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.

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