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.

...to Dir. Lou David of the Rizal Library, Ateneo De Manila
...to Dr. Mary Orendain of The Philippine Normal University
...to 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and unpublished authors, freelance writers, college students, teachers,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
beaulah.taguiwalo@yahoo.com or 0917-787-4956, or Dominique Garde Torres
(Nikki) at nikkigarde@yahoo.com 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.

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

How do I destroy thee?

Let me count the ways...


pages apart

torn lovelife


We found these destroyed books in the library, but never the destroyer. Reports will be made and lessons on library discipline and respect for library property will be emphasized come 2nd quarter, but really, how far can librarians impact students towards an improved sense of library citizenship?

Monday, August 7, 2006

Mga Salita ng Taon 2006

NCCA and the Filipinas Institute of Transalation proclaimed the following as the Words of the Year 2006.


Each word was actually a title of an essay justifying the essayist's claim why it deserves to be the word for the year 2006. LOBAT won 1st prize, BOTOX, written by PBBY's very own Dr. Luis Gatmaitan won 2nd prize and TOXIC won 3rd prize in this contest dubbed as SAWIKAAN 2006.

Click the link for more information on the winners of this year's contest.

Friday, August 4, 2006

Librarians can challenge the Admnistration

I owe it to my readers (though few and selected) to tell them more about last July's NCBD, however, management and administrative matters drive me away from polishing the article. So, before you start thinking where I've been the past few days, I asure you that I'm still blogging and I'm still sane. Allow me to veer a little far away from NCBD to share with you a white paper, also known as a position paper I wrote on the issue of centralizing the library's AV services (and programs) with the Information Technology Services.

One of my "idols" in the field of school librarianship once said that, "librarians must be capable of challenging the administration." In general, it is a battle not many would want to participate in because, it is a political warfare and tremendous skills in communictaion, psychology, knowledge of work culture, political manuevering and management is requried to pull a win. I do not know what the outcome of this white paper will be for me and my department. Of course, we can always predict and envision what will be and what could've been done. But, as the great Gandalf the White had said to Frodo, "We are given only little time in this Middle Earth. We do as much as we can in the time given to us."

Here is the position paper in full.

There are two ways of looking at how school libraries function in a school community. School libraries can be treated as an auxillary/ancillary department servicing students’ needs; and two, it can be seen as an instructional department involved in the academic and formative education of the students. In Xavier School, the Grade School Learning Resource Center subscribes to the second school of thought as reflected in its departmental VMG and MAFs (Competence, Community and Culture).

…is a multifaceted information center that supports the school’s educational program.

…aims to create an environment that provides the necessary tools needed for growth & development of students & teachers.

…foresee students & teachers as “knowledge navigators” who
 Are responsible users of information
 Give respect to the rights of his/her fellowmen
 Have a genuine love for reading & literature, humanities & the arts
 Have high regard for one’s heritage (Chinese-Filipino)

The LRC Staff, particularly the librarians, are partners of teachers and administrators in forming men for others. Through synergy and collaboration, they are committed to helping students become competent users of information, technology and learning resources. Therefore, the primary client of the LRC is the students, but, it is one with the faculty’s objective to instruct and facilitate learning among them. That is why it has defined its roles and functions to continuously build a learning community in Xavier Grade School.

Roles & Functions of the GS LRC
 Work in cooperation with teachers & administrators to acquire & organize a wide variety of learning resources to support and enrich the curriculum, taking into consideration the varied interests, abilities and maturity levels of the students served;

 Provide materials and an information rich environment which will stimulate intellectual growth and promote personal enrichment and development;

 Provide technology skills training for faculty and staff to enable the integration of technology into instruction;

 Equip students with information literacy skills needed for independent research and critical judgment.

 Develop plans to integrate the best of traditional medium and possibilities of new technology;

 Provide a caring environment wherein students develop self-esteem, independence and the virtue of honesty;

 Promote reading and life long learning.

From these philosophy, VMG, and roles, it can be said that the GS LRC functions as an integral part of the educational process. This relevant function is enunciated in the UNESCO/IFLA School Library Manifesto. The manifesto was made in 2003 as guide for school libraries from developed and developing countries with the aim that, in affluent or indigent countries, school libraries may be empowered to reach global standards for optimum learning of the community that they serve.

The GS LRC AV Services
The AV Services of the GS LRC provides the GS community with the following:
a. Reservation – the LRC accepts reservation of learning resources, AV rooms, IT Labs, equipment needed for instruction.
b. Circulation – the LRC circulates learning resources and equipment to faculty and staff.
c. Documentation – the LRC documents relevant school activities with prior requests. The LRC provides off-campus video and photo coverage related to school activities.
d. Reproduction/Conversion/Recording – the LRC reproduces materials and upgrades learning resources exclusively for classroom use.

The selection, acquisition, development and organization of AV materials, learning resources and equipment are incorporated in the Collection Development Program of the GS LRC.

At first glance, the services provided by the LRC’s AV section appear as non-academic. They are, however, embedded with instructional and academic functions. A library staff facilitates the mechanical and clerical tasks concerned with reservation, circulation, documentation and simple editing services of the AV Section. The librarian who holds both licenses for teaching and librarianship, and who has, a faculty status, lends and renders professional and technical work required of the job. Specifically, the librarian assigned in the AV:

 Offers counsel and recommendations to teachers on their use of AV rooms, IT labs and equipment for instruction when problems and concerns arise;

 Team teaches with teachers in the grade level through identifying and defining learning materials (audio, video, kits, manipulatives, computer software, diorama, realia, online and electronic resources) that can be used for instruction so that learning goals and objectives can be achieved;

 Evaluates the system and operations of the AV section;

 Assess the learning resources, the technology and the equipment that was selected, acquired and currently being maintained and developed in the area.

Therefore, the AV services of the GS LRC perform the management of educational and instructional technologies. This is an attribution to the academic and instructional role of the GS LRC.

Centralization of AV Services

While centralization affords maximization of resources and equipment, it diminishes the academic and instructional roles of the GS LRC. Should this happen, it shall be a big loss to the school because its library that functions as an integral part of its educational process shall be reduced to a semi-auxillary/ancillary department. It is not the way to global learning as the school hopes its students to be global learners.

The GS LRC is a place where students’ learning experiences are extended beyond the four walls of the classroom. It is a learning laboratory where librarians and teachers stand on equal ground to plan and implement instruction using a variety of rich learning resources, facilities, equipment and technology.

With this conviction, the GS LRC can still help in the maximization of resources and manpower by:

 Being the bridge between the ITS and the GS Faculty and Staff – the LRC can collaborate with ITS to study and formulate training modules on the use of technology for instruction. Libraries are known for their USER EDUCATION services and the GS LRC has existing User Education programs for its faculty and staff.

Orientation and training on use of technology in the classroom and for instruction lessens maintenance problems, promotes a more intelligent use of technology and equipment, and fosters magis and cura personalis in the community.

 Continued collaboration and articulation with ITS – the LRC recognizes the importance of integration and synergy. There are services and functions that the LRC can do, but the ITS could not and vice versa. The community can benefit from the services that the LRC and ITS offer through coordination and better communication.

The views and philosophy in this paper may run opposite from the mandate of the school administration on centralization of AV Services, but it presents reasonable grounds and positive suggestions on the issue. Should the possibilities of centralization push through, the GS LRC will respect the decision, will stay true and loyal to the school’s VMG and will continue to function as an academic department at par with global standards.
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