Thursday, June 30, 2011

Picture! Picture!

Special thanks to Estan Cabigas for the picture.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I still have to use the e-reader tablet given to me by Charles Tan last March 2011. Thanks to the Bibliophile Stalker! If ever the gadget gets its baptism of fire, it has to be from JK Rowling.

She's launching Pottermore on the 31st of July. Harry Potter goes digital!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Dear Librarian: Reply to Continuing Porfessional Education

Dmarco, blogger and school librarian from De La Salle Zobel lends advise and tips for Ms. Angelic Bautista who wrote me about Continuing Professional Education a few weeks back. My additional two-cents will follow.

Dear Ms. Angelic Bautista,

Good day!

As a colleague in the field of school librarianship, honestly, I believe that we are short of trainings and workshops geared towards the development of our field. On a lighter note, the range of our field is broad, it is not limited to school librarianship per se.

As a practice, we in De La Salle Zobel, try to attend different fora, workshops and trainings geared not only in the development of school librarianship but of the field of library and information science, at large.

While I may not be able to suggest and recommend to you particular and specific upcoming trainings and workshops, may I suggest that you join the mailing list or Yahoo groups of the following:

-- Philippine Association of School Librarians, Inc. (PASLI)
-- Philippine Association of Academic and Research Librarians, Inc. (PAARL)
-- PLAI - National Capital Region (PLAI-NCR)
-- PLAI - Southern Tagalog Regional Librarians Council (PLAI-STRLC)
-- Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY)
-- Children's Literature Association of the Philippines

The good thing about these mailing lists and websites is that these professional groups try to update their members and other colleagues in the profession of the latest and upcoming events, e.g. trainings, workshops, ect., which most of the time are open for all to attend (charges and fees apply, of course).

Another venue where you could find upcoming events is through Alumni Associations of different LIS School like UP-LSAA, PNU-LISAA, etc. And even student-hosted activities of different LIS schools like UP FLIPP.

And lastly, you may also want to join different mailing groups of International LIS Organizations like International Association of School Librarianship (IASL) and Your School Library (YSL).

I hope that somehow, at the least, I was able to help you with your query. As I've said, we may not limit our vision to school librarianship per se because our field continues to grow and develop.



Monday, June 20, 2011

UP SLIS Conducts Intensive Review Course

From my inbox --

The UP School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS) announces the offering of two review classes for librarians who will take the licensure examination to be given on November 23 and 24. The review program will be held for 12 Sundays from August 14 to October 30 at SLIS in UP Diliman.

An Intensive Review Course will also be offered for from October 17 to 28 at the same venue.

The reviewers are teachers of library and information studies and practicing librarians from academic, public, special and school libraries, who are experts in their respective fields.

Interested parties are requested to make their reservations early because the number of reviewees to be accepted is limited to 90. They will be accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Registration fee is P3,700 excluding food.

For more information, please call 981-8500 local 2869 to 2871 or e-mail,, and

Friday, June 17, 2011

The 2011 Salem Blog Awards

Peter Tobey of Salem Press sent in news of winners of the 2011 Salem Library Blog Awards. There are seven library blog categories: General Interest Blogs, Academic, Public, School, Commercial, Quirky, and Local Library. I made it to the final lists last year and SLIA is already included in the blog directory. It's amazing how librarians are able to use and harness blogs as viable tools for learning and collaboration, resource sharing and co-creation of information.

There are so many good ones to read and include in the blog roll! I just might sit on this one day and add them in SLIA's list of blogs. For now, The Unquiet Librarian and Joyce Valenza's NeverEndingSearc are in my bookmark. Oh! What would I give to meet Joyce Valenza in person? Or maybe online?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Librarian @ the Bank

In a recent trip to the bank, the teller asked me for two valid IDs so she can verify the transactions I am requesting for. One of the two IDs I presented was my librarian's PRC license. The teller went through the motions and handed me back my IDs but with a commet that went like this --

Teller: Madame, meron din palang board exam ang mga librarians. (Madame, I didn't know librarians have licensure exams.)

Me: Oo. Required by law. (Oh yes as requied by law.)

Teller: Bakit kelangan pang may license? (Why is a license essential?)

For the first time in my life, I was asked a beauty queen question.

Me: Ang trabaho kase ng librarian multi-faceted. Merong teaching at educational functions; creation and communicaion of information; at knowledge management. Sa global and IT driven economy, yung talong yun ang importante - education, information and knowledge. Dun umiikot ang work namin. (The work of a librarian is multi-faceted. We are involved in teaching and education; creation and communication of infomation; and knowledge management. In a global and IT driven economy, these three things are important - education, information and knowledge. That's where our expertise is required.)

Teller: Anong college or univeristy ba na ang nag-ooffer ng course na yan? (Is there a university offering that course?)

Me: Oo. Sa UP, PNU, UST. Meron pa nga a San Carlos University sa Visayas at Mindanao State University sa Mindanao (Yes. The course is offered in UP, PNU, UST. San Carlos University in Visayas and Mindanao State University in Mindanao.)

Teller: Ah...talaga, madame. (Really, madame.)

I nodded and she handed me my transaction reciepts. What a day it was!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Philippines' National Hero Jose Rizal @ 150

Rizal is a hundred and fifty years (150) old on 19th June 2011.

The National Library of the Philippines has scheduled a month long cebration of his sesquicentenary that began last May 2011 when the German conservators worked on minor restorations on the El Fili, Noli, Mi Ultimo Adios and retellings of William Tell. There are exhibits of the restored documents, film viewing sessions ans storytelling for children on Rizaliana for the young.

The Cultural Center of the Philippines(CCP) has scheduled shows as well that highlight Jose Rizal's life, love and works. Check the website fo details. The National Library and the CCP are institutional members of the PBBY.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Library Edutainment : An Echo

Sometime in May 2011, Belle De la Cruz of Lipa College, Batangas City sent an email asking for the PowerPoint presentation I used during the PAARL Library Tourism Conference on Library Edutainment. She needed the material for her echo seminar.

It turned out that she did not get a copy and the presentation was not uploaded in Slideshare. What I did was to refer her to an old blogpost that shows how the Arizona State University came up with The Library Channel. On top of that, I sent Belle bullet points of my lecture since my presentation is still in the soaked MacBook.

So here are the points I gave Belle (off the top of my head) --

*Edutainment and Infotainment is coined from education and entertainment / information and entertainment.

*This is used by advertisers and marketing people to sell the "educative" and "knowledge" value of their products.

*The library can use edutainment for the same purpose given that the library has products that can be sold to a specific market or audience.

*Edutainment should therefore be used with caution by librarians and library practitioners.

*Planning should take place before it's implementation. Areas to consider when planning for edutainment - manpower and human resource (who can do the job? who are capable to create audio-video presentations, brochures, o websites, blogs, etc), available technology, content and products to promote and sell, links and network or collaborrative partners, BUDGET, administrative support and intended market.

*Undergo feasibility studies, focus group discussions and trial sessions.

* Library assesment and evaluation is essential as well. This will help librarians identify areas to promote via library edutainment.

*Feedback is important - remember edutainment involves communication so it is a process of receiving and getting and the four basic communication art skills - listening, speaking, writing and reading

* UP LibRadio is a good example of library edutainment. De La Salle Dasmarinas also has a library radio program broadcast in Dasmarinas, Cavite.

It would be great to hear news from Belle and the echo seminar she did with her colleagues.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Dear Librarian: Continuing Professional Education Activities

This is the first Dear Librarian post for 2011 coming from Ms. Angelic Bautisa of the Marist School, Marikina City. Here is her query--

Dear Ms. Zarah --
I am a school librarian, currently connected with Marist School-Marikina. Please advice me if there are upcoming events e.i., workshops/conferences regarding librarianship especially in a school library set up. I am very interested in participating. Thanks a lot! God bless

Will be sending her a reply this week so keep visiting the blog. I will also post two more librarian querries this month from the workshops I did last summer.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Young Adult Fiction Today

An article published on the Wall Street Journal has caused a stir in the YA industry. Read the full article by Megan Cox Gurdon commenting on the darkness and "emo" themed novels for teens that proliferate the market today. On top of all the gothic and dark materials for today's teens, violence is another theme or topic that seems to dominate the produce of YA literature.

This is in the context of foreign titles published in the US but local teens, especially those living in middle class and higher middle class Manila have access to such.

My two cents worth -- Go to the library, parents! Speak to your librarian for books you want your teenager to read. If not the school librarian, go to the teacher, guidance counselor, school principal, head of school , etc. Better yet, be a reader of the books your teenager may be reading. Engage book in talks and book discussions. Help teens develop their own discriminating taste on books and reading materials.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Live Blogging: SCBWI-CCP Conference - Enchantment vs. Realism

At lunch break, I gathered up my courage to introduce myself to Steve Mooser. He was impressed when I told him that Dianne de Las Casas and I are working on a collaborative book project on Filipino Folktales. His eyes lit up and he smiled. He said, "Well, look at that! That's what SCBWI is all about -- writers meeting together and giving support to one another to create books and stories!"

Steve Mooser with KUTING friends -( L-R) Kinchay Villafranca, Lalaine Aquino, Steve Mooser, Zarah Gagatiga, Heidi Abad and Bong Oris
I proudly told him about the local organization of Filipino Children's Book writers, KUTING or Kwentista ng mga Tsikiting. He wanted to meet the members present at the conference so I led him to the KUTING table. We could not help but take pictures! So Pinoy! Even Steve put out his camera for a shot of the group.

Karina Bolasco is now speaking about enchantment and realism in Philippine Children's Books.

Live Blogging: SCBWI-CCP Conference - Steve Mooser Speaks!

Neni Sta. Romana-Cruz asked us to write some first liners for a future story. What I did was to go back to an old, unfinished story -- The Day the Book Doctor Died and see if I could continue it. After reading through the first part, I thought of following it up with this line -- Arnulfo the apprentice sat by the archway with his anxiety eating him away. Sounds promising?

Now where to get the time to finish the story? Sigh.

Steve Mooser, SCBWI President and founder of the Los Angeles chapter in the US, is on stage now telling stories of his childhood and his dreams; how he came about in the children's book industry; and some adventures thrown upon him by Destiny. It's pretty interesting listening to his experience.

Live Blogging: SCBWI-CCP Conference on Children's Book

The Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) is conducting a conference on Children's Book(s). Luminaries in Philippine Children's Literature are present! The whole day session is packed with reading, writing and lecture sessions by Neni Sta. Romana-Cruz, Karina Bolasco, Steve Mooser and Jomike Tejido.

The morning began with a booktalk session presided by SCBWI Officer, Beaulah Pedragosa Taguiwalo. There were a mixture of local and foreign titles talked about. It was great to hear writers speak of their favorite books. My book of choice was The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss. It's by an icon and presents an equalizing idea that feet may come in different shapes, sizes, colors and kinds. But, at the end of the day, what matters is that our feet --all feet, are meant for walking.

After the brief break, Neni Sta. Roman-Cruz started her session on current news and trends in Children's Book cum writing workshop. I like it that she presented all the National Children's Book Award winners. She is fantastic with all the books she presented and how it mirrors the state of the industry today.

We are now to begin the writing exercise!

Friday, June 3, 2011

History Comes Alive! Mukhang Pera

Have you ever noticed the edifices and faces that adorn our bank notes? Or you are too busy to even wonder why the Manungul Jar landed on the 1,000 peso bill? It's money used for spending and buying things so why bother, you might say. These bills tell stories and are very much a part of our cultural and historical consciousness. (Dear we have either?)

Prof. Ambeth Ocampo will unravel these stories in a lecture at the Ayala Museum on 25 June 2011. Details on the poster below an a press release of the lecture.

Following up on last year’s highly successful run, the History Comes Alive! with Dr. Ambeth Ocampo lecture series opens with “Mukhang Pera! Banknotes and Nation” on 25 June, 3 PM at the Ayala Museum lobby. 

“Banknotes are so common, we see and use them daily, but we rarely notice the pictures and text that are on them,” Prof. Ocampo explains. His upcoming lecture will answer why particular individuals are chosen (and, just as interestingly, not chosen) to have their busts printed on money. “Mukhang Pera” also explores how banknotes refer to Philippine history, re-present the nation and express identity.  

“After this lecture,” Dr. Ocampo adds, “you will never look at money the same way again.” Ambeth R. Ocampo is Chairman of the Department of History, Ateneo de Manila University and is a widely read columnist. He served as Chairman at the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (2002-2011) and concurrently Chairman at the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (2005-2007). 

Tickets are inclusive of lecture and museum admission fee, as well as a free book by Dr. Ocampo. For inquiries and reservations, call 757-7117 to 21 local 35 or email  

Ayala Museum, the country’s premiere museum of fine art and history and cultural destination, is located at Makati Avenue corner De la Rosa Street, Greenbelt Park, Makati City. For more information on this year’s History Comes Alive! line up of lectures, visit

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Digital Storytelling and Web 2.0: Feedback from Participant

It is encouraging to hear feedback, good and otherwise, from participants and organizers of  workshops and seminars I conduct. Some would send thank you messages. Others would ask for copies of my presentations. I am very much willing to share, of course, but with the request that they cite their sources and pursue further readings or studies on the matter.

One participant, Reech Ruiz of Statesfield School Cavite, sent in her insight gathered from the Digital Storytelling workshop I conducted with Phoenix Educational Systems. She says --

I have learned that librarians...evolve, in terms of  purpose in shaping the minds of the learners. It’s no longer sticking to... traditional role that is limited to provide the services to the clientele. It’s like coming out of the shell just like my personal experience. Nowadays, librarians in a functional library can perform multitasking to the extent of having a modular teaching of Information Literacy Program to the grade school and high school as part of the school’s curriculum. And having that workshop in outsourcing the use of digital facilities as aid in teaching, gave...another stack of knowledge that we may be able to alleviate our strategies in delivering our lesson and activity to the learners.

More power to you to empower Librarians like me.
Thanks Reech! May we see each other again in another learning venue.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Filipino Librarian: Jocelyn "Jo" Ladlad

While in Baguio for a conference last month, I was billeted in a cottage located at Teachers Camp. It was a quaint abode built during the American occupation. The experience of staying there for two days and a night was made more meaningful by the presence of a dear friend, Jocelyn “Jolad” Ladlad. I had not seen her in a long while. As things go with friends who’ve been apart, the catching up on each other’s lives went way into the wee hours of the morning.

Last December 2010, we briefly saw each other in another professional gathering. We exchanged hellos and beso-beso but we didn’t get the chance to even have coffee. She was, at the time, undergoing chemotherapy. The pink bandana she wore on her head matched her baby pink blouse and white slacks. Of course, the ever-present hoop earrings, bangles and the effervescent smile completed the act. Her disposition belied the struggle with ovarian cancer.

After five months, she’s on her way to recovery. Her hair has grown back and the color on her cheeks portends good health on its way.

I am so happy for Jolad to have survived cancer. Some would call it a miracle. Jolad called it God’s presence in her life. Never did she question God at the onset of the disease. Her constant prayer was for God to help her find the means to sustain the expenses necessary for medication and healing. God provided her with the money and much more! The moral support had been aplenty. Neither was she afraid to die. She believes that the life she’s been given is peppered with blessings and seasoned with graces. 
Jolad works as academic and research librarian at the De La Salle University, Taft Ave., Manila. She had been a school librarian, teacher and active officer of PNU LISSAA, ASLP and PLAI-NCR. Mabuhay ka, Jo!
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