Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Book Launch Earth Tales: Three Ecofables For Children

March 8 is International Women’s Day (IWD). In some countries like China, Russia and Kazahkstan, IWD is an official holiday. Tradition has it that mothers, grandmothers, wives, sisters, daughters, female friends and colleagues would get flowers and small gifts of appreciation from the men in their lives. In different parts of the world, IWD is celebrated to honor the contributions of women in the family and in society at large.

In the Philippines, the Center for Arts New Ventures And Sustainable Development (CANVAS) partnered with the Ten Outstanding Women of the Nation for Service (TOWNS) Foundation to drum up this special day for women through the launching of a children’s book of ecofables. As the term implies, the fables carry themes on ecology, nature and care for the environment.

Realizing The Vision

Since its initial foray in the children’s book industry four years ago, CANVAS has remained true to its vision and mission of providing avenues for the Filipino artist to grow and develop. It continues to put together an assembly of luminaries in the literati and in the visual arts arena for a worthy cause. This time around, its beneficiary is the TOWNS Foundation who, for the last 30 years, has recognized achievements and accomplishments of Filipino women in various fields of discipline.

That is why, last Sunday, March 8, 2009 at 3:00 pm, TOWNS awardees were present at 1/of Gallery in Serendra, Taguig City for the launching of the book Earth Tales: Three Ecofables for Children. To name a few, publisher Karina Bolasco, educator Dina Ocampo, geologist Alyssa Peleo-Alampay, and Filipino-Chinese advocate Teresita Ang See attended the event. More than a fund raising activity, the afternoon was an amalgamation of literary, performing and visual arts gems for the young and the young at heart.

While the gallery had the paintings of the book’s illustrators for interested clients and the culturati, Hazelle Preclaro-Ontengco, Executive Director of Wordlab School Manila, provided storytelling sessions to the kids who came. The competent teacher that she is, she was well prepared with props, visual aids and, a song and dance ensemble. TOWNS President, Atty. Lorna Kapunan came fashionably late but redeemed herself by sharing words of wisdom to the older set of audience. She harped on the importance of reading books. She added that the learning experiences of childhood are carried on until adulthood. Gigo Alampay, CANVAS head honcho, thanked everyone who came and supported the collaborative project with TOWNS Foundation.

Wonder Women

Published by UST Press, the book Earth Tales: Three Ecofables for Children, gathers two fables from traditional folk literature and one original fable by Canadian scientist Paul Leet Aird. All three stories speak of the relevance in keeping nature’s gifts and treasures in a balance. Told simply and succinctly, all three fables are timeless. It appeals to readers of all ages. But what make the book extra special are the illustrations done by three fantastic Filipino women artists that the country has today.

Plet Bolipata, Liza Flores and Ivee Olivares-Mellor lent their artistic interpretations to the ecofables. The result was a visual delight that extended the narrative flow of the stories into powerful and lasting images.

The first fable, The Hummingbird, traces its origins from a Japanese folklore. It tells of the thumb-size bird’s effort to douse a forest fire using its small beak by fetching water from the river. All the animals fled for their lives save for the tiny hummingbird that did what it can to put out a raging fire destroying their home. Bolipata’s collage and digital art magnified the heroics of the little one. The last illustration for the story unfolds with a woman, the storyteller, whose yellow kimono contains the whole story of the little bird in silk tapestry. For Bolipata, the journey into illustrating the ecofable had been most challenging since her paintings were stand alone pieces and do not follow the structure of a story grammar. But she succeeded because her vivid colors and inventive style are a wonder to the eyes.

Flores, on the other hand, is a seasoned illustrator for children and former Ang Illustrador Ng Kabataan (INK) president. She found the whole project a liberating experience. Working on the illustrations of The Star Thrower did not confine her to any agenda except her own. As it often happens to author-illustrator collaborations in children’s book production, the author has his or her own viewpoints and messages to put across. In such a partnership, the illustrator is a conduit to communicate whatever purpose the story has.

For this endeavor, it allowed her the artistic freedom to visually interpret the story. Her star thrower, a little girl in red summer dress seem to dance by the sea shore as she throws each starfish back to the sea. The peaceful blue of sky and sea agreed with the quiet and neutral creamy yellow of the sand. The whole effect is sentimental but pleasantly playful. It evokes joyful memories of trips to the beach with family and friends many summers ago.

The last fable, The King and the Forest, an original by Aird was illustrated by the UK based Mellor. Her circles gave characterization to the south wind that frightened the King to his downfall. By using spheres and elliptical shapes, she has shown the relationship of the elements of air, land and water with humanity. Aird invites us to examine our fears as we relate to the living and breathing creatures around us while Mellor presents patterns of life cycles in her bright and intense colors of red, yellow, orange, blue, green and purple.

This book of ecofables is labeled for children to read and enjoy. Above all else, it attempts to reach out and make art accessible to young people. CANVAS has been successful so far. Here’s looking forward to its next literary and visual feast for the young reader and their reading guardians.

Around The World In 100 Bookshelves

I got this pleasant news from Corrine Robson of Paper Tigers --

I wanted to pass on a new intitiative we have on our blog - Around the World in 100 Bookshelves. We are trying to get photos of 100 children's bookshelves and would love to see some from the Philippines and surrounding countries! We have some from India, the USA and Canada so far.

All submitted photos will be entered into a draw to win a book. 1st draw is May 1st. More info in the Paper Tigers website

So for starters, here is a photo of a bookshelf from The Pasig City Library and Discovery Centrum.

The photo was taken from the Reference Section of the library. It's the reading Pinnochio that caught my eye. I think I'll be posting more bookshelf pictures in the future since one's reading habits are known by the books that he or she reads. What's in your bookshelf?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Storytelling In The Classroom--A Storytelling Seminar And Workshop

Storytelling In The Classroom--A Storytelling Seminar And Workshop By Zarah Gagatiga, will be held on April 13, 2009 (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), Powerbooks, Trinoma Mall, Quezon City.

Learn the art of storytelling as master storyteller Zarah Gagatiga shares tips and techniques on how to deliver stories that kids will surely enjoy!

All PowerCard and PowerCard Plus holders are invited! Just purchase any ten (10) titles from the "Ang Mga Kuwento Ni Lola Basyang" series on the day of the event and present your receipt and PowerCard or PowerCard Plus I.D. at the registration booth for free entrance.

Zarah Gagatiga is a teacher, storyteller, writer, reading and literacy advocate, and the school librarian of Xavier School, San Juan. She is a member of Kuwentista Ng Mga Tsikiting (KUTING) and the former Vice-President of the Alitaptap Storytellers.

For inquiries, call Anvil Publishing's Marketing Department at (632)7471622.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Experiencing Magic

Prof. Portia Padilla of the UP Diliman, REGALE, sent me a paper on PBBY's 25 Best Loved Children's Book Characters. In the next few days, I will be posting her paper in parts. After which, as a colleague in the industry, I will give my response.

A Psycho-educational Look at the Best-Loved Filipino Children’s Book Characters


The Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY), after surveying hundreds of public school children all over the country (with the significant help of Sa Aklat Sisikat Foundation), came up with a list of 25 Best-Loved Children’s Book Characters. In view of the aforementioned, this paper focuses on the question: Why do Filipino children love these characters? To answer this question, this paper makes a content analysis of the stories using a psycho-educational framework. Findings show that Filipino children love these characters and their stories because they are magical. They are magical because they are 1) mirrors that hold up children’s reflections of themselves, and 2) are windows to places and things that children have, until then, only imagined in their games and dreams. As reflections of themselves, children identify with the characters because a) these somehow satisfy their needs; b) their stories are told in the children’s language; and c) they show the Filipino personality and character. As windows to other places and things, these characters and their stories provide their child readers different experiences of enchantment. These fantastic elements are present in the stories be they a) traditional tale, b) modern fantasy, or c) contemporary realistic fiction. This paper closes with the recommendation to have both children and adults read the stories – at home and in school – for the magic of the best-loved characters to live on.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Let The Wild Rumpus Start!

Maurice Sendak's controversial book from the 60's-70's, Where The Wild Things Are, has been adapted into a movie. From the trailer, Max does not seem to be naughty or impish at all. He looks morose.

Also, there's a scene in the trailer where Max saw a couple kissing. If this implies the reason for Max's escape to where the wild things are, then the movie has taken a great liberty to change some aspect of the story. If Inkheart was Disneyfied, I wonder what gets lost in the translation of this beloved children's book into the big screen.

It sure is worth a watch.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

High Five for iBlog5

It's the fifth year and, in Randy Jackson fashion, the iBlog5 is dope! It's slated on May 9, 2009 at the UP Malcolm Hall. The program and list of speakers can be read in this site.

I will be somewhere down south during that time so I will miss it again this year. But I'm giving two thumbs up for Juned Sunido who has consistently appeared in this annual blogging event.

It's summer time and the blogging is easy!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Storytelling Fiesta @ Prof. Igor Cabbab's Class

Something fantastic erupted in the UP School of Library and Information Studies yesterday. Stories bloomed and imagination blossomed in Professor Igor Cabbab's LIS 114 class! The photos bespeak a million superlatives!

Just a suggestion, maybe the class can tell stories to a public library where kids can be present to complete the whole experience. In the future, perhaps? I'm also looking forward to meeting and seeing a librarian or LIS student join the PBBY Salaysayan.

Any takers?

Friday, March 13, 2009


Rumor is a viscous monster.

I'm getting jokes (some are meant for good, clean fun while others are plain malicious) on reasons for my going on leave for a year. Apparently, the dirty ones are rumor-spawned. The witty and well meant jests spring from very sincere and genuine people. Nasty or not, it's best to respond with a sense of humor to the sense of rumor circulating around.

Here's an example --

Colleague: So you're going on leave.

Me: Yes (smile).

Colleague: What will you do?

Me: Study. Take care of my family. Help my parents. There are lots to do!

Colleague: Bah! Marami kang pera (You have a lot of money to spare)!

Me: I will be a pauper for a year, believe me.

Colleague: I'm sure there'll be offers (winks twice).

Me: Yeah, may offer na nga for me to break into showbiz, e (I'm getting offers to break into showbiz)! Telenovela. And it has a working title already.

Colleague: Really?

Me: Yup. Lambingan sa Library (Romance In The Library)!

Those who heard our banter knew exactly what the joke was all about. Poor colleague. He was left clueless amidst the laughter.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Deadline for Writing Contest

This is to inform all interested readers of this blog that the deadline for the essay writing contest is extended until April 25, 2009. There are entries already and so far, they're all well written. I'm looking forward for more essays to read. The top five will be posted in this blog in May 2009.

Read the posts now! Happy writing! I will be waiting for entries!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Erratum: Getting The Numbers Right

This is to make the correction official. From Walt Crawford himself --

I actually started studying liblogs in 2005 (and before then, but not systematically). I think the number's a little misleading: Of the 607 blogs studied, only 104 started in 2007 and 144 in 2006. More (160) started in 2005, and another 199 started 2004 or earlier.

Any deductions? Go share and comment!

Write An Essay & Get A Gift Check Contest

I want to know what you think of blogs, blogging librarians and their impact to the Library and Information Science (LIS) profession.

For the details and context of the contest, read the post about the LIBSpeak 2009 highlights. Blogs of the "featured" blograrians can be checked using the link.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Blog It! The Impact of the Blogging Phenomenon to the Field of Library & Information Science

The title of this essay has three important key words namely: impact, blogging, and library and information science (LIS). In librarian lingo, blogging is not a new word. Blogs and blogging has been around since 2000 so if you miss this “phenomenal” word, you must have been living under a rock. As for LIS, you have to be a worm not to know what it is all about. Put them all together in one nifty title and a host of images, contexts and meaning arise. Among these key words, it is the word impact that has caught my attention.

I suppose it is the same key word that organizers of the UP FLIPP seminar thought about in awhile otherwise they could have concocted another title.

What is the impact of blogging to LIS? Believe me, I have pondered on this for weeks. It seems that, blogging has something philosophical and profound that it affect librarians and the profession at large. Or perhaps, there is a scarcity of literature, scholarly or not, on the effects of blogging to LIS be it in an online environment or a printed format that we, in the LIS field must talk about and conduct discussions on. If this is the case, then blogging has indeed become a serious topic for LIS practitioners and students alike.

Growing Organisms

Walter Crawford has recently published a book, Liblog Landscapes. Between 2007-2008, 600+ liblogs has mushroomed in the WWW. Crawford has been studying blogs by librarians and about libraries since 2006. Judit Bar-Ilan of Isarel conducted a content analysis of library and librarian blogs from 2003 to 2005. There had been a 15-20 percent increase in the two-year period of the study. Several websites like the International Association of School Libraries Online contain a directory of blogs by school librarians and libraries. The list grows longer every year that it is already categorized by themes and topics.

Liblogs are multiplying in the speed of bytes and broadband, indeed! But we go back to the same question. What force attracts LIS professionals from blogging?

One important role of LIS professionals is to extend public awareness and appreciation of information availability (Bar-Ilan, 2005). There are many ways to actualize this role. Library newsletter and bulletin boards are examples. With the advent of blogging technology, blogs are becoming ideal tools. Aside from this, blogs are avenues where librarians can promote and market the library’s collection, services and programs. Online directories and book reviews can be published. Announcement of library activities and calendar of events can be disseminated via blogs. Even job vacancies and applicant requirements are uploaded in blogs! The campaign for library awareness and its importance can be expressed through blogs.

The advocacy of uplifting the image of a pro-active LIS professional is another reason for blogging. More so, scholarly papers, essays, networking and linkages, collaborative projects by librarians with in and with others are contents of many liblogs. These online readings help a lot in the professional growth of librarians.

Such things are possible through blogs and blogging. Just like libraries, it is a free enterprise. For as long as you have the time, the technology, the skills to thrive in an online environment, and something relevant to communicate with an audience, blogging can be a worthwhile and liberating experience. So no wonder blogs, like libraries are growing organisms!

Blog It!

Let us now go over these blogs by librarians and libraries to further understand its impact to the discipline. Allow me to begin with our very own, homegrown blogs.

1. School Librarian In Action
2. Filipino Librarian
3. Arnold Digital
4. Baratillo@Cubao
5. Mindanao Librarian
8. Weekly Job Notices

Let’s look at the following blogs of librarians in other parts of the world .

1. The Shifted Librarian
2. Peter Scott’s Library Blog
3. Deep Thinking
4. The Rambling Librarian
5. Knowbodies
6. Library Grits
7. Library Profession
8. Judging the Books

With the continuous growth and development of IT, libraries and librarians can do a lot more with blogs. I would not be surprised if blogging becomes a requirement in library school. The challenge now for us in the LIS field is two fold. One would be the creative way in which we can increase blog readership. And two, the internal motivation librarians must possess to continue blogging about the profession and LIS related issues.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Famous Librarians In History

I'm doing a bit of research on librarians and the history of libraries. Here's one article that amused me. A long time ago, when degrees on LIS (Library and Information Science) were still unheard of, the typical librarian may be a philosopher, mathematician, scientist, poet, writer, lover, future FBI agent, pope and communist. Librarian's come in different shades, shapes and sizes! So where did the "lady in a bun" stereotype came from?

Throughout history, many people who later became well known in other capacities served as librarians. In 1979, the journal Library News reprinted this section of The Book of Lists. Unfortunately, all the "famous people" listed are men. A comparable list for women would balance this view. (One example would be the recently deceased novelist, essayist, and poet Audre Lourde. Readers are encouraged to send other suggestions.) However, even with this gender bias, the following list does show the variety of people who have chosen to work in the field. More information about these "famous librarians" will be posted soon!

Gottfried Von Leibniz (1646-1716) was a German philosopher, mathematician, and intellectual giant of his time. Liebniz was appointed librarian at Hanover in 1676 and at Wolfenbuttel in 1691.

David Hume (1711-1776), he British philosopher, economist, and hisorian, served as librarian from 1752-57 at the Library of the Faculty of the Advocates at Edinburgh, where he wrote his History of England.

Casanova (1725-1798) was not only a great lover. At the climax (!) of his career in 1785, the famous womanizer began 13 years as librarian for the Count von Waldstein in the chateau of Dux in Bohemia.

Swedish author August Strindberg (1849-1912) was made assistant librarian at the Royal Library in Stockholm in 1874.

Pope Pius XI (1857-1939) was a librarian before he became Pope. He served 19 years as a member of the College of Doctors of the Ambrosian Library in Milan, and then became chief librarian. In 1911 he was asked to reorganize and update the Vatican Library and four years laer became prefect of the Vatican Library. From 1922 until his death in 1939, the former librarian served as pople.

Sam Walter Foss (1858-1911), poet, author and columnist for the Christian Science Monitor, became librarian of the Somerville, MA public library in 1898.

Archibald MacLeish (b. 1892) had a varied professional life. He was a playwright, poet, lawyer, assistant secretary of state, winner of three Pulizer prizes, and a founder of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). MacLeish was appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as librarian of Congress in 1939 for five years.

Mao Tse-Tung (1893-1976) worked as an assistant to the chief librarian of the University of Peking. Overlooked for advancement, he decided to get ahead in another field and eventually became chairman of the Chinese Communist Party.

FBI Head J. Edgar Hoover (1895-1972) was a Library of Congress messenger and cataloger in his first job.

Author John Braine (b.1922), best known for the novel Room at the Top (1957), worked as a librarian for many years. He was assistant librarian at Bingley Public Library (1940-1951), branch librarian at Northumberland County Library (1954-56), and branch librarian at West Ridings of Yorks County Library (1956).

Source: http://home.earthlink.net/~cyberresearcher/History.htm

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Best of SLIA 2006

This collection of posts in this blog from 2006 is long overdue. Finally I found the time to edit and post them up. Better last than never, so they say. On the other hand, I'm glad to discover that I have kept the focus of this blog's topics according to its original direction.

Library Activities
Learning Extended
Opened Doors
Graphic Novels In The School Library

PowerPoints: Literacy Development
Creating Classroom Libraries

Information Literacy (IL)
Updates on Information Literacy
Lesson Plan on IL
IL at the School Level
The Impetus for IL
IL Skills

Book reviews & Philippine Children’s Literature
Evaluating Folk Tales for Children
Eco-Environment Stories
The Librarian From Black Lagoon

Philippine School Libraries & Librarianship
Student Services vs. Academic Program
Perceptions, Philosophy and Paradigms
More on Philosophy & Paradigm
Helping Libraries
Boys In The Library
How Do I Destroy Thee?
My Librarian Heroes

IT Integration
Blogs As Teaching Tools
Full Paper: Blogs As Teaching Tools
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