Akayin sa Abot Tanaw (BASA), dreams of developing minds that are alive for nation building. And what better way to do that but to put up a library and expose children to books and reading.

Aklatang Pambata

Barangay Paltok is fast becoming a popular destination for volunteers who believe that a community of readers must have a working and visible community library. Troy Lacsamana, the brainchild behind Aklatang Pambata is continously nurturing the young people of Barangay Paltok towards that goal.

Sa Aklat Sisikat Foundation (SAS)

After a successful four day teacher conference in Xavier School, the Programang Kaakbay of SAS & Petron Foundation is well on its way to becoming an annual event for public school teachers in basic education. This year's conference, 154 public school teachers listened to plenary speakers and participated in workshop sessions that firmed up their teaching of reading skills. Founded by Lizzie Zobel and Margarita Delgado, SAS continues to partner with foundations, institutions, organizations donors and corporate sponsors who share the same vision and mission of *building a nation of readers. For photos of the recent confeence (October 27-30, 2006) go here.

These are but some of the many literacy initiatives in the country today. It can not be denied that the presence and accesibility of reading centers and libraries is crucial for children to read and love books. Hope floats after all. If only our government leaders would invest on education and literacy development.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Reflections of a Teaching Librarian

I have just finished completing all requirements for my graduate school courses - EDR 210 - Trends in Teacing Reading & EDR 211 - Reading in the Content Areas. Now some may wonder, why a school librarian studying Reading Education. My short essay provides reason enough. So I hope.

Reflecting the Links in Learning

The experience of teaching street kids and public school children is not something new to me. I have had opportunities in the past to facilitate learning structures with such a group. It was a long time ago that it seemed so strange and surreal to have done it again. I am surprised at myself to have survived and endured the whole thing.

To prepare for the demo teaching in Learning Links, I had to catch up with my group mates who were practitioners of the Four Pronged Approach. There were videos and group discussions of course, but in teaching, the real stuff matters more. The actual “doing and making” counts a lot compared to viewed and simulated environments. Much as I tried, I was a newbie. And so, I let my two group mates run the show and lent support as much as I can. For a graduate student who juggles work, motherhood, wifehood and all the extras on the side, my two group mates, Daisy Cunanan and Joyce Dumlao were a blessing. I learned as much from them as I did with the kids in Learning Links.

At this point in my scholarly life, learning from my peers is, to me, more important than actually acquiring skills to better my teaching craft. I have already reached a certain level of facilitating library skills. Though the room for improvement is always the biggest in the house, I did not strictly require myself to immerse in the Four Pronged Approach. This does not mean that my interest and motivation is little. It just so happens that my application of it is very different from the regular classroom teacher.

Sure, I have many uses of the Four Pronged Approach and the other theoretical trends taken up in class but from a different context. By being able to understand such theories, concepts and philosophies, I could speak with literacy teachers in the language that they are comfortable in. I am not merely a librarian who would recommend learning resources. I am a librarian who could help them teach better with the use of both theories and learning resources. Better yet, I could select and acquire resources that are relevant to the curriculum and to the instructional needs of teachers.

I am thankful that Joyce provided balance to the force. She is my contemporary in the classroom of life. On the other hand Daisy, is what I was ten years ago – assertive; strikes while the iron is hot. I still am assertive, but I have learned to choose which hot iron to strike. As for the kids in Learning Links, they may be scruffy and rough at the edges, but they are no different from my own or from the privilege boys I teach in Xavier Grade School. All children, no matter who they are or where they come from must be taught; be taken cared for; be looked after. Children deserve to be respected.

Monday, October 23, 2006

PBBY @ Powerbooks

The Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) is inviting all parents, teachers, librarians, and reading advocates to participate in two workshops at Powerbooks Live, Greenbelt this coming November.

Hooked on Books: 25 Ways to Promote Literacy at Home and In School
Facilitator: Neni Sta Romana Cruz (children's book reviewer and former teacher, PBBY Board member)
Nov. 18, 2006, Powerbooks Live, 1-5 pm, Workshop fee: P500

This workshop will assist parents and teachers in making children enjoy reading and writing. Topics for discussion are what's current in children's books, choosing books for young readers and the many ways to lure children to read. An optional session is addressed to those interested in learning how to write book reviews for publication.

The Role of the Librarian in Developing a Library for Children Facilitator: Zarah Gagatiga (librarian, storyteller and reading advocate, PBBY Board member)
November 25, 2006, Powerbooks Live, 1-5pm, Workshop Fee: P500

This seminar identifies the important roles that librarians play in the development of of children's libraries. It explores current literature enunciating the rationale for developing print, AV, and online resources that are developmentally relevant and age appropriae. It discusses techniques and strategies to an improved children's library program and services. Opportunities for linkages and resource sharing for librarians are included as well.

An early bird rate of PhP400 per workshop will be offered to all those who will register on or before October 27, 2006. For inquiries, email, or call 372-35-48 loc 110 and look for Vanessa.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Plagiarized Posts

Von is not the only one perplexed these days. I am too. I just discovered from his post today that he is not the only victim of the cut-and-paste habit. Tsk.Tsk.Tsk.

Arnold Zafra's comment on Von's post says it all. Two of my original written articles, part of the paper I wrote as lecture for PATLS' lecture forum on Information Literacy, made it to this blog without attribution nor citation. Read my post here and compare. If that is not plagiarism, tell me what is.

The blog was constructed by LIS (Library & Inofrmation Science) students of UST, which makes the situation very disturbing, to me at least. I hold UST's LIS Department with great esteem given the very good teachers that the department has. I also know a lot of excellent librarians who are graduates of UST. And now, this.

Surely, there is a reasonable explanation.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Code of Ethics for Registered Filipino Librarians

I am posting the Code of Ethics to always remind myself of the oath I have taken as a Filipino Librarian, lest I forget.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


The moment I got Von's invite for SlideShare, I tried it immediately. See what I uploaded and embeded here in SLIA.

SlideShare is still in Beta version, meaning, it's in a testing period. I expect more improvements in the future.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Internet for Teaching Reading in the Content Areas

Here is a copy of my report in EDR 211 - Reading in the Content Areas. I have distributed CD's of my report to my classmates in grad school, but I feel it necessary to upload in SLIA.


The Internet for Teaching : Issues & Concerns

IRA Position Paper on Technology Integration

NETS Standards for Teachers

Web Enhanced Teaching

Web Enhanced Teaching

Now we go to the exciting part! Since the Internet has a lot to offer, this part of the report narrows three functions of the Internet that is useful to teaching and instruction. Activities, projects and strategies for its use in the content areas are provided.

A. Information Source

The Internet is a source of information. How to access and locate information from the Internet can be taught to children. Apart from the Internet lessons they get from Computer Education class, teachers can strengthen the skill by teaching search strategies.

Bernie Poole lends four easy search strategies.

1. Use quotes to narrow your search
2. Use simple math (+ and -) to narrow your search
3. Use Quick Keys to construct your search string (Control-c & Control-v)
4. Use Control-f to quickly find what you're looking for on a Web page (Control-f)

The ever dependable semantic webbing can also be called upon to narrow search words before using Google or Yahoo.

Locating and accessing information is one thing. Evaluating information is another. Children should be empowered to determine if the information they need has value to their assignment, report or project. Kathy Schrock has developed evaluation rubrics for websites that children in the primary and intermediate levels can use (Attachment 4).

As information source, the Internet is abundant with online newspapers and references. Here are recommended websites:

Online Newspapers & References for Kids

The New York Times for Kids

Weekly Reader Online

Time for Kids

Online Encyclopedia

Online Dictionary & Almanac

Given the wealth of resources available for teachers, it is necessary that they teach students to become critical readers of online materials. Here are web evaluation rubrics to empower the learning child in using the Internet as resource tool.

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

Kids’ Selection Criteria
It identifies four simple criteria 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 Web Evaluation Rubrics

B. E-Learning Tool
Aside from its strength as an information source, the Internet is a viable tool for electronic learning. Below are examples of e-learning activities.


Web Quest Blog

WebQuest for Science (Integrating Lang. Arts and Civics)

More WebQuest for Grade 3, 4 and 5

Online & Distance Learning
Xavier School ELF
Using Moodle, online activities, homeworks, assignments and quizzes are designed and uploaded in the e-learning software.

Educational Games & Drills

Language Arts

Grammar Gorillas
Online Stories
Literacy activities
Worksheets on Phonics
Worksheets on Reading
Math Drills & Games

Basic Operations
Drills for Word Problems, Fractions, etc.
Timed drills and activities

Make your own drills and games

C. Communication Tool

Content can be created in the Internet. It can be communicated using email technology, e-groups and blogs. Conferences and email exchange projects are engaging activities for students.

Telecolaboartion - The Storylady Project Full Paper

The Storylady Project – Articles

Web Publishing – Blogs as Teaching Tools

Indeed, the Internet has a lot to offer the teacher of today. There are factors and issues that must be considered when using this technology in instruction. In the creative and innovative hands of the teacher, he has the power to engage students in learning via this medium but only when he has a clear understanding of what responsibility lies in its power.

Promoting a Safe & Legal Digital World. BSA
Kids’ Safety in the Internet

Survey Shows Widespread Enthusiasm for High Technology

International Society for Technology in Education

NETS Technology Standards for Teachers

Website Evaluation Criteria
Elementary Level (K-4))
Middle School Level (Gr. 5-8)

Bernie Poole’s Search Strategies

Verma, Mahesh. Online Teaching Tools & Methods. Murari Lal & Sons, New Delhi. 2006

NETS Standards for Teachers

Another useful document to aid teachers with the use of technology is the International Society for Technology in Education standards. Known as the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) for Teachers, it enumerates six areas with specific indicators to guide teachers in the application of technology in education.

Teachers demonstrate a sound understanding of technology operations and concepts.

Teachers plan and design effective learning environments and experiences supported by technology.

Teachers implement curriculum plans that include methods and strategies for applying technology to maximize student learning.

Teachers apply technology to facilitate a variety of effective assessment and evaluation strategies.

Teachers use technology to enhance their productivity and professional practice.

Teachers understand the social, ethical, legal, and human issues surrounding the use of technology in PK-12 schools and apply those principles in practice.

IRA Position Paper on Technology Integration

Since Internet use for teaching does not exist in a vacuum, it is necessary to establish moorings given the factors that influence its application. Here is the position statement of the International Reading Association on the facility of technology (the Internet, included) for instruction.

We (IRA) believe that children have the right to:

* Teachers who are skilled in the effective use of ICT for teaching and learning;
* A literacy curriculum that integrates the new literacies of ICT into instructional programs;
* Instruction that develops the critical literacies essential to effective information use
* Assessment practices in literacy that include reading and writing with technology tools;
* Opportunities to learn safe and responsible use of information and communication technologies;
* Equal access to ICT

Internet for Teaching : Issues & Concerns

There are factors that a teacher must consider before taking the plunge on Internet use for teaching and instruction. These are; technology competencies – his own and his students’; the available technology – hardware, software, online resources and infrastructure; the school’s policy for Internet and technology use; curriculum and pedagogy.

a. Technology Competencies
Whatever inspired you to use the Internet for teaching you must start with an assessment of your own competencies on using this technology. It would help if you could also evaluate related technology skills apart from surfing, browsing, book marking and using of key words in search engines. Self evaluation will allow you to level off; to see strong and weak areas. It’s not possible to know everything, but a cognition of what you will be dealing with comes in handy at difficult times.

Attached with this paper is a checklist of technology skills (Attachment 1). Let’s go over it and do some ticking. Once you’re done, you can gauge the extent of Internet activities you can do in the classroom.

The very nature of the Internet is appealing to children, but, it is important that their computer and Internet literacy are assessed as well. It is not pedagogically sound to assume that “they already know”. A similar checklist may help. Coordinate with your school’s computer teacher to find out. Ask him or her if she has a profile of your students’ skills in computing and surfing. Consult the Reading teacher to know the level of reading skills of your students. Meet with your Guidance counselor for their developmental profile and socio-economic background.

Included in this report is a list of indicators to understand the maturity and vulnerability levels of children. Together with it, is a set of tips on how to engage children to use the Internet effectively. (Attachment 2)

b. Available Technology
After identifying yours and your students’ skills, level of understanding, profile, etc., move on to the tools. Check for available hardware and software; network requirements, computer labs and structures that will support your teaching. This also means that, you must know who the IT people are and the extent of their work in the school. They help in trouble shooting and upgrading.
c. School’s Policy on Internet Use
The school’s stand on Internet use may be reflected on an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). This is decided upon by academic administrators or the school board in the light of effective Internet utility for the whole school community. There are many ways of making this tangible. Some are simple. Others are seriously stated.

Samples of AUPs are attachments to this report. (Attachment 3)

d. Curriculum & Pedagogy
Instructional technology is dependent on curriculum and pedagogy. A teacher’s use of the Internet for instruction should be based on the course’s or subject’s learning goals and objectives. The instructional materials that teachers make and use help achieve a learning objective. Furthermore, it assists students to understand knowledge, skills and attitudes of a given discipline. It is therefore very important that teachers use instructional technology, in this case, the Internet, appropriately.

Internet for Teaching : Introduction

The year was 1969. The US Department of Defense launched a hush-hush project that entailed the acquisition of confidential information through the use of interconnected networks. As a military tool for intelligence and defense, this interconnection of networks was developed by the National Science Foundation. After three decades, it has evolved into a phenomenal gadget and means of communication that affects the lifestyles of people from all over the globe. Dubbed as the Internet, its presence is strongly felt in all the fields of scholarly discipline, entertainment and pop culture.

Today, the Internet continues to grow rapidly. People from all walks of life and from different socio-cultural and economic backgrounds are mesmerized by the many advantages it can provide and offer. Children are not excluded to be captivated with this medium and technology. In fact, they are the more frequent users of the Internet than adults.

In many a survey conducted in the US and Australia, children are at a high percentage when it comes to exposure and access to the Internet. Since parents, teachers and caregivers know that the content of the Internet is not all treasure, efforts by schools and parent organizations to guide children in the intelligent and responsible use of the Internet has been the upswing trend in the past three years. Parents recognize the high risk of Internet use among children (commonsense media, 2006). Thus, prompting them to acquire filtering software and establishing rules at home. Teachers face a great challenge in modeling the utility of this technology. Furthermore, they are at a good position to facilitate instruction using the Internet effectively and ethically in their subject or content area.

Initiatives on technology integration and web enhanced teaching are plentiful. Schools are investing on hardware, software and training to help students become better learners. While traditional learning tools are trusted upon to deliver instruction, more and more teachers are experimenting, learning and assessing the use of Internet for teaching.

This report explores the issues and concerns surrounding the use of the Internet for teaching. Standards and position papers on the use of technology in general are identified as seedbed where teachers can root their practice of teaching using the Internet. Strategies, techniques, projects and activities using the Internet are included to show examples on the many ways that web enhanced teaching can be done in the classroom. Lastly, it provides resources for teachers to further their understanding, skill and competence in teaching using the Internet.

Blograrian in the Manila Bulletin

It was Hermie Salazar who first told me of the feature article. I immediately asked for the Saturday Manila Bulletin issue from the library and there was the article indeed. I have totaly forgotten about it. With work, grad school, consultancy & training workshops in line until December, financial and domestic concerns pilling up on top of another, I no longer expected the article to appear in a national daily.

But it's an advantage to have friends in the profession. Several days after, Von Totanes spread the word in Filipino Librarian egroup. The replies were heartwarming. I would not have done and gone this far without my friends, teachers and mentors. I only hope that whatever good they did to me, I can simply pass it on.

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Children's Art Exhibit of Hope

From Ms. Nina Lim-Yuson of the Museo Pambata

*All Together in Dignity (ATD) Fourth World Philippines*, an international non-government organization, invites you to view an Art Exhibit of Hope to commemorate October 17, the World Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty.

The one-week exhibit is entitled *Listen to Us and We'll Change the World Together! Children's Art Exhibit of Hope*. It will be held at the Museo Pambata from October 14 – 22, 2006. The exhibit features life-sized fabric silhouettes created by children living in poverty from Manila, Bangkok, and various European countries. The art works expresses the hopes and dreams of these children for a better world. Program of activities on October 14 and 15 includes storytelling, children's activities, and art workshops by well know artist, Mr. Robert Alejandro.

Children are encouraged to visit the exhibit and be part of the various activities. They can create their own miniature silhouette and write their message of hope.

To participate in the various activities, contact the ATD office at telephone number 563.9312 or Museo Pambata's office at telephone number 523.1797.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Conference on Information Literacy & Other Good News

I will forever be thankful to Von Totanes for putting up Filipino Librarian, the egroup over at Google. I get very good news and updates there on the profession. Aside from contacts, new friends for networking, linkages and sourcing out, the egroup is a support group for librarians as well.

When I learned that PLAI-STRLC conducted a conference on Information Literacy (IL)last September 25, 2006, I was piqued with curiosity and excitement. Though I wished I had known it earlier. I would have asked for an invite. I want to see and learn from colleaguse the practice of IL in their respective institutions. One should never rest on earned laurels, nor stay high in the ivory tower.

Imagine my delight to learn from Rene Manlangit this bit of good news -

We will be uploading Ma'am Cora Nera's and Ma'am Vilma Anday's papers in the STRL blog shortly ( and other papers of collegues that presented their own experiences of IL in their institution.

PLAI STRLC is taking leadership steps towards IL and blogging!

Ms. Nera also mentioned that the STRLC conference was the 1st formal conference on IL in the Philippines.

And then, he made mention of Lilian Rabino, a colleague from Lipa -

I am happy to inform you that Ms Lilian Rabino of DLS Lipa was one of the speaker and she presented a good IL practice in DLS Lipa which according to her was inspired by your comments/suggestions during your accreditation visit sometime in 2004 of her library.

Such good and comforting news after a hard struggle with typhoon Milenyo.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Dianne de Las Casas on Kids & Creativity

Dianne de Las Casas traces her roots in the Philippines. Her mother is a Filipino. In 2004, she visited Manila and did a couple of storytelling gigs for Scholastic. I met her in one of her workshops and I gained a friend at the same time. In 2005, Katrina raveged New Orleans. She and her family had to flee her beloved state. A year after, she's back and rolling!

Last May 2006, we met again. She is my inspiration to do a variety of storytelling techniques and methods. Thanks, Dianne! Mabuhay!

By Dianne de Las Casas

When my daughter, Soleil, was seven years old, she fashioned a guitar out of a Kleenex box (the guitar hull), rubber bands (the strings), and cardboard (the neck). When I asked her where she got the pattern, she said, “From my head.” When Soleil was eight, she taught herself how to hand-sew and made a teddy bear “from her head.” Throughout the years, Soleil has created many things that came from her head. Now, it’s my six-year-old’s turn. Eliana surprises me with poetry, drawings, and her own inventions. I showcase her art in a portfolio we keep in the family room for everyone to view.

Raising creative kids makes a difference in school. How so? Creative kids are more likely to show initiative, accept challenges, and apply inventive solutions to problems. Our world’s greatest inspirations in literature, art, music, science, and math have been creative souls. Albert Einstein once said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” So how do we encourage creativity in our children?

Limit Screen Time
Limit time watching television, playing video games, and vegging out in
front of the computer. Too much screen time not only shortens kids’ attention
spans but also limits their time to process information creatively.

Encourage Reading
Reading is the key to knowledge. Without the ability to decipher the alphabet
code, it is difficult for children to succeed academically, socially, and emotionally. Allow your kids to read material they really like. Though it sounds cliché, reading really does open up new worlds.

Play Games Together
Not only does playing games encourage togetherness, it also allows family members to think outside the box and work as a team. We love lots of family games including one I invented called Fairytale Frenzy. One of our favorite family favorite games are the Cranium series of games. There is something for everyone. All ages can play, even younger ones (with reading assistance). Cranium games are now available in activity book form, which makes them ideal for road trips, family visits, and slumber parties.

Get Your Hands Dirty
Encourage activities such as painting, drawing, sculpting with clay,
cooking, gardening, and simple construction projects. As a child, my father, a mechanic and inventor, always had a project for my brother and I. We built structures with an Erector set and Tinker Toys. We even made “walkie
talkies” out of small blocks of wood with large nails for the antennae. We built oapbox cars and entered them in derbies. I was often in the kitchen with my mom,
helping her cook a meal or decorate a cake. Though I didn’t know it at the time, I was enveloped in “hands-on” creativity.

Promote the Performing Arts
Singing, acting, dancing, and playing an instrument are great ways to allow your children to express themselves creatively. Take a look at in-school and after-school activities offered. Many schools offer choir, band, dance team, and theater.

Look into the Literary Arts
Many children discover themselves when they write. So keep paper, pens,
and computers handy for this purpose. Word games are also a great idea to
stretch the brain. We love Mad Libs, Brain Quest, Trivial Pursuit, Scrabble,
Balderdash, and Catch Phrase. We also play a host of word games in the

For more ideas, visit the
Parent Connection of my website

Keep our kids creative; creativity leads to innovation. Our children may inspire the greatest inventions yet!

Posted with permission from the author.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Library Events & Invites

My email inbox is full of invites from friends and colleagues in the industry. I can't decide which party to attend since my September calendar is full already with book projects for KUTING, grad school requirements, my daughter's PTC and my son's first communion.

In any case, I'm posting them here FYI. Contact names and numbers are included in some events so if you have questions, feel free to call.

Tahanan launches Fran Ng’s 500-Word Filipino/English visual dictionary for children
and Brothers Grimm fairy tales

Three titles….two books…one author…and a book party!

Tahanan Books for Young Readers invites the public to celebrate the birthday of two children’s books penned by award-winning author Fran Ng on Monday 2 October 2006 from 5 to 7 pm at the Adidas Sports Kamp in Fort Bonifacio.

Children of all ages are welcome to an afternoon of entertainment marking the debut of 500 Words & Pictures: A Bilingual English/Filipino Visual Dictionary illustrated by Fran Ng; as well as her retelling of ten classic fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm, entitled Long Ago and Far Away.

Ms. Ng is a three-time winner of the National Book Award for Children’s Literature. In 500 Words & Pictures, she showcases her emerging talent as a children’s book illustrator. Replete with distinctly native elements familiar to every Filipino child, the book offers parents a delightful smorgasbord of objects ranging from parts of the body to games Filipino kids play. The 48-page volume contains dual translations verified by three language consultants. The book comes with a free poster, My First Big Map of the Philippines, drawn by Paris-based Filipina artist Tracy David. The handsome poster is a simple but excellent introduction to geography for ages 2 to 7.

Tahanan’s double-launch also includes Long Ago and Far Away and its separate Filipino edition, Sa Dako Pa Roon. Exquisitely illustrated by Arnel Mirasol and translated into lyrically beautiful Filipino language by multi-award- winning writer Rene O. Villanueva, the book is the long-awaited companion volume to Once Upon a Time: The Tales of Hans Christian Andersen, the 2002 National Book Award for Children’s Literature, created by the same team.

Distributed by Tahanan Books, all three titles are available at National Bookstore, Powerbooks, and Fully Booked outlets. 500 Words & Pictures: A Bilingual Visual Dictionary fetches a cover price of P350; and Long Ago and Far Away and its Filipino edition, Sa Dako Pa Roon, retails for P425. For more information, please contact Frances Ong at 818-2482 or send an email to

Call for a Meeting

You are all invited to the General Assembly Meeting

When: October 11, 2006, Wednesday
Where: The National Library

Subject: PLAI Constitution, Election,

Please find time to come and kindly relay the message to the others.

Thank you very much

Jocelyn L. Ladlad

Jocelyn L. Ladlad
European Documentation & Reserach Centre/
American Studies Resource Center
De La Salle University Library
2401 Taft Ave., Malate, Manila 1004
Tel: (632) 524-4611 to 21 loc 602/265
Fax: (632) 524-4611 to21 loc 265

Study Tour in Singapore & Malasia
A training workshop/ study visit on the theme “Expanding Library Horizons: Cybrarian Adventure to Singapore and Malaysia,” to be held on November 4 - 11, 2006.

For inquiries, please contact Mr. Benie Dayao at 09209501752 and Ms. Lily Echiverri c/o 9292180; 9205514 loc. 301 or 09195399498. For travel concerns, please contact Ms. Eena Narciza / Richelle Mesina at 9268928; 9269027 or mobile no 09179989788

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

New Born Blog

Hermie Salazar, one of my good friends in the profession, is now blogging. Check out her first post in Librarian at the Helm.

Welcome to the Blogosphere, Hermie!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

International Literacy Day 2006

September 8, 2006 was International Literacy Day. Two international organizations, UNESCO and the International Reading Association (IRA), promote the event worldwide. Both agencies encourage literacy advocates all over the world to hold activities, projects and events in their respective countries or regions to highlight the importance of literacy. This year’s theme is “Literacy, the Path Out of Poverty”.

Since a library is a venue for the acquisition of skills and literacy development, the GS LRC, drummed up Literacy Day with a simple book donation project and a proactive campaign for the care of books and library resources.

In the morning of Friday, September 8, 2006, GS AV Librarian, Mr. Oyet Concepcion and CMSO Coordinator, Mr. Alen Silvano donated books to the San Juan Municipal Library. Prompted by a letter of request from the officer in charge of the public library, the GS LRC quickly looked into its current inventory for books worthy of donating. This is not the first time that the GS LRC extended its generosity to other libraries who need more books. Being a place where literacy is developed and honed, it
reaches out to other libraries in need with the hope that these libraries may become literacy habitats too.

Sustaining Literacy

Because books are very much a necessity even in this digital age, they must be taken cared for. At the start of the 2nd quarter, the GS librarians integrated the value of responsible use of library resources in their regular Information Literacy Skills Program. The result was a cornucopia of creative methods and approaches employed by the GS librarians.

Primary grade librarians, Baby Alfonso, Jane Diaz and Oyet Concepcion produced bookmarks imparting eight ways to care for books that students read and borrow. They prepared attractive brochures that discuss the different parts of a book, with activities, puzzles and games that highlight the importance of reading. They even recommended websites for this topic. URLs and web addresses were included.

On the other hand, Intermediate librarians, Chit Olivares and yours truly, raised the concept a little higher by focusing on the big ideas; that books are products of human intellect and ingenuity; and that, a long and tedious process is involved in the production of books. Natural resources, technological gadgets and human effort are factors that contribute to its availability and sheer existence.

This quarter’s ILSP is the most engaging so far. Primary grades students realized how important books are because these provide valuable information and fantastic stories. Intermediate grades understood that vandalizing books in the library is a violation against intellectual property and an act of disrespect to those who made them.

For this year’s celebration of Literacy Day, let us all remember the basic values that books and reading can give the learning child. At home and in the classroom, they learn the fundamentals. The school library helps sustain it.

Saturday, September 9, 2006

Plus and Minus

I rarely have the time to jazz up my blogs now that I'm into a lot of things. When I started blogging in April 2005 (SLIA), I want to create information, communicate it and raise revenues in the process. A year and a half after, I've done the two and continously so. But the third is still to be accomplished.

It doesn't help that my PC at home is near extinction. Gah.

So, taking the time this morning as a chance to update SLIA, I did all that I can for the time being. I registered in Frappr, Performancing and Text Ad Links. Arnold Zafra earned his firts pay check last month form text Ad Links. I'm struggling how to create the XML file. Arnold, if you happen to pass by, lend a hand will you? Please.

I also "centralized" (wow, I'm actually using the term! Is this a sign?) all my links in the right frame of the blog so that, all the accessories are in the left frame. Some organization, huh?!

Information Literacy Skills Instruction in Philippine School Libraries

The Big 6 Model: Problem – Solving Approach

The Big6 is the most widely-known and widely-used approach to teaching information and technology skills that presents a problem – solving approach (Eisenberg & Berkowitz, 2006)
1. Task Definition
1.1 Define the information problem
1.2 Identify information needed
2. Information Seeking Strategies
2.1 Determine all possible sources
2.2 Select the best sources
3. Location and Access
3.1 Locate sources (intellectually and physically)
3.2 Find information within sources
4. Use of Information
4.1 Engage (e.g., read, hear, view, touch)
4.2 Extract relevant information
5. Synthesis
5.1 Organize from multiple sources
5.2 Present the information
6. Evaluation
6.1 Judge the product (effectiveness)
6.2 Judge the process (efficiency)
IL Guide for Public Schools in Quezon City - 8 Ways to Independent Learning – Inspired by the Empowering 8

8 Ways to Independent Learning

1. Watching – Exploring the environment and the task at hand
2. Wondering – Brainstorming, discussion of ideas, developing questions
3. Webbing – Mapping, locating, accessing information
4. Wiggling – Evaluating content and examining information
5. Weaving – Organizing and synthesizing of ideas and information
6. Wrapping – Creating a product
7. Waving – Communicating the product and presenting it to the public
8. Wishing – Assessment and reflection of both process and product

Empowering 8 is an information literacy model that was a by-product of two workshops: the first in Colombo, Sri Lanka in November 2004 and the second in Patiala, India in November 2005. Ten countries participated in the workshops: Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam. Empowering 8 uses the problem-solving approach for resource-based learning (Limpin, 2006)

Information literacy skills embedded in Empowering 8 are the
ability to:
1. Identify a topic/subject, the intended audience, a relevant format, keywords, types of resources
2. Explore resources and information
3. Select and record relevant information, identify stages in the process, and collect appropriate citations
4. Organize, evaluate and sequence information, and use visual organizers to compare and contrast information
5. Create information using own words
6. Present, share or display information
7. Assess the output
8. Apply the solutions based on the feedback and assessment and use new knowledge gained in a variety of situati

IV. Conclusion

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.

There is a place for ILSIP in the grade school, high school and tertiary level. The implementation depends on curriculum, client and the librarian’s paradigm of her role in the learning community. Following the IL through SL in SEA report, there is a need for an awareness of IL and a workshop to articulate the Philippine’s stand on IL. In the recent IL workshop held in Malaysia last July, IFLA is awaiting for the next SEA country to discuss IL in national and regional levels. Shall we take the lead?



Eisenberg, Mike & Robert Berkowitz, Teaching Information & Technology Skills. Ohio : Linworth, 1999

Thomas, Nancy. Information Literacy Skills & Literacy Skills Instruction : Applying Research to Practice in the School Library Media Center. Colorado : Libraries Unlimited, 1999.


Limpin, Placida Socorro. An Evaluation of Information Literacy Skills of Freshman College Students of Assumption College. PNU : Manila, 2003

Journal Article

Grimble, Bonnie J. & Teresa D. Williams. Students’ Perceptions of their Information Literacy Skills in the Media Center. Library Media Connection. Pp 26 – 29. January 2004.

Papers, Reports & Guides, Modules & Handbooks

David, Lourdes. Overview of Information Literacy Among Secondary Schools Students in the Philippines : A Content Analysis of the Operations Handbook for English. Conference Paper, Regional Workshop on School Library Services in Southeast Asia. Bangkok, Thailand 2003.

Development of Information Literacy through School Libraries in Southeast Asian Countries. IFAP – UNESCO, 2005.

How to become an Independent Learner : Your guide to Information Literacy. IFLA-ALP Project “Building Learning Communities Through Librraies”. December 2005

The School Library Manifesto. IFLA-UNESCO. 2000


Big 6

Empowering 8 Article from Filipina Teacher Librarian

Information Literacy : An Overview of Design, Process and Outcomes

Friday, September 8, 2006

Research on Information Literacy

Information Literacy Research/Projects

Assumption College’s ILIAC

In the SY of 2002-2003, the IL skills of freshmen college students were assessed. Out of 206 identified respondents for the survey, only 140 were able to take part. Using the descriptive method, two sets of questionnaires and an activity were employed to gather date. Set A questionnaire was an adaptation of instruments used by researchers, while Set B was developed by the researcher who conducted the assessment.

Below are the results of the study.

Information Literacy Skills Indicators Percent
Identifying a need for additional information 11%
Use of information
• knowing differences between references and non-fiction books
• differentiating between journals and magazines
• use of indexes and abstracts
• knowledge of inter-library loan
• attendance to library orientation classes


45.8% (not used)
Access to information
• use of OPAC
• locate materials by call number
• library first method vs. Internet first method
• Internet first method vs. library first method

Ethical and legal use of information
• know the importance of bibliographies and citations
• knows what plagiarism is
• against copy-paste habit


As a result of the study, the researcher developed an information literacy program called Information Literacy Initiative of Assumption College (ILIAC), a web based interactive tutorial developed using Microsoft Frontpage (Limpin, 2003)

US HS Study on IL

Grimble & Williams (2004) conducted a study to assess high school freshmen students’ perception of their IL skills. Five main areas of assessment were identified:

1. Point access – familiarity with electronic catalog and finding materials in the media center;
2. Information skills when researching for a topic – developing questions and keywords, using works cited and knowledge of copyright and plagiarism;
3. Database – performing searches on four different online database and conducting advanced searches;
4. The Internet – using search engines, evaluating websites, choosing internet sites as first choice of information;
5. Technology – Creating presentations and Web pages; using digicams and videocams.

In a pre-test survey, students were given a list of abilities based on these five main areas. They rated themselves in terms of confidence and competence on doing the skills. It was found out that, majority of the freshmen involved in the pre-survey test perceive themselves as competent users of the media center and its resources. However, only half claimed that they could fully use the card catalog and develop research questions to meet their needs. Less than half feel confident on doing advanced searches using the books in the general collection. Most of the freshmen expressed little knowledge of the library’s electronic database (Grimble & Williams, 2004).

After getting the results, a program for the freshmen students was drawn focusing on strengthening of the five areas assessed during the pre-test survey. This became the library’s Information Literacy Skills Program. In the second semester, a post test survey was conducted and the results dramatically changed. Not only were the freshmen students confident users of information and technology, they were also aware that they are developing skills on Information Literacy.

IL through SL in SEA

The project, Development of Information Literacy through School Libraries in Southeast Asian Countries was an IFAP – UNESCO funded project that aimed to provide a better understanding of IL and to assess the current state of IL education in the region.

There were varied interpretations and applications of IL because it is a term that is difficult to translate. Nevertheless, the project showed significant findings that each Southeast Asian country could consider when planning for an IL policy, guideline or project.

1. Awareness & Training of IL – Primary grades teachers and school librarians are more aware of IL. It is an important set of skills, but, it is accorded varying degrees of importance.
2. School’s Vision of IL – 16% - 58% of the respondents say that their school has a policy statement but written copies were not provided to the community.
3. Education & Training of Teachers and Librarians for IL – Exposure and training on IL is very low regardless of school’s location (urban or rural). Thos who have an awareness of IL acquired it from in-service training, seminars and user education programs.
4. Implementation of IL – There is disparity in its implementation. In some schools, IL is integrated in the curriculum, in others it is a separate program of the library as user education. Librarians play a small role in teaching IL. Lack of qualified teachers and librarians, a few library collections are limiting factors to the teaching of IL.
5. Assessment of IL – Evaluation of IL skills is not given to students.
6. School Libraries – The rarity of functional school library systems and structures affect the awareness of IL, more so its implementation. ( IFAP Project, 2005)

The implementation of IL requires a strong support system that begins with a national policy. Malaysia recently had an IL Workshop to address IL issues and establish linkages for support to develop IL programs in their country and neighboring ones. IFLA is on the look out for proposals coming from the SEA Region that will promote IL at the school level, moving on to higher education.

Thursday, September 7, 2006

The Impetus for Information Literacy at the School Level

The Borderless Society

The rapid growth of technology changed the way people think and use information. It created new knowledge and modes of communication. It spawned diverse communities in virtual and online environments. The borderless society is ever growing and it is known by many names – global community, information society, electronic era, etc. The most dominant characteristics that it constitutes, given the labels and definitions, are the following; the proliferation of Information and Communications Technology (ICTs); information and knowledge; and use and access of ICTs (Singh, 2003).

These characteristics permeate all aspect 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 by using ICTs. 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 of learning. The basic skills of reading, writing and mathematical reasoning remain paramount as foundations of learning. However, different kinds of literacy are inevitably emerging in the borderless society. Computer literacy, technology literacy, family literacy, cultural literacy, media literacy are examples. Information is present in all these kinds. In a borderless society, the necessity to handle and use information and the acquisition of these competencies is intertwined with another kind of literacy – INFORMATION LITERACY.

Information Literacy

Simply put, the American Library Association (ALA, 2000) defines it 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. In the report of a study conducted by a team of Southeast Asian librarians (2004), Information Literacy (IL) does note end with the critical and effective use of information. It includes the communication of (created) information and that, the process by which information were gathered and derived from a variety of sources was done ethically and responsibly.

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

The indicators are actually the core skills required of librarians.

Libraries have information and ideas. Librarians evaluate collection and organize it; 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. Librarians also campaign for the ethical use of information and are involved in networking and resource sharing. Librarians are models of Information Literacy. Librarians are living testimonies of Information Literacy and how it works. In this case, librarians are information specialist 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.

Since librarians’ roles change, so do libraries. Libraries are no longer repositories of materials but activity centers. It is an extension of the classroom and a laboratory for life long learning.

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Information Literacy at the School Level : Role of the School Librarian

I will be posting my paper which I read during the lecture-forum sponsored by the Philippine Association of Teachers of Library Science (PATLS) in three or four parts. It was, for me, a great honor to have my mentors and teachers listen that afternoon. The experience prompted me to finish graduate school so that I could teach in the academe as well. And maybe, do research too since the profession is ever changing, ever growing.

I. Introduction

Practicing the profession has given me an abundance of insights and has taught me many things about life in general. Above all else, being a librarian in this day and age affirmed my relevance to the school I work in, likewise, to the society at large. It is exciting, if not challenging, to be a librarian.

We are constantly in a changing milieu where in our expertise is necessary to enrich the learning community that dwells in this evolving landscape. We have a role to play in this community. We have a contribution to make in the development of the (digital) environment. We have a responsibility to facilitate learning to the members of the community.

My lecture for today will focus on the roles of school librarians as teachers and educators; the impetus for updating library skills instruction to Information Literacy Skills instruction (ILSI); and, the presentation of two ILSI programs and the report of IFLA-UNESCO funded project on the development of Information Literacy in Southeast Asia.

Roles of the (School) Librarian

Traditionally, librarians acquire and preserve informational resources. With technological advancements and its application in library operations, librarians can now provide for physical and virtual access. However, due to developments in practice and research, librarians are prompted to include programs and services that will enable library clients to become effective and responsible users of information sources, thus, the inclusion of user education programs. In several US based studies on bibliographic instruction, the stress of the program changed from informing clients of the available resources to locating and accessing library resources, to teaching information skills (Thomas, 1999). In this regard, instruction is not only a program, but doubles as a library service.

In the school level, it is called school library instructional program. It can be integrated in the curriculum. In the grade school level, it is best taught in context with in the Reading block of the Language Arts curriculum.

Reading is a unitary skill divided in three global skills namely; Word Recognition, Comprehension and Study Skills (Hermosa, 2002). Under Word Recognition, Reading teachers facilitate the mechanical function of reading. In building comprehension skills, reading for meaning is the emphasis, as well as, developing metacognitive strategies for learning content. While these two are the widely known and recognized global skills in Reading, Study Skills complete its definition as an integration of (all three) skills. It is not enough that young learners are taught the mechanical, meaning and metacognitive aspects of reading but also the ability to locate, access and gather information from different references and information sources; to alphabetize; to use dictionaries, indexes and card catalogs; to skim and scan newspapers; to cite sources and make bibliographies; to understanding graphs and visual representations, etc. Such skills are not merely for studying. These are life skills necessary to become critical, creative and independent learners (Hermosa, 2002).

The Reading teacher can teach these skills. The school librarian lends expertise as team teacher and partner in the teaching and learning experience. In a compiled study about library instruction in basic education and tertiary levels, Thomas (1999) enumerated the following insights and themes relevant to the role of school and academic librarians with teachers and college professors:

1. The librarian is teacher, advisor, consultant and information provider;
2. The need for pedagogical training as a prerequisite for “teaching” librarians;
3. There is relevance and value to faculty and librarian engagement in planning instruction;
4. There is importance of teaching library skills in context;
5. The librarian is an identifier of relevant resources and;
6. Librarians can assist with research products and the evaluation of its results.

Christophers (2004) identifies four significant roles of librarians as facilitators of information skills.

1. Teacher and Consultant – one who designs instruction; one who collaborates with teachers in the planning and implementation of lessons; one who ahs a grasp of the curriculum able to match and fill the needs of clients;
2. Instructional Technologist – a provider of different technology for teaching and learning processes;
3. Manager of computing services – a creator of databases and knowledge resources;
4. 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.

Monday, September 4, 2006

NCBD, Book Awards Season & The Manila Intl. Book Fair 2006

I would like to think that the campaign-for-a-reading-culture season begins in July. With the advent of National Children's Book Day, moving on to Buwan ng Wika and ending with the Manila International Book Fair. Busy months for all concerned with books, reading, publishing, writing, teaching and learning. Here are snapshots from the Adarna hosted book fair we had last July. It is in line with the NCBD, of course.

Ms. Acosta with a Xaverian

Jomike showed his expertise in art and math to the wonder and the delight of our boys!

Jane, Jomike and Me. Did you know that Jomike went to Xavier till he was 6 years old?

Luminous! Glow in the dark!

A book that boys can mutilate. Seriously, it's a pop-up book that boys can independently make.

Becky Bravo's Cat Painter. The best story she has done so far. In my opinion, that is.

Robert Magnuson scores another big point on this one! Home is where the heart is.

Book Awards

Now here is a rundown of books awarded this year (2006).

Gintong Aklat - 100 Questions Filipino Kids Ask - Grand Winner; Elias and His Tress, Polliwog's Wiggle & Rosamistica, Finalists.

National Book Awards - Best Reference Book - 100 Questions Filipino Kids Ask; Best Children's Books - The Yellow Paper Clip with Bright Purple Spots. Grandslam win by Adarna House! Congratulations! Still the publishing company to beat when it comes to children's book publishing.

As for the Palanca 2006 winners of the Children's Story category, I'm still sourcing out the links. But rest assured that I will be posting them in SLIA.

Book Fair
If not for the book launchings and talks and seminars, the book fair was anything but exciting. Titles were not that all interesting and sales of old books were in abundance. I didn't visit the local publishing houses though. I met familiar faces, touched base with old friends and made new ones. The industry is alive, but not thriving. Well, there is still next year to look forward to.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

My Librarian Heroes

How appropriate were the events that unfolded in my life yesterday to National Heroe's Day. I was thrown in a position to show courage and sensitivity. And speaking of better sense, I carry today the task of moving on; of being tolerant to ambiguity; and of being fearless in the face of the unknown.

At times like this, I turn to my heroes in the profession and I thank them for the advice, the encouragement and the wisdom they've imparted. Dir. Lou David of the Rizal Library, Ateneo De Manila Dr. Mary Orendain of The Philippine Normal University Mrs. Del Hernandez of the EMC, GS Department, Ateneo De Manila

Their strength of character, expertise in integrating IT with library services and programs, devoted advocacy to literacy and unparalled commitment to uphold librarianship as a profession will always be my inspiration to strive a niche in the field of school librarianship.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Studying the Blogosphere

School Librarian In Action has the 24th longest average length of posts among the 213 covered by the study of Walt Crawford. Click here for the full paper.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Book Fair Pass

It's raining book fair passes! Thank you to our kind book dealers and book jobbers. I hope to see and meet friends there, as well as familiar faces.







Friday, August 18, 2006

SCBWI Writing Workshop

A writing workshop with Alice McLerran
*Hosted by the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI)

9 am to 5 pm, Saturday November 11, 2006
Filipinas Heritage Library (formerly Nielsen Tower)
Ayala corner Makati Avenue, Makati City, Philippines

Here's your chance to have your manuscript critiqued while spending a day
with Alice McLerran, children's book author from Long Island, New York. Know
what it takes to write not only for children but also how to keep on writing
and honing your craft. Share your own writing—bring your work, participate
in a manuscript critique and learn how to give and receive constructive

On Saturday November 11, 2006 Alice McLerran will be in Manila for an
all-day writing workshop sponsored by the Society of Children's Book Writers
& Illustrators (SCBWI). The workshop is for adults who write or want to
write for children and young people—amateurs and professionals, published
and unpublished authors, freelance writers, college students, teachers,
parents, educators, and others who have a keen interest in children's
literature. We hope to give all the participants an intimate glimpse into
what Alice describes as "the kind of rewriting that is such an important
part of the writing process for me." The workshop is also helpful for
illustrator-writers, visual artists who are interested in the writing
process, and those who are eager to know more about the kind of creative
collaborations that can take place between authors and illustrators.

Alice McLerran was brought up in a way that let her know she lived in the
whole world rather than in one place. Her family made homes in locations
ranging from Hawaii to Germany to Ecuador, and in states across the U.S . As
an adult, she now travels even more widely with her physicist husband. When
not traveling together they divide their time between homes in New York and
Oregon. She earned her PhD in anthropology from the University of California
in Berkeley in 1969 once her three children were in school, and later an MPH
from the Harvard School of Public Health. Although always a writer, she only
began to publish professionally in 1985. Her books include ROXABOXEN, THE
first book, THE MOUNTAIN THAT LOVED A BIRD, still published in the U.S. and
Japan with its original illustrations by Eric Carle, has been reillustrated
by artists in Russia, Pakistan, and India for newer editions. Its Philippine
editions are now about to be released in English, Filipino, Hiligaynon,
Cebuano, Ilokano and Kiniray-a, using totally new art drawn from the
landscapes of the Phillipines. To know more about Alice, please visit

Pre-registration is required and is now going on. The fee includes handouts
and lunch, and is non-refundable but transferrable: P1500 until Monday
September 18, P1750 until Monday October 16, P2000 until Friday November 3.
There's a P200 discount for current SCBWI members, and a small rebate on the
day of the event for every person who contributes a manuscript for the group
critique session. Please provide 2 copies of your manuscript, prefaced with
a title page that contains only this statement: "I hereby declare that I am
the author of the attached manuscript" followed by the title, your signature
above your printed name, mailing address, landline and cellphone number,
e-mail address, and an indication whether the manuscript is being submitted
for individual critiquing only, for group critiquing only, or may be used
for either or both. Manuscripts must be 5 pages maximum, typed 12 points
double space on 8.5 x 11 inch paper with a 1-inch margin all around, and
submitted upon pre-registration or on Friday, November 3, at the latest.
Only those manuscripts submitted in advance will be used for either form of

If you've never participated in a critique session and hesitate to submit
your work to other eyes, you may regret such hesitation once you experience
the useful insights and support a group of fellow-writers can provide! Offer
a manuscript you've carried as far as you know how, and with any luck you
can come away with ideas on how to do yet more with it.

For more information, contact Beaulah Pedregosa Taguiwalo at or 0917-787-4956, or Dominique Garde Torres
(Nikki) at or 0917-667-1267.


SELF-PUBLISHING TO BOOKS WITHOUT BORDERS. Aided by projected images, Alice
shows as well as tells how she grew into being an author and how she learned
to share her stories around the globe—initially through the traditional
route of translated editions arranged between publishers, but increasingly
though much more direct and personal involvement in the process. There'll be
time for questions and interactive discussion.

classroom teachers seem to think so, but Alice has her doubts. She does,
however, have some beliefs about where the best story-ideas are found, and
how to develop them into stories that work.

11:30 am to 12:00 noon - BREAK FOR INFORMAL SCHMOOZING

12:00 noon to 1:30 pm - LUNCH. Alice hopes to do some table-hopping as lunch
progresses. As informal conversation continues, Alice will try to meet with
as many as possible of those who have requested individual critiques.

1:30pm to 3:00pm - SHARING OUR STORIES. We'll stay grouped around tables for
the afternoon. After discussing the multiple advantages critique groups
offer, basic guidelines that keep them painfree and helpful, and some tips
on how to structure a group of your own so that it will function well, we'll
begin actually experiencing the process of group critiquing. If there's time
at the end, Alice can offer for input by all assembled a manuscript she
herself has been polishing "far too long"—to see if our insights can help
her see certain spots with new eyes!

3:00 pm to 5:00 pm - JOY FLIES IN THE PHILIPPINES! Together, Alice and
Beaulah tell how the idea of special Philippine editions of THE MOUNTAIN
THAT LOVED A BIRD came to be born. The bird in the story is named Joy, and
the release of this new book is indeed a joyous moment for Alice, the
author, and Beaulah, the illustrator. We hope it will be ready for launching
on November 11, and that their joint presentation can be followed by the
first public appearance of the book itself—with a rare chance to purchase
copies signed by both author and artist.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Birthday Almanac

I'm indeed blessed to be born on the Feast of the Assumption. No matter how hard and difficult life situations may be, I've always managed to see heaven. To some, they may argue that, being positive and optimistic at the face of trials and troubles is an attitude. If that's the case, then, I thank God for blessing me with that attitude!

Last Tuesday, when I turned 32, one of our senior staff in school gave me an almanac. I quickly turned to August 15 and found out that in 1914, the 51-mile Panama Canal was built and completed. What's more, the first Kentucky Fried Cicken was opened to the public in 1955!

Some great things happened on my birthday. If that isn't inspiration enough, tell me what is.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Documentary on Pinoy Teachers

The exodus of Pinoy teachers is like an unending river that depletes the country of its nutrients. The news that Tals Diaz will make a documentary on the plight of Pinoy teachers going to the US to work and teach is a film that I will definitely see. The lure of dollars and new experiences are tempting factors to jump in the next plane for Baltimore. Then again, you can read the write about about her project here.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Children's Short Story Palanca Awards 2006

This news is from the grapevine and around blogosphere -

The winners for the English Category of the Children's Short Story Division in the Palanca Awards for Literature for 2006 are, Celeste Flores, 1st palce; Grace Chong 2nd place; Dean Alfar, 3rd place.

I still have to check and confirm the winners for the Filipino Category. But what delights me of the news is Dean Alfar's win. I wonder how he fashioned and shortened "Rosang Taba" since it was quite lengthy for a kid to read in one sitting. When he wrote it in his blog, I featured it here in SLIA because I believed in the story's potential as novella for young adults (age 13-21). It has very strong feminine characters. Rosang Taba is not your typical Pinay hero as highlighted in history books.

Congrats to Dean and Grace, and all the winners of this year's Palanca!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Tech Savy Librarians

Technology is but a tool, a means to an end. It is the role of librarians to direct and provide meaning to its effective utility, particularly in teaching and instruction, so that learning objectives are achieved. It is not enough that librarians offer access to information and technology, but to be LEADERS in implementing and integrating technology in the classroom. Most often, this idea is not recognized by computer/tech people. Librarians would always tell each other stories from their respective libraries (in the academe, in the school and in the corporate community) how they encounter colleagues who, instead of supporting them, does otherwise.

What concerns me more are librarians who accept and stay in their comfort zones - selection, acquisition, cataloging. Not that these are unimportant library services and functions, but there is competition out there. The challenge for most librarians rest on the upgrading of skills and the flexibility in adapting to changing paradigms.

The evolution does not have to be dramatic or swift. It is like planting tress and raising children. One has to keep the faith to stay alive.

I'm posting this "Manah-Manah" video from Sesame Street. It is a classic! May it remind us all that, to make a difference, one has to risk being different.

The 27th Manila International Bookfair

It's bookfair season once again! Visit the site of the 27th Manila International Bookfair.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Assertive Librarian

In Philippine culture, being assertive is taken as a negative quality thus, in most Filipino families and communities, an outspoken and opinionated Filipino child or person is labelled as a rebel, a subversive.

I am Filipino and I am assertive. Does that make me a rebel? A subversive? Go do the logic.

My post last August 4, 2006 unfortunately ruffled some feathers the wrong way. I had explained to the concerned person the context and the schema from where I drew the content of the post. To some, it is, perhaps, unusual to find a (Filipino) librarian (working in the Philippines) to be bold and aggressive; to be outspoken and passionate; to assert one's relevance to the achievement of an institution's vision, mission and goals; to disagree and negate people who run the institution. To a few, perhaps, an assertive librarian is an asset.

I apologized for the action if it came across as too abrasive. And now I am making my apology public. But I wil not delete the post because if I do, I will lose my own slef respect. I stand by it and take responsibility for its consequences.
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