Sunday, April 29, 2012

Highlights from the IASL Regional Conference in Bacolod

And so, the IASL Regional Conference in Bacolod folded up. Congratulations to the Rizal Library! Kudos to its director, Dir. Lou David and her team of librarians who made the conference possible: Karryl Sagun, Shielski Montenegro, Fernan Dizon and Waldette Cueto. Three cheers for PASLI, PRISAAP-Bacolod and IASL for a successful collaboration!

I have to say, I enjoyed the conference very much. I made new friends and strengthened old ties with friends from the profession I have known since my younger years in the industry. The three day experience gave me a lot to think about on Philippine school librarianship as well.

L-R Mel Alipo-on, library director of Olivares College, Joseph Marmol-Yap of DLSU Taft, Darell Marco of DLS Zobel and the Karryl Kim Sagun of the Rizal Library present their paper at the IASL Regional Conference
1) There are many young school librarians out there who made their presence felt in the conference. Joseph Marmol-Yap, Darrel Marco, Ann Grace Bansig, Venus Ibarra, Karryl Kim Sagun and Ronald Cabunagan presented interesting papers that speak of new paradigms in school librarianship. This is a hopeful sign.

2) The voice of experience was equally heard. Joy Nera, Mel Alipo-on, Roderick Ramos, Fernan Dizon, Madame Elizabeth Peralejo and Dir. Lou David shared projects, initiatives and best practices in the school library of their affiliations. This mix of the new, the fresh and the seasoned is a promising potential on professional collaboration among school librarians in the Philippines.

3) The majority of speakers came from local schools but the variety of paper topics presented is an indicator of where Philippine school librarianship is at the moment. Indeed, school librarians from the big private schools presented studies and best practices. Representatives from the public school sector were amiss though. It is a good thing that PASLI president, Jude Gorospe, was at the conference. A big challenge is on his shoulders. But, with help from the private sector, like those who presented papers, public school libraries may be able to rise and shine from issues and problems that beset them. We need to work together to develop more libraries especially when it's been identified in research and practice that libraries contribute to student learning and achievement.

Tales From the 7,000 Isles by Dianne de Las Casas and Zarah Gagatiga  was exhibited and sold at the IASL Regional Conference. Thanks to Enoy Ferriol of Scholastic and the Rizal Library for making this possible.

4) The presence of foreign delegates, Prof. Brendan Luyt and Lucia Dhamayanti provided similarities of beliefs in making the library a cool learning space, and bigger challenges for the future. It was Prof. Luyt's presentation that affected me the most. He spoke of going beyond Information Literacy seeing that information and knowledge are dynamic entities. True. For if we look at information and knowledge as static, then we begin to deteriorate. Knowledge creation and information seeking are proactive processes that lead to lifelong learning.

IASL President, Dr. Diljit Singh asks: What is the future of school libraries?
5) Speaking of lifelong learning, Prof Diljit Singh, IASL President, asked questions on how this can be developed in the light of a future that's fast paced and ever changing. He emphasized the necessity to begin with one's self.

6) On a personal level, my attendance to the IASL Conference inspired me to continue growing in the profession. It afforded me to reflect on what I am doing right now as a school librarian, storyteller, PBBY president and literacy advocate for a number of non-government organizations which I support. My head is still brimming with so much information that I still have to process each one at a time. And, with the mission I have set out to accomplish these tasks and advocacy, the hand will do the work of thy will.

Cheers to Philippine school librarianship! Looking forward to the next IASL Conference!


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