Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Mercy Servida, Filipino Librarian

I've heard a lot of things about the Lopez Museum, its famed library and its collection cum vault of rare books and documents. I was impressed to see the private collections of Gilda Cordero-Fernando and Freidrich Umbreit, to name a few, among its shelves But meeting Mercy Servida, librarian of the Lopez Musem Library was the highlight of my visit there last August 20, 2009.

She is dynamism personified. She has thirty years in the field of special librarianship but her passion and dedication to her profession oozes out. Her approach to readers' services was congenial and personal. She admits not knowing IT, but her desire to know new technology for the improvement of library services is laudable. She keeps an open mind and a listening ear to external and internal people of the library. She seems to have a clinical eye on the needs of her clients that she could provide information right then and there. No wonder, she is the favorite of Neni Sta. Romana Cruz, writer and teacher, the historian, Ambeth Ocampo and Gaspar Vibal, the rare book collector and brainchild behind Filipiniana.Net.

I am riding the Servida bandwagon.

She gave me and my companions a guided and comprehensive tour of the library. Except for the vault, I now know the collection of the Lopez Museum like a friend. I saw how the staff digitizes the rare books and decade old periodicals. I had a better understanding of the process involved in conversion and preservation of rare books, periodicals and primary sources. She is full of life as she explained the history of every collection. At the end of the visit, she made me reailize that (the librarian) stereotypes will forever remain unless we make an effort to break free from it.

Mercy Servida, Filipino Librarian has proven that librarians do more than dust the shelves.


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ara said...

I've also had an opportunity to visit Lopez Museum and meet Ms. Servida. Her persona affirmed that it's fun and interesting to be a librarian. Her ideas are endless and her passion is contagious. Thanks for writing about her.

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