Friday, June 22, 2007

NCBD 2007: 'Basa tayo 'Tay!

PBBY Secretariat, Ani Almario, sent the invites for the 24th National Children's Book Day celebration. This year's theme, 'Basa tayo 'Tay!, focus on the role of fathers in developing the reading habit. Celebrity fathers like Paolo Abrera and Nolo Silayan will tell stories for the kids and the kids at heart on NCBD. Multi-awarded writer Jose "Butch" Dalisay will be the guest speaker.

The NCBD event will start at 10.00 am on July 17, 2007 at the Main Lobby of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Roxas Boulevard, Manila.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Spoiler on Harry Potter 7

What has become of Harry? This is a possible spoiler, so don't say I didn't warn you!

Click here.

Monday, June 18, 2007

First Encounters @ the Library

Library Orientation classes for primary grades won't happen until the last week of June. Librarians are all busy team planning with Reading teachers in their assigned grade levels and there is one more Mediashoppe cum LRC Orientation for new teachers at the Early Education Library on Friday, June 22, 2007. The grade one students, however, had their first encounter with the library during the first week of school. Their class advisers brought them up to the "big" library as part of their school wide orientation program.

Since it was their first days in a big school environment, some of them could not help but get lost.

One grade one boy was looking for the bookstore to buy a school textbook. He went up the library instead. He did this several times even though he was told and guided to where the bookstore was. One teacher who has a son in grade one was frantic last Thursday since she could not find her son during dismissal. It turned out that her son was at the library reading with much bigger boys in the primary section. The school's Assistant Principal had to guide one first grader to where the books are so that he can read and enjoy a cooler place at lunch break.

In our supervision time at lunch break, the first graders are the noisiest and rowdiest. There are fighting, games of hiding and seek, running about, jumping and rolling down the mini-amphitheater we all call the Storytelling Area. Boys would report stealing and grabbing of books. They also ask the most questions.

For these boys, the library is but another area for play and recreation. Rules and regulations do apply, but the implementation of such requires patience, compassion and a firm but caring voice when communicating with them.

I remember in first grade, I had Ms. Oliva, my first school librarian in my old parochial school in Pateros. She was plump, cheerful and always smiling. I would go to the library at recess to read. When I had my first borrower's card, I brought home a Dick and Jane book which I finished reading in no time. It stayed in my cabinet for days and weeks until my mother discovered it sleeping among my old toys. She had to pay the library a good amount of overdue fees. That's when she started borrowing books from IS Manila. Soon, I was reading Maurice Sendak, Dr. Seuss, Jose Aruego and Ariane Dewey, Ezra Jack Keats and Eve Bunting. I never borrowed again from my school library until sixth grade when being small and dusky excluded me from my more prettier classmates. It was the peak of my awakening from books, reading and literature.

When my mother brought me to see the Children's Media Center of IS Manila, I met my first library fairy in the person of Neni Sta. Romana Cruz. She does not know this yet, but I adored her the first time I saw her emerging out from a room. She had sad raccoon eyes but her smile was gentle and welcoming. There was an aura about her that drew me in. That's when I acknowledged how I wanted to be like her - to be surrounded with books in a room so free and beautiful; to be reading and writing for life; to be with children; to be forever young.

By second grade, I was already reading chapter books. Frog and Toad are Friends by Anita and Arnold Lobel; Greek Myths and Norse Legends; Scary stories and comic books. I had my first dinosaur book and at eight years old (I started school early) I considered myself a dinosaur expert. I wanted to be an archaeologist to find out dinosaur fossils in the Philippines. By third grade, I knew how to use a dictionary and an encyclopedia. Nancy Drew and the Bobsey Twins became my heroes at fourth grade. I laughed with Ramona and Beezus and solved mysteries with Encyclopedia Brown in fifth grade. Between the two Hardy boys, I had my heart set on Frank Hardy. I was a reading geek at 11 years old that when I discovered a few good classmates who were also readers, I didn't see myself as too strange at all. Only a little. And then, I stopped reading. I didn't know why, I guess I just wanted to rest for a while.

My mother intervened again. She brought me to work every summer. At that time, she was assigned at the Middle School Library of IS Manila. There began my new reading adventure as a teenager. That of course is anotehr story.

I do not know how far the reach of our influence can impact the lives of our grade one students. Most of them may only remember their library as a cool place, where the aircon is always on; a hangout venue with friends; a waiting area till the fetcher arrives; a place to sleep; an area for play and games. I do know that we're doing our best. We're doing our share to raise boys who are fully alive, endowed with the passion for justice and the skills for development.

Friday, June 15, 2007

CANVAS Book Launch : Ang Batang Maraming Bawal

CANVAS will be launching Don Gonzalez's first book, Ang Batang Maraming Bawal at the Ayala Museum on Monday, June 18, 2007 at 6.30 p.m. Don won the 3rd Romeo Forbes Writing for Children contest in 2005. He is a probee member of KUTING.

In Tune to Web 2.0

Xavier School has a spankingly new website. The GS LRC is mentioned in an article on one outreach activity with the St. John the Baptist Catholic School. Click here.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Library Video Clips

The times, they are changing.

Instead of looking over for videos in the AV section for my grade two class this afternoon, I went to YOU Tube for video clips about the school library. These are some of my finds.

Friday, June 8, 2007

GS LRC Mediashoppe 2007

Can you guess how many books the GS LRC have in its collection? This was the question that greeted GS teachers last June 1, 2007, Friday for their annual Mediashoppe at the Storytelling Area of the GS LRC. Given by the GS LRC to collaborate with teachers in the development of learning resources, this year's Mediashoppe was the most, if not successful, organized Mediashoppe yet.

The program began with an orientation of basic library services and programs for the sake of the new hires. Junior and senior teachers are already familiar with the GS LRC's features, but a quick walk through on the LRC's services was a big help to remind them that a department that supports their instructional needs exist in the community. What was new for everyone, newbie and seasoned teachers alike, was the DOORS Project of Mrs. Chit Olivares, Reference Librarian.

The Directory of Online Resources (DOORS) is a project initiated by Mrs. Olivares to enrich the print and non-print collection of the library with online resources. Using FURL, she was able to build a list of useful sites for teachers who can use them in the different content areas. Another relevant information provided by the Mediashoppe was the presentation of the ITS-AV Integrated Office by Ms. Garce Aromin, ITS Coordinator. Beginning this school year, reservations of equipment, facilities and tech support will be provided by the ITS. The GS LRC will concentrate on content and knowledge management of the AV collection. In this structure, it is foreseen that more resources will be utilized by the community.

Teachers were able to select and review learning resources possible for acquisition this school year. With their MLAs present, it can be truly said that the administrators are involved in this process of building the library's collection. They also got to view new titles of materials, journals and books available for their perusal.

It was Mr. Ronald Briones of the GS Science department who got the correct estimate on the volume of the LRC's collection. Without the hard work of Mrs. Jane Diaz, Readers Servcies Librarian, who put the Mediashoppe together, and the support of Mrs. Jane Natividad, GS Principal, it would not have been possible for the GS LRC and the GS teachers from the different departments to have a fun and fruitful morning of collaborative work.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Love Your Books

June is National Book Development Month. Filipinas Heritage Library and the National Book Development Board has prepared a slew of activities for the reading Pinoy.

From June 27 to July 1, a literary exhibit at the Glorietta Park that features places in the metro that have inspired our writers to create their literary master pieces is up for display. Tickets cost Php 500.00.

Aside from this, poetry readings, storytelling sessions, book illustration contests and theatrical presentations make it to the week long calendar of the National Book Development Month. Call 8921801 for details.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Misplaced Librarian

There were many insights and issues that surfaced from my seminar-workshop with public and barangay librarians yesterday at the Filipinas Heritage Library. Public librarians, kin to school librarians, have their share of problems, concerns and what-nots. For many, funding and budget is not the number one challenge in meeting the objectives of library services, but, staff training and the availability of enough manpower to sustain the energy of the library. This was articulated by almost three fourth of the participants.

Although it was never identified what kind of training they needed the most, I have an inkling that the skills and competencies they must learn are those on library management, communication skills and the ability to integrate a variety of disciplines that will eventually lead to succesfull plans and programs for the public library. In this case, librarians must be given enough exposure to travel and bench mark with other librarians in the provincial and international settings. Those who are still in the academe earning the degree necesitate an interdisciplinary learning experience in their study of Library and Information Science.

Last I heard, teachers of LIS are revising and improving curriculum to give focus and direction to students. There may be students who would like to focus on IT development; public service; media and communications; education and training; etc. but with a foundation on LIS.

When job related issues began sprouting during the discussion, I was earnest to hear them out. I was interested to find out the paradigms and schools of thought these librarians subscribe to. Often, their comments and questions reflect their personal and professional philosophy.

One librarian was given the task as tour guide. And yes, it was a very uncomfortable task. Not the librarian's fault since she was trained to procure, organize, manage and circulate the library's collection. Then again, the role of a librarian has changed radicaly over the years that to maintain that set of tasks limits the moral, cultural and intellectual growth of the community. Public librarains have a special role in elevating literacy. And there are many kinds of literacy. Is the public librarian trained and prepared for this change. Is the public librarian equiped to handle emerging kinds of literacy for people of different age groups and demographics?

There are many librarians I know who did not take LIS courses but were lucky enough to learn and get units of LIS. Most pursue a graduate degree even. Some are quite succesful though their bachelor's degree is non-LIS. But what happens if the table is turned? What can the librarain do if he or she is expected to be teacher, curator, manager, events planner, PR officer, editor, web developer, even computer technician? Will he/she rely on God given wit and talent or learn new things to integrate with the old knowledge?
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