The RAP Annual Summer Convention 2007 ended last April 28, 2007 with a great big sigh from convention chair, Dina Ocampo of the UP Reading Department. It had 480 participants, the biggest so far, and along with it came a hundred problems too. Like anything else in life, when the end comes, you only remember the good ones and the shinning moments of its existence. Unless you are a pessimist, you'd linger on the guilt, the mistakes, and the little faults. RAP Officers, as I was made to see in those two days were not made of that stuff.
Over all, it was a very good conference where in teachers, administrators and educators convened and experienced how theory, research and practice are put into play. How I wish Filipino Librarian Associations can adapt the same format for a conference. The last I heard of plenaries and con-current sessions done by PLAI was two or four years back.
The field of Library and Information Science is ever expanding, ever evolving. Research on the profession and the practice of it must be shared with others, librarian or not. Imagine what Filipino Librarians can learn from research so that theories are tested and questioned, thus, professional practice is improved. In my opinion, we are not there yet. We still patronize one-man seminars and talks. Nothing wrong there since we are getting the best resource speakers in our field of specialization, but, we need to be more scholarly by reading, knowing and listening to research and best practices done by other librarians.
It is amazing how the RAP has networked with IRA so seamlessly in the past years that the investment is paying off. Having the VP of IRA, Barbara Walker, was very beneficial to all present. She gave new perspectives to the teaching and study of comprehension. Her presence was inspiration to those who are "there" and motivation to those who are "striving" to be.
On a perosnal level, I enjoyed the convention. I even got to chair a session on children's literatture to my delight! It is so good to listen to two professionals give their results and study on gender issues on Filipiniana published books for kids. Some research presentations are familiar that it enriched existing knowledge and content base. I believe that, as a school librarian, I have to always be reminded of my connection to the discipline and the art of teaching. It is not enough that I know and do the work of a librarian. It is necessary to know the langauge and the craft of the people I work with becuase there lies the root of collaboration.