Sunday, September 30, 2007

How is the School Librarian Perceived

I met with a good writer friend yesterday and, as friends always do, we had great conversations. Here's a slice of the many things we talked about that made me wonder and struck me as really something relevant.

Writer Friend; Hey, your TLA (top level admnistrator) gave me a call asking me for a resource on ******** for a particular grade level.

Me: Oh.

WF: I wasn't able to recommend one. I was in the middle of something besides. But I will send an email.

Me: Uhum...

WF: Well, shouldn't all elementary schools begin with storytelling and move on to complex oral langauge skills as students move up the grades?

Me: Yes, of course. When did you got the call?

WF: Last week, anyway, you're the librarian. You know what to do. Then again, I need to give my reply anytime soon.

I will not stop my friend from giving her list of resources, definitely I know it will help the person in need. But, as a librarian who knows what to do (thanks to you, my dear writer friend for the confidence), I will also provide a plethora of resources on the topic in question. Again, this is one of those opportunities where in a librarian can showcase both skill and competence on the delivery of information and the knowledge of content. Now, even if the person in need of the resource and the information is a mere teacher or a simple grade school student, I will do the same to assist and lead them.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Parts of a Book

Sometimes, Calliope is just around the corner. Here is a poem I wrote for my grade 2 class this coming week. I will be using the poem for our lesson on the basic parts of a book.

I am a book

I am a book
And I have many parts
A cover to keep me clean
A spine so I can stand

I have a body
With several good pages
Of facts and stories
You can read from start to finish

Open me now
And you will know
The author who wrote
The illustrator who drew

Don’t forget the title
That’s what I ‘m all about
Who put me all together?
Oh, it is the publisher

Source of Image:
Diane Greenseid Clip Art
861 x 1583 - 109k - jpg

Monday, September 24, 2007

A Library for Preschool Teachers & Kids

In 1995, I began work as school librarian for the Preschool library of Xavier School. With an existing program, all I had to do was implement it. Twelve years after, the Early Education Learning Resource Center (EED LRC) has grown in more ways than one.

In terms of collection, the EED LRC now houses 5,000 print and AV resources. The library period for Nursery is slowly being resurrected after a couple of years of restructuring schedule and curriculum. Prep students are regularly being given library encounters and they have begun borrowing books. Special programs like puppet shows and film viewing are provided for students in the preschool unit.

The EED LRC, aside from functioning as reading and literacy center for students, is also a resource center for preschool teachers. Through the varied instructional materials available in the center, teachers have laid their trust on the EED LRC to deliver services and programs that agree and meet their teaching needs.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

For Toe, who is wondering where the books and shows for Filipino children are

So I took my medicines at midnight, today (technically, speaking) and found myself hard of getting sleep back. I did the next best thing - blog and blog hop. After my usual round of blogs, I wandered to The Philippines According to Blogs. I have not logged in for a while and it has been ages since my last blog update. It's been so long that, at that time, the site was still maintained by Abe Olandres. Goodness.

Anyhoo, what caught my attention was this entry by Toe in her blog, Kurokuroatbp. I can not log in to post a comment because, her blog is password protected.

So, Toe, allow me to inform you that children's literature in the country is very young. When you and I were growing up in the seventies and the eighties, we read foreign books and watched foreign shows. It did not help that my mother was a librarian who worked at an American school. She brought me books! Lots! She did this until I was in my junior year in college. No regrets. I became a reader for life and truly, I have a genuine love for books and reading. This is something I want to pass on to my children, but, like you, I also searched for books that bespeak of my culture and identity. This, I want my children to experience too - read books about their heritage and culture, not merely of history, but the way things are in the Philippines, being a Filipino and becoming to be one. My children are luckier,Toe. I am able to provide them with books by foreign writers as well as books by Filipino authors.

So you see, Philippine Children's Literature is about our age. It is only in its 30's. There were books for children, of course, during the 50's, 60's and early 70's, but it did not really address the needs of Filipino children until the mid-70's, when people in the industry realized how important it is to provide books for kids that reflect their culture and the likes that would meet their developmental needs. There are several courses in college on the history of children's literature and for one, a big chunk of it is alloted for Philippine Children's Literature. There are also conferences and seminars on Philippine Children's Literature that feature a lot of our writers and illustrators. As of present, there is the PBBY who advocates reading and the promotion of books. In its website, you will find reviews of books written by Filipino authors. There are around 4-5 active book publishing companies devoted to producing books for Pinoy kids and sadly, they have to compete with foreign publishers who are mightier and bolder in terms of marketing arsenal.

Every year, National Children's Book Day (NCBD) is celebrated on the 3rd Tuesday of July. Present during the event are organizations concerned with the creation and promotion of children's books like KUTING, Ang INK and Alitaptap, along with a host of children's literature advocates, teachers and librarians, foundations and organizations. It is during the NCBD when the best written and illustrated story for kids is awarded the Salanga and Alcala prizes.

Last NCBD, I was assigned to present 27 titles of new books for children published by Pinoy publishers, written and illustrated by Pinoys, for the Pinoy growing child. It seem to increase in numbers, every year. We only had around 12 or 15 titles presented last year. These books are all available in bookstores nationwide. During the Manila International Book Fair last August, some pblishers launched the new titles. In terms of content, we've come a long way. Now you can read stories about a boy with an OFW mother; a girl whose cousin is stricken with luekemia; about Teo who shares bayabas, rambutan, pakwan, etc. to his father instead of apples, grapes and kiwis. Our writers are delving into sensitive issues on family and growing up. There are stories on adoption, separation, death, senility, being different, peer pressure, bullying, first love, first kiss, even on homosexuality (one Palanca award winner) though it still has to find a brave publisher to see it in print. Online stories for kids by Pinoy writers are also avaialble. Try to google Literaturang Tsikiting and it will lead you to ten stories and a few poems by KUTNG writers.

I hope this helps you a bit in your search. I was not able to recommend TV shows for kids, because, that is another story. It has its own issues and a history in itself that deserves another posting.

Rest assured that there is a continuous growth of books for our children in the country despite challenges in the economics of producing them and the changing reading habits and interest of children today. As long as there are people who carry on with the writing, illustrating, publication and promotion of books for Pinoy kids, there will be readers who someday will either write, or illustrate or publish or promote books for their generation and the ones to come.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Pinoy Bibliobloggers' Mafia on the Move

Bibliothecarii bloggers. Hmm... I like the sound of that. Though my online dictionary did not turn out any result for the meaning of the first word. Anyhoo, here's a round up of of posts from the guys.

Von raised some questions and pondered as to why I was the only female blograrian present in the EB. Juned coined the term I used to start this post, while Charles promised to do a weekly post on library related stuff every Monday. Igor and Arnold summarized the meeting and the topics discussed last Saturday, 15 September, 2007.

A good start, I suppose. I wonder if other female blograrians will join the group sooner or latter. It is in times like this that I miss Peachy Limpin the most.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Filipino Blograrians: Blogging Mafia on the Rise (?)

Trust Von to stir things up in the mundanely quiet world of librarianship in the Philippines. And don't be surprised if four more Filipino librarians and an ardent reader-writer who have blogs join Von in brewing up a new concoction in the already muddled and intrigue ladden universe known as the blogosphere. The idea is for all of us to keep writing about the profession and related fields. With talk of putting up an aggregator or syndication, the blograrians present at last Saturday's EB, September 15, 2007 at A Different Bookstore in Serendra were all up for the challenge.

Igor is beginning to refocus his smorgasboard with a bent on LIS related topics. Arnold has declared the meeting as historic because, librarians who write and blog are finally taking a more active role in making the profession visible in the blogosphere. I'm sure Igor has a lot to write about now that he is back teaching in college. His observation on the polarity of tech skills of his LIS students would make for an interesting post. Arnold's tech news are worth reading for librarians to be updated in this area. More and more, we're being eaten by the "computer people". What they can do, we can do better actually. Unless, politics come into play at the work place. Now, that's a topic I can write with sass and class this time around.

Juned's book reviews and socio-polital commentaries are insightful. Charles' variety of posts on books, literature and media make for a good source for librarians taking stock of the collection. As for Von, he is the Filipino Librarian. What more can I say, but AMEN!

So, we'll see where we'll end up. Hopefully not in a quandary of controversies that seem to rock Filipino bloggers of late. Librarians are quiet little people, really. Besides, there is enough conflict in this world and there is so much love to go around. If I were you, I say you choose the later and love your librarian back!

Hub a Library

PBBY board member, Neni Sta. Romana-Cruz wrote an update on the Library Hub's progress in the country. It's published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer last Sept. 14, 2007. What delighted me of the news is the imminent training of librarians who will be in charge of the hub.

"Beverly Gonda, Library Hub Project Officer says in her latest update that a teacher training for the 35 Hubs has been completed and work has begun on the next set of Hubs. They are now preparing for the training of the librarians who will actually manage the daily operations of the Hubs all over the country."

Finally, training for librarians for the hubs. DepEd can learn a lot from the experiences of Riko Vinluan who has been quite successful in the Library Hub of the Naga City Public Library.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Live Blogging : Pinoy Biblioblogosphere

Male Librarians and Friend. Clockwise: Von; Juned; Arnold; Igor; and Charles Tan.

Finally. The boys are here. I am the only rose among the thorns and it's my job to live blog. Hmmm... is it because I'm a girl? I feel so like Hermione Granger at the moment. But this does not happen everyday, so it's OK.

Kidding aside, I'm the one with a laptop. I'm the only practicing librarian in the bunch, the only female librarian so, there. We all have blogs and it's blogging that has brought us together this afternoon. There are interesting topics of conversation moving around. Such unbloggable "tsismis" I do not intend to mention. There is enough trouble in this world and all I want is peace. Ahaha! Miss Congeniality, present!

Igor is currently teaching at the UP SLIS with a full load, mind. He does some consulting job as web developer in the corporate arena. Arnold is in records management at the Asian Development Bank. Juned is in indexing and abstracting. He's had success in problogging and is continuously growing in that area. Geez, it's the "raket" I want to have! Charles is not a librarian by academic preparation and occupation, but he is among "us" because he is a friend of the library.

When Von posted the announcement for this EB, he wanted to know how big the Pinoy Big Biblioblogosphere is. Well, people present this afternoon gives Von a good picture on the size of this PBB (Pinoy Big Biblioblogosphere).

Live Blogging: Pinoy Big Biblioblogosphere

So here we are at Serendra, A Different Bookstore waiting for more people to join us - Von, Charles and I. It's 4.30 PM already and we remain a threesome.

Will post later when the others have arrived.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Teachers and Mentors

Ace Elgar and I will be doing a seminar-workshop on Storytelling on September 22, 2007 at the UP College of Education. The event will be sponsored by the UP REGALE (Reading Education Department) in celebration of International Literacy Month.

The workshop is a meaningful one for me and Ace because, students from the UP College of Education will be side by side with us in facilitating the workshop. Jerson Capuyan and Michelle Agas were participants during the Storytelling workshop I conducted for them last year. Miko Manalo on the other hand, attended Ace's Storytelling workshop session two years back. This was made possible by Prof. Portia Padilla whose never ending campaign for literacy and reading has made her a champion for the cause.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

One Day In Naga

My workshop at the Naga City Public Library last August 27, 2007 was attended by 50 participants from the district. Most of them are teachers in the content area who were given library duties to man the school library. They were expected to multitask and accomplish dual roles, that of a teacher and a school librarian.

The seminar-workshop began with basic school library services. Call it School Library Management 101 for those who were plucked out of their teaching positions to become vanguards of the school library. Useful and practical topics like resource sharing, networking, fund raising, gaining support from administration, parents and the community were also discussed. Issues on manpower, lack of support and high expectations inevitably surfaced, so I tried my best to be encouraging enough. After all, the concerns they enumerated are things I experience too. Money for books and library up keeping will always be problems, but it can be solved through an empowered and well supported library staff.

I met Riko Vinluan, finally, in the flesh. I've met him online and last Monday of that August was our actual "Eye Ball". He is a resourceful and dynamic librarian. He organized the Naga School Librarians Association right after the session. They were able to identify workable action plans for their school libraries. Reading campaigns, networking and articulation of needs to supervisors are some of the few strategies they've identified so far.

Through PBBY and the local government of Naga City, I was witness to the famous Library Hub of the district. Riko has actually taken responsibility on the circulation of books to different hubs. Using the Naga City Library Book Mobile, books for the schools are placed in bins. These bins are given to the school for a time and are returned to the hub for replenishment and book repair. It's a structure that works for them.

I have said it once and I will say it again, if there is no librarian or library personnel for the hubs who can do the monitoring and supervision on the route of books and schools, all resources and efforts may go to waste. Plus, there are reading and library programs that need to be done for the hubs to truly come alive. Entrust such programs and activities to teachers? Their first duty is to teach. The presence of people from the library sector is crucial.

In this case, it appears that provision and access for books are the main agenda. It is a good start, but the recipients of the hub's services have a  huge challenge to face - how to continue this working structure or system so that it has an impact on the children's lives.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Filipina Librarians: Chona De Jesus & Ellen Floro

I met Chona De Jesus today. Chona is the librarian for the Magsaysay Training Center. It is a company specilaizing on the training of maritime personnel and Chona has the task of serving their information and training needs. She invited me to do a storytelling sesion for children of the company's employees. The activity was in line with their READiscovery Program which is aimed at developing the reading habits of children and adults.

According to her, it was a kick off activity to further promote the library and the culture of reading in the company. I also met her boss, Ms. Grace Cabilatazan, who is a self confessed reader and book lover. She is putting importance on the company's library as hub and source of skills, competence and knowledge. Such support for the librarina will go a long way.

Chona's sister, Ellen Floro is like her, a librarian. Both are graduates of the Philippine Normal Univeristy. Chona finished her degree in 1990, while Ellen graduated in the year 1995.

In our brief "chikahan", I learned how many librarians are leaving the Philippines for better working opportunities and economic conditions abroad. It really is a decision. In this globally competitive world, lines, boarders and divisions are little things that matter. One's identity, level of competence and skill make all the big difference.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Messy Table

This is one side of my table. The right side. There you can see my mobile phone sitting on a red cat mobile phone holder. There's the calendar, my fortune plant, a mug of pens, markers and shears. I have a bottle of water, always beside me since I'm a heavy water drinker now. My brown coffee mug only gets the taste of caffeine once a day. Since June, I've lessend my coffee drinking to help ease my work out regiment. Coffee stiffens the fat mass. I have so much to loose. It meant double the hard work if I continue my three cups of coffee a day.

You can also see the brown paper bag beside the pink water bottle. It has puto and kutsinta bought along the road in Wack-Wack. I munch every now and then. Little bites to tide over the hunger pangs. I did not finish it all as my son, who goes to school in the same school I work in, would look for merienda after a loaded day of academic studying.

And here is the left side of my table. Messy. Messy, Messy.

It's PAASCU Pre-Survey year and reporst are needed here and there. There are questions from the Principal to answer, administrative reports to accomplish and statistics to study. I have made a list of "to dos" for the coming months. I shudder at the length of the things to be done. From the looks of things, I'm afraid I will not be able to finish my Special Problem in grad school. Something's got to give.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Live Blogging : PAASCU Visit

I am in Lipa, Batangas right now, accreditng a private Catholic high school. It is the second day and the accrediting team is down pat wrapping up. I can't post details as everything in the PAASCU experience is shrouded with confidentiality. Let it be known, though, that the beauty of accreditation rests on professional networking, growth in the field of education and service students and to colleagues in the profession.

Here we are at the breakfast table this morning. Aren't we a happy bunch?

This PAASCU Accrediitng Team is led by Mrs. Rita Atienza of the Graduate School of the Ateneo De Manila. I have another post in The Coffee Goddess. Click here for the PAASCU post.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

With The Filipino Librarian

There were a good number of Filipino Librarians in my panel discussion last August 30, 2007, Thursday at the Manila International Book Fair. We had our pictures taken and I'm hoping one of them nice people would send me a copy. I did not bring a digicam, sadly. But, I have a Macbook with built in camera via Photo Booth.

So here is a picture of me and Von, Filipino Librarian after a very ligt mereinda at

My stint and visit at the Manila Internation Book Fair this year was very brief. Unlike in previous years when I would be there for days and would spend time, money and effort selecting books for my own perusal and enjoyment, I am low key this year due to work responsibilities and professional endeavors. The short trip to the fair was enough to touch base with friends in the industry though. I was able to make new connections nonetheless. Networking is very important for the job and I think, I've done fairly well on this area.
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