Saturday, December 31, 2011

SLIA: First Monthly Posts

In keeping with a blogging tradition, here are monthly first posts from December 2011 to January 2011, along with first lines from each post.

December 2011 - Reading List for Teens: Just today I finished putting together a list of recommended reads for teens.

November 2011 - Picture Book Month: Picture books are for all ages!

October 2011 - 19th Children's Month @ the NLP - Photos from the Opening Ceremonies of the 19th Children's Month at the National Library of the Philippines.

September 2011 KISS Bookreview - I have been reading.

August 2011 Books for My Birtrhday - August is my birthday month.

July 2011 Lolo Jose: Nagbabasa, Binabasa - It is July and the PBBY will spearhead the celebration of National Children's Book Day on 19 July 2011.

June 2011 Filipino Librarian: Jocelyn Ladlad - While in Baguio for a conference last month, I was billeted in a cottage located at Teachers Camp.

May 2011 Repairing and Restoring the Noli and the El Fili - The Germans! They are here!

April 2011 Tales From the 7,000 Isles Book Cover

March 2011 On the Wings of Literacy - Been riding on the wings of literacy the past few weeks and here are some pics to share with you!

February 2011 Loving Books and Libraries in the Time of ICT - January is done.

January 2011 The Games We Play: RPG Metanoia Movie Review - You know you've seen a good movie when you talk about it with great interest hours after having watched it.

Friday, December 30, 2011

On Libraries Going Digital

I am re-posting an opinionated comment by Rey Llenor on a post I did last 1 December 2010 on Reading as a RIGHT. I chose to respond but will wait for next year to post it up in the blog. For the meantime, read on and do comment if the spirit prompts you to!

Rey Llonor
Tuesday, December 27, 2011 12:43:00 AM

I love libraries as much as I love reading. But, library for me is not just an enclave of reading materials. More so, reading is no longer a monopoly of print materials. You can do the same reading sense with the use of modern gadgets.

For me, the primary function of a library is an information center. What if, you could get the information you need at the comfort of your home? Years ago, it's possible if you can afford to buy an Encyclopaedia Britannica worth thousands of pesos. I myself dreamed of having a set in our home. Unfortunately, we couldn't afford to have even the cheapest one (a segunda-mano). I believed I'm not the only one who grew up without an encyclopedia at home.

But, time has changed. When I was tasked to handle Britannica Online division here in the Philippines, I introduced the Britannica Online Virtual Library Card (vCard). In itself a complete library with five major Britannica references, 840 e-Journals and e-Magazines, over 6,500 eBooks and Original Source documents, over 6,800 downloadable videos and animations and more at price that even an ordinary labourer can afford to pay for his family use (actually it cost just the same a two McDonald's meals),

So who said that we need to have "functional libraries" when we can afford to have one with the vCard?

In fact, my advocacy is against print materials. Imagine if you are to give a piece of book in every Filipino student of 17 million, how many trees are you going to cut down to create papers? For every ton of paper, you need to cut down 17 trees! We're experiencing the impact of it with the flooding of our country.

I maybe wrong with this thinking for print materials. But let's face it, an iPad or Kindle could handle thousands of ebooks or digital references which could save thousands of trees against printed ones. God bless us all!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Maligayang Pasko!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Picture! Picture!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Quickie Reviews: Study Skills for Teens

The holiday season has been wicked! The blog's been sleeping for weeks. Here's a list of book reviews in brief. I have taken this from my list of recommended reads in the library. Hoping to blog more the coming days since school's out on Christmas break.

a. Your Guide to Effective Studying by Jenny King - King shares six steps to becoming a better student. She helps readers establish a focus at the start of the academic year -- setting goals and keeping track; following through and reflecting on progress, failures included. Time management, good nutrition and a stable support system are added to the list as strategies to keep in becoming a better learner.

b. Study Skills for the the International Baccalaureate by John Tomkinson - Comprehensive in scope and coverage, the readers will find the book useful in all aspect of studies under the IB umbrella. Tomkinson orients the student to imminent success and possible failure in academics. So he warns IB students: BEWARE! Surfing the web can be addictive. You may find yourself wasting valuable time following up irrelevant leads.

c. Study Skills in English by Michael Wallace - For teachers who teach university bound students and students who are SERIOUS at attending university, the book covers topics on reading varied academic texts; taking notes (yes, even with a laptop, this is an essential skill!); using library resources; taking part in discussions and managing time. Includes task assessment worksheets for teacher and student, assisting them in charting progress and otherwise.

Some websites worthy of your time on this topic --

For teachers and parents who wish to help and support their teenagers become independent learners, Kids Health discuss positive learning.

A document to download on tips and techniques on studying better.

We can teach our teens to think. We can teach them to study too!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Children and Climate Change

The 2nd Asian Children's Museum Conference drums up the issue of climate change and its effect on children.

From the website of Museo Pambata -- Feb 2 to 4, 2012 Join our 2nd Asian Children's Museum Conference! Global warming has many causes and only one solution: YOU! Join us as we bring speakers from all around the world to discuss how we and our children can help Mother Earth in the fight against climate change. Visit for more details. Early bird rates apply until December!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A PBBY Christmas!

Last night was PBBY's Christmas Party at Nina Lim-Yuson's place. She's been hosting the parties since forever. And though I did not stay on, missing the raffle, gift exchanges, the paella, I got a lot of teasing from friends in the industry.

I think that's what made PBBY last this long. And we're counting!

Friday, December 2, 2011

A Reading List for Teens

Just today I finished putting together a list of recommended reads for teens. It was fun! Here's what I culled out of the fiction collection -

Grade 9

1. The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing by MT Anderson
2. Names Will Never Hurt Me by Jaime Adoff
3. Psyche in a Dress by Frances Lia Block
4. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
5. Once Upon a Time: Belle by Cameron Dokey
6. Rumble Fish by SE Hinton
7. Turtle’s Paradise by Jennifer Holm
8. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin*
9. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
10. Slam! by Walter Dean Myers
11. Here Lies the Librarian by Richard Peck*
12. Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick
13. Quiver by Stephanie Spinner*
14. Quicksilver by Stephanie Spinner
15. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

And some more...

16. Firebirds: An anthology of original fantasy and science fiction edited by Sharyn November
17. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald
18. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
19. Beastly by Alex Flinn
20. Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Grade 10

1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee*
2. The Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus
3. Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Patterson*
4. A Solitary Blue by Cynthia Voigt
5. The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud
6. Koyal Dark, Mango Sweet by Kashmira Sheth
7. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
8. Howl’s Moving Castle by Dianne Wynne Jones*
9. Spacer and Rat by Margaret Bechard
10. Green Witch by Alice Hoffman
11. Crank by Ellen Hopkins
12. Speak by Laura Halse Anderson
13. Zorro by Isabel Allende*
14. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
15. Forever by Judy Blume

And some more...
16. Casa Azul by Laban Carrick Hill
17. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
18. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
19. Dr. Franklin’s Island by Ann Halam
20. Misery by Stephen KIng

Grade 11

1. Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata
2. Sula by Toni Morrison
3. Bel Canto by Ann Patchet*
4. The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie
5. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
6. Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel*
7. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemmingway
8. The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway*
9. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
10. Siddharta by Herman Hesse
11. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury*
12. Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
13. The Girl’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank
14. White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
15. 2001: A Space Oddysey by Arthur Clarke*

And some more...
16. A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar
17. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson Mc Cullers
18. Over a Thousand Hills I walk with You by Hanna Jansen
19. Atonement by Ian McEwan
20. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

* Personaly recommended by the the librarian.

The sixty titles were pulled out from the shelves and placed in a different shelf that is more visible to students, teachers and other members of the learning community. My basis for selecting the titles are curriculum, students' interests as observed from their information behaviors and a general knowledge of the teens' developmental stage. While it's been fun preparing this, what excites me more is the feedback the library will be getting from its intended reader. If it works, then it can be carried on. If not, rethink and set new strategies for teens to continuously read.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The 2nd National Children's Book Award Best Reads for 2012 Rules

The National Book Development Board and the Philippine Board on Books for Young People present the 2nd National Children's Book Award Best Reads for 2012 Rules

Children’s Book, Definition 

A printed and bound volume that explicitly states it is for children and/or young people, hereby understood to refer to those falling within the ages 0-19 years. These include works like fiction (e.g. storybooks, young adult novels, fantasy, science fiction), non-fiction (e.g. poetry, biographies/autobiographies, developmental books, reference books, board books, bath books, pop-up books, how-to books, etc.), picture books (wordless or otherwise), graphic novels or comic books expressly labeled for children. At this time, the awards do not cover electronic books or textbooks.

Eligible Book

A book is eligible to be nominated and considered for the NCBA if it is:

a. Published in the Philippines with a corresponding International Standard Book Number (ISBN) by an NBDB-registered publisher within the two (2) years preceding the year of selection (e.g. if the year of selection is 2020, then an eligible book must have been published in 2018 or 2019). This year, books published in 2010 and 2011 will be accepted;

b. Authored by a Filipino citizen;

c. Written in Filipino, English or any other Philippine language specifically included by the PBBY and the NBDB for a specific year;

d. Released to the public in the eligible year as stated in 2 (a) hereof, proof of which shall be any of the following, proof of which shall be submitted with the nomination:

i. Delivery receipt/s to a bookstore, or a dealer/jobber, or any similar entity that has the ability to distribute books to the public;

ii. A donation to a school or library, which need not be formally accepted in an instrument by the beneficiary. It is enough that the donation is received, acknowledged and/or certified by the beneficiaries of said donation in writing;

iii. Distributed in book stores or entities that sell the book, including online distribution, proof of which should be provided;

iv. Produced/printed by a book facility/entity, as shown by a document that said book has been produced in quantities consistent with the act of publication. It is, however, understood, that the specific number of copies shall not be part of the criteria to determine the books to be selected for the Awards.


Anybody whether publisher, author or illustrator may nominate a book for the NCBA, as long as the person or entity is registered with the NBDB as a publisher, author or illustrator. The nomination form duly accomplished and signed by the nominating party shall serve as the official letter of nomination and shall be submitted to the NBDB at the address below together with the books, at one form per nominated title. The number of copies to be submitted for consideration will be based on the number of judges plus one copy each for NBDB and PBBY. This year, there being five (5) judges, the number of books to be submitted shall be seven (7).

The Executive Director
National Book Development Board
2/F National Printing Office Building
NIA Northside Road, Bgy. Pinyahan
Quezon City

Subject: The National Children’s Book Awards

After documenting the submissions, the NBDB shall submit nominated books directly to the members of the Board of Judges.

Selection of Awardees

a. The BoJ shall select a maximum of ten (10) titles from all the nominees, without any further ranking the titles, to be proclaimed as the recommended reading titles. The BoJ, on the other hand, is not obliged to select any minimum number of recommended titles, should it not find any nominee deserving of recommendation.

b. Each selected title shall be given a trophy during the NCBA awarding ceremonies. In addition, a citation shall be written by a member of the BoJ about each selection. This citation shall be read aloud during the awarding ceremonies.

Nomination forms can be downloaded from the NBDB ( HYPERLINK " and PBBY (" and PBBY ( websites. Deadline for submission of entries is on January 31, 2012.

The 2nd National Children's Book Awards

NBDB now accepts nominations to the 2nd National Children’s Book Award

The National Book Development Board (NBDB) is now accepting nominations to the 2nd National Children’s Book Award.

On July 2012, the National Book Development Board (NBDB) and the Philippine Board on Books for the Young (PBBY) will present the 2nd National Children’s Book Award, giving honor to the 10 best books for children and young adults published during the years 2010 and 2011.

All publishers, authors and illustrators are invited to submit their nominations. Deadline for submission of nominations is January 31, 2012. For the full copy of the rules and to download the nomination form, go to HYPERLINK ""

During the 1st National Children’s Book Awards held in 2010 six books were chosen as the Best Reads of 2010. From a total of 131 books nominated: Araw sa Palengke (Adarna House) written by May Tobias-Papa and illustrated by Isabel Roxas; Tuwing Sabado (Lampara Books) written by Russell Molina and illustrated by Sergio Bumatay III; Can We Live on Mars (Adarna House) written by Gidget Roceles-Jimenez and illustrated by Bru; Lub-Dub, Lub-Dub (Bookmark) written by Russell Molina and illustrated by Jomike Tejido; Tagu-Taguan (Tahanan Books) written and illustrated by Jomike Tejido; and Just Add Dirt (Adarna House) written by Becky Bravo and illustrated by Jason Moss.

Picture! Picture!

Librarians for Preschool & Primary Grades

I found this great link in the Scholastic website that is useful when introducing the work librarians do to younger children. It shows that librarians work with people and assists them in their use of books and the internet. Story time is given importance as well as the feedback which librarians need from readers and users of the library. It goes to show that readers services does not end at the circulation table.

Early on, children can be introduced to the roles that librarians play in the learning community. This would aid in strengthening their concept of books, reading and literacy and that, a librarian is in the middle acting as conduit, support agent and teacher. This builds up to developing a library culture in the long run.

Readers services is a marathon. Starting it young and following through the higher grades, moving up to high school and then college is a long haul. This is the essence of children's library services - to address their literacy and reading needs as early as possible.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mga Libro Lang Yan (Those are just books)

So here's how I got my copies of Tales From the 7,000 Isles.

I presented my parcel's receipt. Followed the line to the receiving area. Paid forty pesos and waited until the clerk brought the box out. One guy examined my parcel note.

Guy 1: Naka-adress sa school (Parcel note is addressed to the school).

Guy 2 examined the box. Looked at me and took the parcel note from Guy 1.

Guy 2: Ibigay mo na. Mga libro lang yan (Release the parcel. Those are just books).

I lifted my box of books and went out the post office happy that I didn't pay a big amount of tax but a bit dismissed at the clerk's reaction.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Library Designs to Die For


From John Williams, Australia

From Jennifer Nannery, 189- Washington Heights NY

From John Williams, Australia

Friday, November 18, 2011

Librarians as Online Content Curators

I have heard and read about curating online content late last year via blograrians who attended the annual American Library Association Conference. Another interesting topic discussed in the conference was that of transliteracy. That would be for another post. Plus, there's 21st Century Literacy to think and ponder on (though AASL - the Association of American School Libraries, has published a set of standards. In Manila, we are still struggling with Information Literacy and its application in library services and programs).

While curating online content may sound like a new invention for the librarian, it is very much similar with organizing information, a task librarians are so adept at. It is also another way of archiving.

Over the past few weeks, I've been exploring curating online content and it is not only done by librarians. Then again, since the likes of us are in the business of information service, I find it relevant to learn more about online curating. For starters, Librarienne has written about it. Karen Bonanno a librarian from Australia curates online. I am subscribed to her School Library Advocacy. What a way to be updated! Subscribing to her curated feeds is one of the many simple ways to grow professionally.

The New Zealand Library System has started a web curating tool. Scoop It! crawls the web for your online curating. Robin Good emphasizes the value and authority one can derive from online content curating. The tools and the-how-to-do-it tips are available online. As for me, I'm starting and experimenting on curating, applying the technology in library work.

Let's see where it will end up!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

PLAI Announcements

Thanks to David Cabanero, PLAI PRO, for sending these useful links! Now that the PLAI Congress is just around the corner, it would be great if we could all pitch in, lend a hand a do our bit to spread the news.

To download the National Book Week Poster, please open this: NBW Poster

For the PLAI Congress 2011 invitation, please download from this: PLAI Congress invite

For the PLAI Congress 2011 program, please download this: PLAI Congress Program

All interested librarians who would like to attend the "Librarians Day, please check this: Librarian's Day

To join the PLAI Facebook, this is the FB site:PLAI Facebook Site

To be updated with the PLAI activities, check this out: PLAI Blog

To know more about PLAI, please visit us at: PLAI Website

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Under-used School Library

This is a response from Coralie Clark's article on the under-used school library in the International Baccalaureate Program. Written in 1995, it is a prophetic article that has great relevance in this day and age. Thanks to Stacey Taylor for the link!

Librarians face many challenges and concerns as technology changes and the learning landscape spurs many and varied pedagogical paradigms. Flexibility, competent communication skills and creative management strategies are required of the librarian. Thus, continuing professional growth is necessary to adapt, survive and thrive in the profession. Relevant to this is the formulation of action research or evidence based practice in the library.

Some evidences that a librarian can use are the following:

a. Circulation statistic and report. This would generate information on the profile of readers and their information behavior which could later indicate strong and weak areas in the collection.

b. Teacher and school librarian partnerships. Such collaborations must be documented, reflected upon, evaluated and become sources of theory development that will further enrich the practice of the profession. The participation of teachers in the selection and acquisition of library resources is one partnership that carry strong evidence that libraries are well utilised.

c. Identified library services that answer Independent research, reading and use of library resources. What library services, traditional or Web 2.0, answer the information needs and behavior of students, teachers and the learning community at large?

d. Community related activities. Other than internal library functions, there should also be opportunities for the librarian to join consortiums and forge interlibrary loan conditions with libraries in the community.

A saying from the olden days, no man is an island, is so befitting for this generation's librarian.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Information Literacy Workshop by PASLI

From the Philippine Association of School Librarians (PASLI) --

The Philippine Association of School Librarians, Inc.(PASLI) is
inviting you to the seminar-workshop on ‘Developing and Teaching
Information Literacy in School Library Media Centers’ on January 27,
2012 from 7:00am to 3:00pm at the Information Resource Center of C&E
Publishing, Inc. located at 839 EDSA South Triangle, Quezon City. A
benchmarking visit to a nearby Film Archives is being arranged for the
3:00pm to 5:00pm slot.

The seminar-workshop aims to help school librarians, media specialists
and personnel working in both public and private school libraries to:

1. Upgrade the information skills of school librarians and media
2. Gain more relevant and meaningful strategies in teaching
information literacy to the school-age children of the 21st century.
3. Find and use creative ways of handling/presenting information
sources to their school LMC users.

Resource speakers in the seminar-workshop are Mr. David Birchenall,
the Director of Media Services of the International School-Manila and
Mr. Marion Jude Gorospe, the Library Media Center Supervisor of Miriam
College High School. Mr. Birchenall will give a presentation on the
theme: Developing Information Literacy Skills for School Librarians.
Mr. Gorospe will facilitate a workshop on the theme: Teaching
Information Literacy to School-Age Children.

Registration fee of Php 700.00 per participant will cover expenses for
seminar kit, certificate, 2 snacks and lunch and other administrative
expenses. Only sixty (60) participants may be accommodated in the
venue. Reservation is required to ensure a slot.

For more information and reservation, please contact Ms. Gemma Cuña of
Claret School of Quezon City [(02)921-6587 local 230/0917-5832568] or
Mr. Marion Jude Gorospe of Miriam College High School [(02)580-5401
local 3184/0918-5679308 ; Or, visit the website:
for more information and online reservation.

Thank you. Hope to see you in the seminar-workshop.

Sincerely Yours,

Ms. Marie Joie Lobo
Vice President, PASLI 2011-2013

Mr. Marion Jude Gorospe
President, PASLI 2011-2013

Friday, November 4, 2011

Librarian On Air

I will be guesting on radio on November 9 2011 at the program LibRadio, DZUP 1602. The show starts at 12 noon and will run for about an hour. The program is in coordination with the UP School of Library and Information Science. It's on its second season now and counting.

I will be interviewed about children's library services particularly so the long weekend will allow me to prepare for this. It's also a good chance to promote Tales From the 7,000 Isles.

Thanks to Madame Elvira Lapus for sending in the invite and Ms. Yani Ramos for the guide questions.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Graphic Novel Review: Beast

After reading a retelling of the classic Beauty and the Beast early this year, I was skeptical to pick up Marian Churchland's Beast, her first original graphic novel. Not another retelling please, so I told myself. Surprise! It was far from the classic folktale, but it was strangely familiar.

Beast by Marian Churchland

I think that did the trick - the familiar is mixed with the new and the modern.

Collette, a young sculptor was commissioned by a mysterious benefactor to carve from stone, the most precious marble, an image of the man who asked her to do the project. Collette found herself drawn to his story of love and loss that happened centuries ago.

The story is indeed shrouded in mystery. I had to suspend my disbelief and consider its genre to be truly convinced that reason is not the reading stance I need to take to appreciate the material. It is in fact, very emo, as my fourteen year old son told me. He enjoyed the graphic novel so easily relating to the lost love and unrequited affections of the Beast to his object of desire. Who needs logic when one speaks of love lost transcending time and space? Like Collette, I struggled with reality blurring with the mysterious.

Thanks to its fantastic illustrations of black and white and sepia. It is elegantly done. The gothic feel of the material is present from start to finish.

Three and half bookmarks over five.

School Library Display: Graphic Novels and Art Books Corner

One way to get teens reading -- book displays!

Having set up two shelves of graphic novels and art books increased readership and book circulation. Will make this a regular fixture in the library.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Back to Back Graphic Novels Review

I am back to blogging. The flu hit me hard over the past week and, following my doctor's advice, I took time to rest. Gave me so much to think about -- my health, nutrition and growing old. Enough said, here's a series of graphic novels review I promised posted in the blog for Teen Read Week 2011.

Brain Camp by Susan Kim, Laurence Klavan, Faith Erin Hicks

Camp Fielding is the ideal camp for teens whose parents wish them to become perfect. It's where smart kids go and those who are underachievers turn up clever and academically superior. Jenna and Lucas, belonging to the later, were sent to Camp Fielding to be reformed. Turns out that teens in Camp Fielding transform due to an out of this world experiment.

The storytelling is exciting and fast paced. Definitely, the characters are average teens many young adult readers can relate to. The way they deal with the problem at hand is reflective of what any teenager would do. The development of the romance between Jenna and Lucas is expected. The illustrations, which are rendered in the style of cartoons with sharp lines and dark colors as background makes for a good companion to the adventure and gruesome climax and turn of events.

The downside, the camp director is the villain. The adults are apprentice to the evil and alien experiment done on the teens.

Three book marks over five.

Smile by Raina Telgemeier
An autobiography of Raina Telgemeier about teeth, braces, dental drama and growing up. From middle grades to high school, Raina tells of her journey to self acceptance and self identity. Amazing how such a profound inner discovery could begin with a pair of broken teeth. The author-illustrator sure knows her young adult material that writing on a first hand experience could be so sincerely done! Great illustrations as well following the traditional comic book style of Archie.

I'm recommending the graphic novel for bibliotherapy. Four bookmarks out of five.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Ebook Issues

It has come to this.

Developing a virtual and digital collection in a library is inevitable. The resurrected ebook sensation of 2010 swept the country with fear, doubt, anxiety and to tech savvy creatures and marketing mavens, excitement. It's a highway to big earnings for those who produce the technology but for librarians, it is another road towards change. And change must be managed before adopting and adapting the (not so new) ideas and paradigms. After all, the more things change, the more they remain the same.

Be careful. Be cautious. Be humble.

The rise of the ereaders and ebooks poses many challenges and considerations to the libraian: budget, technology, collection development policy, technology, and behavior and needs of information consumers and creators. Like in any initiative or project, administrative support is necessary for the project to fly. Consider continuous professional growth as well. Having said these, a librarian must assess and study his/her environment and the requirements of installing ereaders and providing an ebook collection in the library.

Below are library blogs that discuss the management, limitations, advantages and benefits of ebooks.

School Libraries, RIP? The debate begins... Mark Steed writes, The more I think about it, the more I find myself questioning why we are still spending money on books and on the School library.

Ebook Management for SchoolKerrie Smith provides a scenario of how schools manage their ebook collection from an Australian experience.

The Librarian In Black vents out -- I care about digital content in libraries. And I am about to lose my cool in a big way. No more patience, no more waiting for advocacy groups to do their work, and certainly no more trusting vendors to negotiate good deals for us with the publishers. I am angry, I am informed, and I am ready to fight. Read the fill article on the Library ebook Revolution

Meredith Farkas on Information Wants To Be Free, enjoys using her Kindle but expresses some concerns for ereaders and ebooks use in the library.

If there's one thing we need to do to start taming our own ebook issues, it is that we have to know how others have begun and then, examining our own library context, see how we can do it. Call it a feasibility study. Ebooks are cool. Ereaders are great. But the wise know better.

Graphic Novel Review: Ghostopolis

I'm under the weather. Still nursing a flu but the virus does not stop me from blogging. Here's my brief review on Ghostopolis by Doug Tennapel.

What is your image of God?

For creatures in Ghostopolis, God, or rather Jesus, is twelve feet tall, black and dressed in aviator attire. He built Ghostopolis for the dead, ghouls and ghosts, mummies and zombies, spectres and wil-o-the-wisp, skeletons and spirits. Lost souls who wandered accidentally or by choice in Ghostopolis are led by Joe, aided by the Skeleton King, to the "light".

This is not what Ghostopolis is about, but partly so.

It begins with Garth, a young boy whose incurable disease rendered him hopeless. Frank Gallows, a ghost hunter who sends the dead and the like back to Ghostopolis accidentally brought him there. Thanks to Claire Voyant, Frank had a chance at love and redemption. Garth is the hero of the day defeating the evil Vaugner from his rule of Ghostopolis.

What worked
The storyline is interesting and the way Tennapel weaved the plot to a climax is engaging. It's a story of hope, love and faith so its feel good ending is just right. I like the idea of a place for the dead and "creatures of the night". My imagination prompted me to believe this. Yes, a suspension of disbelief! There must be a place for the dead and creatures of Halloween. And souls who need to see the light are guided towards it. Thus, the sub plot of Joe is inserted. Garth is the chosen one and evil is vanquished.

There is also enough humor to go around. The illustrations helped visually in explaining the back stories of each character.

What did not work
There are some loop holes along the way. For example, Garth seeing his son, old and gray before leaving Ghostopolis needed further seeding earlier on. What made him saw his son? Is this a gift or reward for him? An assurance that his disease will be cured? That he will live to grow up and raise a family? These are some questions left unanswered.

I did not get that part. Perhaps, I should reread the graphic novel. Three bookmarks over five.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

When The Search is Sweet

Trawling the web these days, I have discovered some valuable search engines and websites for school librarians. I still love Google and my loyalty remains but searching for meaning in the big wide online world can derail and way lay even the most focused reader. So, I'm sharing what I found. I'm still exploring the online resources and search engines myself and it's been fun.

Sweet Search is a search engine for students. It claims that -- Every Web site in SweetSearch has been evaluated by our research experts. I've installed it my browser. It has categorized search engines for emergent learners, Social studies teachers and educators in general. Finding Dulcinea the Librarian of the Internet has web guides on a variety of subject areas, from art and entertainment to travel. It also has a neat web list of articles on world events.

And then there's School Library Advocacy that brings together news, articles, blogs and events on school library advocacy. Curated by Karen Bonano, School Library Advocacy has a lot to offer the school librarian who aims to know what's out there in the web.

With these Web 2.0 apps, one has to think smart to use the technology responsibly.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Graphic Novel Review: Zeus King of the Gods

For the next seven days, I will be posting reviews of graphic novels I've read so far. This is in congruence to the celebration of Teen Read Week. This year's theme is Reading for the FUN of it: Picture It @ your library. In the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) website, you would find support materials, neat ideas and promotional resources in celebrating Teen Read Week in your library.

So here's the blog's first graphic novel review. One down, seven more to go!

The Olympians: Zeus King of the Gods by George O'Connor

I was in fifth grade when I read about the creation of the world according to the Greeks. It was a strange story. My context was too limited to fully appreciate Gaea's love for her children and Chronus' abominable hate for his off springs. Then came Edith Hamilton in freshman college. Everything changed from there. Visiting Greece is an item in my bucket list I wish to cross out soon. For the meantime, I just have to satisfy myself with reading and viewing anything Greek in books, travelogues and documentaries.

Recently, I came upon George O'Connor's graphic novel, The Olympians: Zeus King of the Gods. The cover design is fierce. The image of a young Zeus holding his thunder amidst Titans and Cylopses promises an exciting read.

And it was, indeed!

O'Connor's visual storytelling, mixing shadows, clouds and a lot of indigo at the start of the novel creates intrigue. Chronus is up to no good. Gaea has her own sneaky ways of dealing with things. No wonder, the Olympians are complicated creatures. The Titans, Cyclopses and monsters seem to represent the natural catastrophes that beset the natural order of the universe. His illustrations at the opening pages suggest more than the story between Gaea and Chronus but the very process in which the physical world changes and continues to evolve.

Then came Zeus who looks, walks and talks very much like any mortal. He looks every inch a man, yet powerful and cunning. With his siblings, they fought and defeated Chronus, the evil father who took control of time and space. I like this rendition. The early Olympians working together to claim their place in the universe is a fresh depiction of the soap operatic way they're presented in movies and TV shows.

I also enjoyed the part where Chronus spits out his off springs relegating each to a part of the world where the gods became master of that domain. Poseidon landing in the sea. Hades falling in the underworld. Demeter flying down to farm and field. Zeus catching Hera from the skies. It was attraction at first sight. But we who are familiar with the Greek myths know that Hera had a tough time taming the King of the Gods.

I'm giving the graphic novel four bookmarks over five. The illustrations are well thought of. It bridged my imagination to constructs of the real and the physical world. The narration and storytelling are done with enough drama, emotion, promises of wonderful stories left untold. I want to get a copy of the other titles in the series.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Twittering Librarian

I have installed a Twitter app in the blog last year to widen the reach of my posts. While participating in an online workshop, I was given readings on the use of Web 2.0 tools for library services and programs. I thought of sharing this image on Getting to Know Twitter via the Bit Rebels.

Apart from this, tips and tools for using and integrating Web 2.0 in teaching is aplenty. Cybrary Man's Educational Websites has tons of educational hashtags to use. I still have to explore and use them myself. Emerging Edtech identifies the many ways to use Twitter in education.

I have a Twitter account, but I still yet to use the Web 2.0 app in my work. It's pretty exciting given the many ways it can be applied in the library. But, as always, ICT integration should be done in context. Oh! The many things and many ways of learning online!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The 1st Mae Astrid Tobias Writing Workshop

KUTING (Kwnetista ng mga Tsikiting) has been very busy the past weeks mentoring young children to become good writers. Here's the good news from fellow KUTING, Ime Morales.

The family of the late children's book writer Mae Astrid Tobias, in cooperation with KUTING, sponsored the 1st Mae Astrid Tobias Writing Workshop for Children. Chosen students from the UP Integrated School participated and were mentored by KUTING members Augie Rivera, MJ Tumamac, Joem Antonio, Sierra Mae Paraan, Liwliwa Malabed, Dang Bagas, Ime Morales, and Kuting president Lalaine Aquino. Astrid was a former president of KUTING and a graduate of UPIS.

Select photos from the workshop --

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Blog Posts on Information Literacy

A recent forum in an online workshop where I'm currently enrolled prompted me to go back to this blog's archives and cull out posts I've written about Information Literacy (IL).

This four-part post on IL is a paper I presented on a local seminar on IL by the Philippine Association of Teachers of Library and Information Science (PATLS) way back in 2006.

Information Literacy at the School Level

The Impetus for Information Literacy

Research on IL

IL in Philippine School Libraries

What follows are IL posts on actual library practice I've done through the years. Wow. It's a walk down memory lane, I tell you.

IL and the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm

IL for Grade 2 Pupils


IL Lesson Plan for Grade 6

Back in 2006, The Rizal Library at the Ateneo de Manila University hosted an IL Conference. Updates are linked here

With the Regional IASL Conference scheduled in April 2012 in Bacolod, IL is once again a topic for presentation and discussion. This should be exciting!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Book Order for Tales From the 7,000 Isles

Tales From the 7,000 Isles Filipino Folk Stories is already published!

It's available in the US and orders for the book can be made online. Visit ABC-CLIO's website for more information. In Manila, Scholastic Book Fairs Philippines shall be the official distributor. If you know a Scholastic Book agent, you may place advance orders from him/her.

I have been in touch with my friend and co-author, Dianne de Las Casas, brainstorming and planning for a possible launching of the book in Manila sometime next year. For the meantime, keep checking out the blog and my FB page for info on pre-launch activities and book parties.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Day Steve Jobs Died

My first encounter with an Apple computer was at the Curriculum Library of the "old" International School of Manila. This was around the early 80's. It was a cute looking monster. And expensive. So my mom told me. It's a MacIntosh, she said. It has a mouse.

A decade and some after, I was lent one and used the cute little monster for my word processing, desktop publishing, spreadsheet work in the library. I got to use the mouse. I loved the icons and the ease with which I could transfer files via drop and click.

After another decade, I got my first MacBook. For the next five years, it became an indispensable attachment. I wrote my first book in that Macbook; made my first podcast; constructed my first video and carried the sexy beast in all of my workshops, seminars, forums and talks. When I carelessly soaked the sexy beast in iced tea, I cried buckets. I blamed myself big time.

It took me months to buy a new one. It will take me months to buy accessories. One thing is for sure though, once a Mac user, always a Mac user. Steve Jobs' brilliant little gadget made me look tech savvy. It made me think smart. Using a Mac eliminated geeky-ness. It made things easy and less complicated. For this, I will always be thankful for Steve Jobs even though an Apple costs a fortune. It's worth it.

So when the overwhelming expression of grief inundated Twitter and Facebook on the day he died, it was proof that the man has reached the status of legend.

We ordinary people do not know what goes on behind those walls at Apple, but we who use its technology certainly know the benefits of owning a MacBook, an Ipod, an iPad, an iPhone. And the fantastic thing about it is that Steve Jobs, knew what to do with the time he's been given upon his return to Apple. Cancer did not stop him from pushing the limits of imagination and creativity. More than the gadget, it his drive and enigmatic personal life that is making him larger than life.

Thanks again Steve! You left us with Apple. That's cool. You also showed us how to live life to the fullest. That's awesome!

Photo sources:
Apple logo with SJ's silhouette -
The tribute logo created by 19-year-old Jonathan Mak Long swept the Web this week. He told Yahoo! about his inspiration: "With Jobs gone, Apple is literally missing a piece."

Steve Jobs on the cover of Time -

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Here's looking at you, Steve!

Offer a prayer. A minute of silence. A toast or two.

Notes on the 19th Children's Month Opening Ceremonies @ NLP

I have to admit that when I got the invitation from the National Library of the Philippines to do a lecture on storytelling for Children's Month, I was pleasantly surprised. I did not know that Children's Month is celebrated in the Philippines. Here is a press release sent to me by Ms. Dolores Carangui on Children's Month.

National Children’s Month has been celebrated every October since 1993, pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 267 issued by then President Fidel Valdez Ramos. The Proclamation was issued in line with Article II, Section 13, of the Constitution that
emphasizes the importance of the role of the child in the Filipino family and in nation-building. The Constitution further affirms the vital role of the youth and declares that the state shall promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well-being and inculcate in them patriotism and nationalism.

The annual observance of National Children’s Month is led by the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC), a government agency mandated to promote the welfare and development of children in the country.

The initiatives undertaken all year which escalate during the annual celebration of National Children’s Month are meant to fulfill the CWC’s mission to ensure protection of children against all forms of abuse and exploitation, defend children’s rights, and ensure that they are given priority attention on all levels both by government and civil society.

This year’s theme is: “Local Council for the Protection of Childen para sa Bright Child : Pakilusin, Palakasin, Pagtulungan Natin!

When Dir. Antonio Santos delivered his opening remarks, he was so proud to inform everyone that the NLP is spearheading its celebration this year. He was happy to share the literacy development initiatives of the NLP and the many organizations involved in this. It would but seem fitting that such organizations collaborate to empower the child. Dir. Santos made mention of the National Children's Book Day celebration by the PBBY every July and how, the NLP extends this in the regions.

It was definitely good news to my ears when he told guests and friends present in the opening ceremonies last Monday 3 October, of NLP's trip to Davao and the public library there. They launched literacy activities there last July in conjunction with National Children's Book Day. The National Commission for Library and Information Science has launched once more the search for the best public library with a strong children's library services. Such wonderful news indeed!

I would surely keep myself posted on these literacy initiatives. Congratulations and more power to the NLP!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

On Learning Disabilities

October 7 – 8, 2011
College of Education Training Center

Learning disability (LD) is a condition where a person (across ages) has difficulty in learning academic tasks in spite of an average or better mental ability. Persons with LD have deficits that slow down higher cognitive processes and result in specific learning problems in particular academic areas. The LD persons can be helped to develop to their maximum potential using specific teaching methods and strategies under conditions of the zone of proximal development.

Understanding and working with persons with LD are still at infancy in the Philippine Educational system. There is a need to help teachers from elementary, secondary and even tertiary levels in understanding LD and learning strategies to help them fulfill their potential.

General Objective
To deepen teachers, guidance counsellors, parents and tutors’ understanding of learning disabilities, how these impede academic performance and to develop teaching strategies in helping these learners

Specific Objectives
At the end of the two day seminar-workshop, the participants shall have:

• understood different kinds of learners, their abilities and learning styles;
• identified impediments to learning;
• learned strategies in teaching different kinds of learners; and
• developed appropriate materials to assist in their learning

Speakers include Dr. Letticia Penano-Ho, Clinical Psychologist; Dr. Randy Pe Benito, Neurologist; Prof. Portia Padilla, Reading Specialist; Celani Trajano and Michelle Agas, Reading Clinicians.

For inquiries call Sarah Labrador @ 7242038 or send SMS to 09398178594.

It's World Teacher's Day

For the teachers who taught me that I can find my own voice, this one is for you!

Happy Teacher's Day!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Bloom's Digital Taxonomy

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Author: Samantha Penney,

Monday, October 3, 2011

19th Children's Month @ the National Library of the Philippines

Photos from the Opening Ceremonies of the 19th Children's Month at the National Library of the Philippines. More details in the next blog posts.

The ribbon that opened to the exhibit of an ideal children's library/reading center set-up.

The program for this morning's activities. I cut the ribbon alongside CLAPI (Children's Literature Association of the Philippines) President, Ms. Emi Villanueva.

Trap banners that highlight the event and celebration of the 19th Children's Month.

The strategy used by NLP to drum up the event's theme is storytelling as a means to strengthen and empower the child.

Congratulations to Dir. Antonio Santos and librarians and staff of the NLP!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Author of the Month: Yeng Remulla

Yeng Remulla, Pinoy entrepreneur and book author of Productive Pinoy, is the blog's author of the month. Remulla writes with humor and wit. Extracting real life experiences as a young entrepreneur, he shares life lessons gained along the tough path of building and sustaining a business. What I like about his book is the way he tells these real life experiences in bits of stories, like vignettes that pinches the heart and punches the gut. In the end, Remulla puts family on top of the list and how important it is to take care of one's well being. Indeed, one can only share what he's got. At the end of the day, it's not work or career who would warp its arms around you.

Read on Remulla's back story in writing Productive Pinoy.

What inspired or motivated you to write Productive Pinoy?
It's a compilation of what I've learned throughout the years. I became a dad at 19. I didn't know how to raise a family. All I knew was the typical advice you'd usually get, 'Study hard and work hard'.

At that time, I also started a business. I experienced it first hand how difficult it was to run a business and at the same time raise a family. I wanted to do my work remarkably well, but I also wanted to go home to my family still smiling.

I learned it the hard way.

Now, the reason why I wrote this book, is that I believe, many Pinoys are in the same dilemma. They want to excel in what they do, but at the same time, they don't want 'WORK' to suck the life out of them!

Can you describe your creative process in writing the book
It's a combination of discipline and inspiration.

1. Inspiration

a. I asked myself the following questions:

"How can I help my Kababayans change for the better?"
"How can I inspire change without putting the reader down?"
"How can I help them find the work their gifted to do?"
"What are negative mindsets that needs to be flipped into positive ones"

b. I used my day-to-day experiences to trigger ideas.
– Waiting for someone late
– Financial behaviors of some people I know
– "Takaw Mata"
– "Freepuchino"

2. Discipline

a. I sat down and wrote at least one page a day – with or without inspiration. I basically wrote the book while in Starbucks or Seatle's Best.

b. I realized that writing is editing. I didn't stop rewriting until I got the exact words or phrases that will make the ideas clear.

c. I asked my friends to read my work before I published it, they gave me their 'honest' opinions, and revised from there.

d. I asked my editor to comment and point out areas of my writing that needs improvement. That took a lot of 'pride swallowing', but I trust my editor.

Where do you go from here -- after Productive Pinoy?
There's another book that I'm currently writing. It's the continuation – It's designed to help Pinoys start and finish the work their good at. But for today, my goal is to be able to spread out the ideas written on the book.

We are searching for ways and looking for partners who will help us give away the book to our fellow Pinoys in need of support.

Email Yeng Remulla at He blogs too at

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tales From the 7,000 Isles: Filipino Folk Stories

This greeted me in my FB account this morning. Apparently, author copies were sent to Dianne de Las Casas, my co-author in New Orleans, Louisiana. I await to get mine anytime soon.

Cover design by Bernadette Wolf. Photography by Yumi Pitargue. Published by Libraries Unlimited, an imprint of ABC-CLIO.

The photo is courtesy of Dianne de Las Casas, storyteller diva and fantabulous writer!

19th Children's Month

I'll be doing the lecture on 3 October. My topic is Effective Storytelling. See yoou there! And if you're a reader of the blog, don't be shy. Say Hi!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Librarian as Calendar Model

Dear me... I just have to post this!

Von Totanes just landed on a calendar, Men of the Stacks along with eleven male librarians or guys who work in the LIS profession! Von is calendar boy for June 2012. Ikaw na, Von!

See the full gallery here.

Some Blogging Success

Just a note to share with my readers.

This September, the blog has been presented with opportunities for growth and networking. Neal-Schuman sent a press release of a new book on 21st Century Literacy which found its way in the blog. Artspace of New Haven Connecticut has invited me to contribute in an online exhibit on personal libraries and top shelf reads. More on that in the coming months. Yeng Remulla, writer of Productive Pinoy has sent me a copy of his book for review. I am reading it at the moment and, of course, will blog about it before the month ends.

Lastly, the blog got another paid link ad. Check the Network and Connection feature at the left and there you'll find the link!

Some indicators of blogging success. I'm one little happy blograrian these days!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Adarna House, the country's leading publisher of Filipino and bilingual picture books and storybooks for children introduced Wikahon to the public last 14 September 2011 during the five long Manila International Book Fair. Wikahon is a conjoined word in Filipino. Wika, meaning language and kahon, meaning box. As the name implies, the kit contains books and activity sheets arranged in reading levels in one box. The kit is a learning module designed for students in the grade school to learn language competencies in Filipino.

The whole concept reminds me of the SRA of old. This time though, reading assessment is done through the aid of a software or, in today's tech lingo, apps. The result of the assessment would assist teachers in placing the students reading level in Filipino. From there, intervention is applied to better improve or reinforce skills. More than anything else, Wikahon is one answer to the many problems that has befallen Filipino language learning in the country.

For details and queries, contact Adarna House via these numbers: Office Address

Scout Torillo corner Scout Fernandez Streets, Barangay Sacred Heart, Quezon City 1103 Philippines

Trunkline: (632) 352-6765
Fax: (632) 352-6765 local 125

Email Address:

Monday, September 26, 2011

Picture! Picture!

L-R Jolad of DLSU-Taft, Peachy Limpin Balikbayan from Aussie, Igor Cabbab Dean of SLIS UP Diliman, and Zarah Gagatiga Blograrian

Friday, September 23, 2011

Tales from the 7,000 Isles

It's in ABC-CLIO's catalog along with a feature on Dianne de las Casas' marvelous work in storytelling and training librarians in the art and craft of tale telling.

Excited to get copies of the book!
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