Saturday, June 30, 2012

School Libraries in Evolution

With all the many projects, documents, promotions and advocacy activities I enumerated, wouldn't you agree that it is an exciting time to be a school librarian these days? We have seen the personal stories of library clients and users. We have looked at the current research on school library. These are all evidences that our job is relevant. But we need not stop. We have to go on because the landscape of information and business of knowledge creation is ever changing. We cease to grow when we stop recognizing the changes happening around us and we do not act appropriately on it.
History has lessons to teach us on this. 

In general, libraries, are very much a part of human history along with the invention of writing and the book. The first to sprout and develop were government, public and university libraries. School libraries are a recent invention. It was not not until the turn of the 19th century that legislation on school libraries took place in the US. It was in 1915 when the American Library Association assigned a division for school libraries now known as the American Association of School Libraries (AASL). 

Thanks to Melvil Dewey for devising the  Dewey Decimal System. We have a way of finding order in chaos. Then, there was also SR Ranganathan, a mathematician by profession who became a librarian not by choice but by chance. His teachings on the 5 Laws of Library Science still speak of enduring truths and philosophy of librarianship. In fact, modern library and information science thinkers have adopted Ranganathan's 5 Laws to address current issues suitable for the practice of the profession. 

These are the 5 Laws as per SR Ranganathan:
1.Books are for use.  
2. Every reader his [or her] book.  
3. Every book its reader.  
4. Save the time of the reader.  
5. The library is a growing organism.     

Michael Gorman and Walt Crawford made their own variants:

1.  Libraries serve humanity.
2. Respect all forms by which knowledge is communicated.
3. Use technology intelligently to enhance service.
4. Protect free access to knowledge.
5.  Honor the past and create the future.

 Let’s play spot the difference. What changes can you see on the 5 Laws of Library Science by SR Ranganathan’s to that of Gorman’s and Crawford’s version? What similarities? Remember, these “laws” were written in different eras and generations. What factors have shaped the evolution of the laws?

While SR Ranganathan’s philosophy of a reader centered library service and a library that continuously grows in terms of collection and programs, Gorman’s and Crawford’s laws take on a perspective of library services that adhere to global citizenship, the moral implications of the profession, and the equitability of information access and creation of knowledge. This change from a stable knowledge base to a more dynamic and participatory nature can be attributed to technology, educational reforms, shifts in paradigms, philosophy and ways of knowing others and the world. 

The school library, in this event of changes and shifting paradigms, has moved emphasis from collection development to student centered services to the development of lifelong learning skills (a belief system). Three ideas are perpetuated in lifelong learning: collaboration; leadership and technology (Information Power, 1998). With these movements, the role of the school librarian takes on new forms. The school librarian is a teacher, an instructional technologist, instructional planner, and a library manager. 
It used to be that library management is the only work expected of us. Even the educational and academic preparations I received from library school taught me skills in running an effective and efficient library. But, the dynamic flow of information and the constant flux by which it is stored, created and communicated has changed all that I learned from university. It is essential that school librarians, you and I, do more than just catalog, classify, keep indexes and orient users on the library, its systems, collection and staff, and conduct inventory at the end of the year. It is imperative that when we collaborate with teachers in the delivery of the school’s instructional programs the library skills instruction that we do, whether embedded with Information Literacy skills or Media Literacy is contextualized on students’ culture and experiences. We need to know the pedagogy and develop macro thinking skills to understand the school’s curriculum. Pedagogy and curriculum are two entities that define our collection development program. When teachers plan their unit lessons, we are with them as instructional consultants, helping them source out resources, both in school and outside the community, and providing them with a wide array of learning tools and technology. Furthermore we function as dialogue partners of teachers and school leaders in discussing methods, strategies and techniques in teaching students with different learning needs and styles. As technological advancements surround and bombard us with all forms and variety of information, school librarians need to be guided by three principles: upholding intellectual freedom; adherence to legal standards; and the observance of professional ethics. 

As a parting shot, here are tips, I wish to share with you to stay relevant.

a. Take care of yourself.

b. Know your heart's desire or your passion as a school librarian.

c. Follow that passion or that desire. Life will reward you. However, as a prerequisite, you have to know how to truly reflect on your desires. In other words, discern.

d. Heed the call of universal goodness.

e. Be a lifelong learner yourself.
Thank you for bearing with me. I hope that I was able to touch on the conference’s themes. Remember, you and I, we are school librarians. We are relevant.

Friday, June 29, 2012

The 2nd Filipino ReaderCon

Last year, around September, Flips Flipping Pages, a group of Filipino readers and book bloggers, teamed up with publishers to stage the 1st Filipino ReaderCon at the Manila International Book Fair. The event was a roaring success both on site and online venues. And because of the warm reception of Pinoy readers and book bloggers that the organizers experienced from last year, they're having a second run of the conference on August 18, 2012 at the Filipinas Heritage Library. The theme of the conference this year is, "United We Read". This time, Flips Flippine Pages is collaborating with the National Book Development Board and the Ayala Foundation.

The conference promises a program that caters to all Filipino readers. Specifically, the objectives of the conference are:

* provide support, instruction, and social time for book club members and book bloggers
* celebrate readers and reading in the Philippines
* promote a closer connection between readers and writers and/or publishers
* acknowledge beloved Filipino books through the Readers’ Choice Book Awards

Yours truly will be a panelist for the topic “Reading Everywhere: Scanning the Reading Environment.” The organizers invited me to discuss what bookstores do and don’t do for readers, how you would characterize the Filipino reader from the perspective of a bookseller or librarian, what the current gaps in bookselling are, and whether libraries are still important. The panel will be at 9:15 AM to 10:35 AM.

It is going to be an interesting panel since the organizers gave me discussion points that I am eager to talk about as well. The last in the list of talking points is extremely challenging. Everyone seems to be asking of the relevance of libraries in this day and age.

I hope to see you there!

School Libraries and Student Achievement

 In 2008, Scholastic published a compilation of school library researches dubbed as School Libraries Work! This document contains position statements of the National Commission on Library and Information Science of the US and highlights of school library related researches that were conducted in nineteen US states (from Alaska to Colorado; Ohio to Pennsylvania; Missouri to New Mexico) and in one Canadian province (Ontario). Researches conducted by the groups of Lance (2002); Kuhlthau et. al (2004); Smith (2006); Todd (2004, 2005,. 2006) spanning two decades showed similarly remarkable findings. The results of the empirical studies reflect the indispensable value of school libraries contributing greatly to student achievement. The presence of school libraries in the lives of children in grade school and high school levels lead to higher test scores; school library programs and services firm up study skills and research skills; the collaboration between teacher and school librarian leads to authentic learning with in the classroom and outside its four walls. The report further identifies four strong points on the role of school libraries (2008).

a. School libraries have an important role in teaching.

School librarians design programs that support the curricular offerings of the school. From the collection development program to the instructional program, school librarians consult, collaborate and work with teachers and school leaders for the planning and implementation of such. School libraries offer flexible teaching schedules to accommodate individual students, small group and big group classes.

b. School libraries are leading the way for technology use in schools.

School libraries provide information access to all. With this provision comes the technology necessary for students, teachers and school community to use information. Computers with Internet access are present in moodier school libraries. School librarians facilitate the training of these technologies to clients and users.

c. School libraries inspire literacy.

Students learn from the books, computers and resources available in the school library. When they read these resources and learn from them, a host of literacy and numeracy come into play.

d. School libraries don't matter without certified school librarians.

School libraries manned by certified school librarians are more likely to make a difference in the lives of students. The academic requirements and professional experience of certified school librarians prepared them to manage library systems, structures, programs, services in a wide array of technology and different learning styles and needs of students. Certified school librarians are bound by law and moral obligations to fulfill the task, mission, vision and goals of the learning institution.

     The tremendous effect of this research prompted legislators in the US to create a commission on school libraries called National Commission on Libraries and Information Science (June 2007). The commission submitted the following resolution to the US Congress:

a. School libraries be given and provided with up to date resources from print and nonprint materials;

b. School librarians or school library media specialist be given a "highly qualified" classification;

c. Every school library be staffed by a highly qualified, state certified school library media specialist.

         In the UK, Williams, Cole and Wavell (2002) conducted a critical review of literature pertaining to the impact of school libraries on student achievement and learning in primary schools. Evidences to prove and support the positive correlation between school libraries and student achievement were present. The following were identified as factors to learning: teacher and librarian collaboration; quality and variety of collection; adequate funding; flexible provisions of the library’s services and programs; quality and frequency of library input and participation in support of teaching and learning; qualified library staff; standards to enhance effective teaching and learning experiences. 

       The Australian version of the study (Lonsdale,2003) reported the same findings but distinguished the following factors as affective and effective to student achievement and learning: information literacy skills integration in the curriculum and strong computer network connecting the library to the classroom. The study also shows that provision of school libraries lead to an exposure to print rich environment and free voluntary reading. This develops comprehension, grammar, spelling, vocabulary and writing style of students. A positive effect of school libraries in students’ self-esteem, confidence and sense of responsibility for their own learning is indicated as well.

      Indeed, these consistent findings on school library research support the idea that school libraries are fundamental and vital to a learning community. Later, we will hear a paper presentation on the same topic and it will be interesting to see the similarities of the studies.

      Given these research findings and personal testimonies on the power of libraries to transform lives and the potential of school librarians as agents of change, let’s us now look at school library practices, promotion and advocacy, legislation and government initiatives on national level and in the international scene.

School Libraries Transform Lives

      In a recent regional conference in Bacolod by the Rizal Library and the International Association of School Libraries (IASL) last April 27-28, 2012, many school librarians from local private schools presented papers based on research and practices, projects and initiatives which they implement in their respective school libraries. However, a gaping hole was left open by the public school library sector. This is a reflection of the current state of school librarianship in the country. Private school libraries are better funded. Private school librarians have wider exposure to professional learning networks. Despite the revised School Library Guidelines (Order no. 56, s 2011) of the Department of Education that indicates staffing requirements for school libraries and standards of operations to be followed by both sectors, public school library system is faltering.

     Then again, hope floats.

    Collaborative projects between librarians in public and private schools are happening. The Book Mobile project of De La Salle Zobel (Marco, 2011) is aimed at providing books to public school children in the Muntinlupa district. The school librarians of De La Salle Zobel tell stories when the Book Mobile visits a public school. Another De La Salle School, the one in Lipa, Batangas City conducts the same outreach project. The school librarians of De La Salle are cognizant of the literacy values brought by books and reading. They have chosen the public schools in their district who are lacking in reading materials as recipients of their outreach activities. Similarly, the MUNTIPARLAS (Muntinlipa, Paranaque, Las Pinas School Association of School Librarians) conducts regular storytelling sessions and book donations to public schools in the area. By exposing public school pupils and students to books on top of the prescribed textbook readings

     As I mentioned at the start of my presentation, Sambat Trust, a UK charity that assists public school libraries in Tanauan, Batangas by establishing a curriculum and context based library collection is on its seventh school library project. It provides teacher training to public school teachers on literacy activities and basic library operations.

     With the implementation of the K-12 program of the Department of Education this school year, PASLI (Philippine Association of School Libraries, Inc.) organized a forum where school librarians listened, asked questions on the new program. The roles of school librarians were also discussed to prepare the mindset in the successful implementation of the K-12 curriculum. The forum speaker, Dr. Ed Hizon identified three roles of the school librarian in light of the K-12 curriculum. School librarians are library managers, instructional technologists and teachers too. I will flesh out these roles later before the end of my keynote. In the forum, a clamor for a standardized library instruction program where information literacy skills and media literacy are embedded came about. This would be PASLI’s challenge in light of the K-12 program.

     Speaking of library instructional programs, private school libraries like the Ateneo de Manila High School Media Center and the Assumption College Integrated School Libraries continuously update, not only their collection development program, but their instructional program too. The former implements an Information Literacy Skills Program following Kuhlthau's Guided Inquiry paradigm and model of information processing (Cabunagan, 2011). The later, on the one hand, enriches its library instruction program for the elementary grades by subscribing to the Lexile - Academic Enrichment Program of Scholastic. The program helps the school librarians gauge the readability levels of students and matches them with books they can confidently read (Nera, 2011).

    In the international scene, IASL and the IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations) reports school library initiatives and activities from different parts of the globe. I am impressed at the speed in which school library associations in Europe, the Americas and progressive countries address issues like transliteracy, Web 2.0 applications, cloud computing and media literacy.

In Portugal, public libraries are creating family reading programs. By coordinating with schools, reading programs for children as young as the toddler age are set up. In Honduras, training for school librarians was designed by Lesley Farmer through a grant. Swedish school libraries are being established through new legislation supporting school library development. Next month, a reading conference cum book festival for children in Thailand, sponsored by the The Knowledge Park, will host librarians from Korea, Malaysia,  Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines. A topic of interest in the said conference is on school libraries in the digital age for which, yours truly will present.

Position papers like the School Library Manifesto (IFLA 2002) and the "A Library for Every School" proclamation (IFLA, 2010) serves as guide for practicing school librarians in the field. The manifesto contains the mission, vision and goals of the school library for which, on top of local and national standards, can be used as a set of principles to anchor school library practice on. The UNESCO's white paper on the Literacy Decade (2003 - 2013) explains the contribution of the school library in actualizing the provision of the right to read and the access of information to all. Another document which school librarians will find informative and helpful would be the new Media Literacy Curriculum by the UNESCO. In light of all the talk, discussion and belief in providing literacy opportunities for all ages, gender and race, technology is one area where school librarians are expected to use as a tool and manage as an environment. I have not entirely read the Media Literacy Curriculum handbook, but this is one document every school librarian must read and examine. If anything, such developments in the practice of school librarianship need further analysis.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Role of the School Library and Librarian in the Digital Age

Below is the abstract of the paper I am going to present in Bangkok on July 12-13, 2012 during the 10th Book Festival and the The Knowledge Park Reading Conference


Technology is a game changer. The advent of the 21st century brought many technological challenges to school libraries. It affected the ways school librarians plan and implement library programs, as well as, the conduct of library services and operations. This paper compares two paradigms in which traditional library practice is based on versus current schools of thought on library practice as espoused by thinkers in the profession. From here, the 21st century roles of the school library and the school librarian are enumerated. The implications that these new roles demand on school administrators and the school librarians are identified. Position statements on the contributions of school libraries to the attainment of literacy goals are included together with researches that prove the relevance of school libraries to student achievement. The last part of the paper is a brief report on school libraries, literacy and reading initiatives in the Philippines.

Apart from the paper presentation, I will also sit in a panel to discuss on the theme: Empowering Children for the ASEAN Future.

School Libraries in Teaching and Learning for All

This is part two of the paper I read during the ASDAL Conference's special session for Adventist school librarians.
Literacy Development through School Libraries: The Sambat Trust School Library Project

Sambat Trust is a UK based charity whose project on school library development in Tanauan, Batangas has benefitted seven schools in the town. Since 2007, Sambat Trust has involved the community, barangay officials and parents, in setting up a school library for the children in seven barangays in Tanauan. School leaders speak of the impact the libraries have made in the lives of pupils and students, so far. 

Dr. Carandang (District Supervisor, North Tanauan) believes that libraries develop confidence among students. She notices that students become confident if they see that their school has a library and other facilities. She narrates that a few years ago, she could tell which kid is from the bukid (farm) or mountain by examining their appearance. The bukid (farm) kid usually looks down and has diffident eyes. But now, students from the bukid (farm) can look straight and has more confidence. She attributes this to Sambat Trust Foundation’s project of installing libraries. She also recalls that before, the students and the teachers hide during school visits, announced or unannounced. But now, they have the confidence to say that they have a new library and other facilities.

Confidence brought about by the libraries sums up her program: Read Today! Lead Tomorrow! She insists that reading contributes positively to every child’s self-esteem and confidence. To reinforce Sambat Trust library installations, she has also launched programs that promote reading such as putting up mini-libraries inside each classroom. Elementary students also have DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) time, where each student is expected to grab a book and just read. They also have DEAS (Drop Everything and Share) time, where students share to their classmates what they have read during DEAR time. It ensures that students did read and would have a meaningful learning after reading.

The former school principal of Sambat Elementary School, Mrs. Emelinda Delante, mentions that the school library is one of the many factors that contribute to the school’s high achievement scores and students’ increased confidence to compete in local, regional and national academic contests and sports competitions. She said that the donated school library of Sambat Trust has been instrumental in this endeavor. Her teachers used the books in the library on top of the required textbooks.

Teachers do a variety of reading comprehension strategies from guided reading, silent reading, read-alouds and one-on-one reading activities. Low performing pupils are given priority. Teachers would call for them at lunch break and do a fifteen to twenty minute reading intervention. This happens from Monday to Friday until exam week comes in. The books in the library are materials used for such cases. During recess and dismissal, pupils could freely go to the library for reading time. Here, they get to choose books and a reading material of their choice and simply enjoy a quiet time reading.

There is no full time librarian assigned in the school libraries set up by Sambat Trust, however, school leaders supervise their teachers closely enough to use the resources of the library.

Librarians are Teachers Too. And more!

Madeleine Rex wrote in her blog, Word Bird, an essay that explains the necessity of school libraries in high school. I thought I was reading an essay by an experienced school librarian, but no, Madeleine is a teenager who loves books, reading and libraries. She cites sources and quotes experts in the field of school librarianship to justify her belief in school libraries as essential to the development of functional literacy and the enjoyment of reading fiction. 

Below is an excerpt of her essay which I took from her blog.
...librarians are almost as important as the libraries themselves. They are teachers just like any other….By giving librarians sufficient funds, schools are also giving them the means to buy the books and tools that complement the curriculum. In my experience, the librarian has been a friend. They listen to what students have to say about specific books or series, and they work to serve the students by stocking the library with the books they know the kids like to read.

We need more students like Madeleine Rex who will rally behind us. Who will campaign for us and the important roles librarians play in the school community. We can not do it alone. We need to look at teachers and school leaders who value the benefits that school libraries bring to the teaching and learning experience because they are the immediate partners we can work with. By working together, we can actualize the library services and learning programs we have for children and young adults. We need to see how library services for children and teens make a difference in the life of the young people it serves; that what we do now for them has a stake in their future. By being aware of the impact of school libraries and the services it provide children, teens, teachers, school leaders and the learning community, librarians and school libraries are must haves.
The stories I presented are personal in nature. Let us look at what research has to say about school libraries and the impact they have to the community they serve.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Library Succes Stories

This is part one of the paper I read during the ASDAL Conference's special session for Adventist school librarians.
My School Library Experience

I got my first library card when I was in grade one. I was only six years old then. Our library at that time looked like a cave with its walls painted white. There were books on display and we were allowed to choose books we can borrow for a period of time. The librarian, Ms. Oliva, was a plump lady with a cute little smile. On that first visit, she gave a library orientation that focused on the expected behavior at the library. She and my grade one class adviser wrote the title of books on the library card. My mother, who is a librarian, borrowed books for me from the school library where she worked. As I grew up, my reading choices changed and developed too.

These days, to borrow books from the school library I use my ID number which is logged in by default in the library database. To read online journals and encyclopedia articles, I use a username and password. At home, I log in the Internet and, clicking the Bookmark button of my web browser, open the school library's OPAC for instant searching of books and resources.

As a teenager, I read the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Sweet Dreams Romance Series, Judy Blume, Cynthia Voight, Madeline L'Engle and Ursula Le Guinn. My kids, age 15 and 11 years old respectively, read graphic novels, the Harry Potter series, Capt. Underpants, John Green, Neil Gaiman, and yes, Twilight. Sigh. To keep up with my high school students I read what they read, and more! A good number of them could not understand the book format, so we acquired three Kindles. This coming school year, we begin developing our ebook collection.

In the 80s and well into the early 90's I owned a Sony walkman and collected audio tapes. Two years ago, I bought myself an iPod and my eldest taught me how to search for free mp3 downloads online. I could use the sync and Bluetooth features of my iPod to transfer audio and video files from one gadget to the other.

A lot has changed since the day I received my first library card. But I remain a reader, a user and consumer of information who seek to derive meaning and construct knowledge from the constant flux of all these information.

Libraries Change Lives: A Tale of Two Writers

Candy Gourlay, an award winning writer and journalist based in the UK, wrote with fondness in her blog about Miss Evelyn Diaz, her grade school librarian at St. Therese's College. Miss Diaz allowed her to read beyond the number of books required of elementary grade school students to borrow. Miss Diaz saw in Candy, a child who needed a space to dream, reflect and wonder through books and reading. It did Candy a lot of good. She met characters like herself from the stories she read. Eventually, she broke out of her shell and became a journalist in the 80's. During the People Power revolution, she was there at the front lines doing her job for the freedom and democracy.

When Neil Gaiman received his Carnegie Award in 2010 for his young adult novel, The Graveyard Book, he waxed poetic on the magical realms he discovered in public libraries when as a child, his parents would drop him off the library. He may have spoken of public libraries in his acceptance speech, but the services which it provided children opened many fantastic opportunities for the young Neil Gaiman to imagine other worlds that we now find in his fiction. He pointed out the dynamic ways that children’s librarians reach out to young readers, becoming bridges between books and readers and developing, in the process, a community who continuously learn. Lamenting the budget cuts that UK libraries were experiencing, he ended by saying that libraries are the future. To cut down the library budget would be, in Gaiman’s word, a terrible thing to steal from the future to pay for today.

The 29th National Children's Book Day

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Being Relevant in a Time of Constant Change: Introduction

This is the introduction of my keynote speech for tomorrow's session on school libraries at the 32nd ASDAL Conference. I will try to post the rest of the document tomorrow and this coming week in parts.

Simon Cowell, a former judge of the reality TV show American Idol, would make positive comments at aspiring singer-contestants whom he finds relevant. The recipient of the affirmation would smile bashfully or jump in glee. Fans of American Idol know how discriminating Cowell could be to all American Idol hopefuls so, a good word or a praise from him is precious.

       I often wondered what set criteria he'd used to base his judgement of relevance to an American Idol contestant. Is it the commercial value of the singer that promises big record sales? Is it the singing talent that is rare and innate in a contestant? Is it the singing style and charisma of the American Idol aspirant? Perhaps all of the above: the complete package.

       What if one day, a critical judge of  school libraries visited your school library and tells you, "I no longer find your library and your job relevant." What would you do?

       I have come face to face with that question several times in my professional career as a school librarian. May I know who among you experienced the same challenge? Even as a student of library science in college, I was thrown that challenge by supposed mentors and peers who demand that I prove my course's worth in the teaching and learning process. Early on in my job as a pre-school librarian, I had to show my co-teachers the value of the early education library that I was tasked to organize and manage. There were many success stories of the effort and hard  work I put forth to make an impact in the learning community, but the question of relevance on the role that I contribute in the learning system  and environment has not ceased to haunt me till this day.

       This is the issue I wish to discuss with you today. Together, let's ruminate on the relevant role that school libraries and school librarians play in the learning community. To do this, I will begin with stories, both personal and that of others, that bespeak of school library experiences. We will go back in time, not very far back, just at the turn of the 20th century to look at the landmark contributions of librarians in general and the historical highlights of school libraries in particular. We will look at factors that shape the modern school library to what it is today. Researches, manifestos,  and position statements pertaining to modern school library management and practice that impact the learning community will follow. We will finish with school library projects, activities and strategies that promote and advocate school library services and programs. In the end, we hope to convert the question: Are You Relevant to You Are Relevant.

2012 ASDAL Conference Program

Here's the program of the 2012 ASDAL Conference where I will be delivering a keynote speech on 24 June 2012 during a special session on school libraries.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

2012 NCBD: Masayang Magbasa sa Sariling Wika

20 June 2012

Dear Friends,

National Children’s Book Day (NCBD) is just around the corner. The Philippine Board on Books for Young People will once again spearhead the event on July 17, 2012 at the Museo Pambata. This year, Dean Dina Joana Ocampo of the UP College of Education, will deliver the keynote address on the theme:

Masayang Magbasa sa Sariling Wika!

The winners of the 2012 PBBY-Salanga Prize and PBBY-Alcala Prize will be awarded to Russell Molina and Hubert Fucio, respectively.

In behalf of the PBBY, I enjoin you to celebrate NCBD in your school, library and learning community. Here are suggested NCBD activities which you can do:

1. Conduct storytelling sessions in classrooms and libraries.
2. Organize a Filipino Children’s Book Character Parade.
3. Invite a Filipino author and/or illustrator to speak to children.
4. Hold contests on story writing and illustrating. (This can be a follow-up activity to the author and illustrator visit.)
5. Display past winning books of the PBBY-Salanga and the PBBY-Alcala prizes in the library. (The PBBY website,, has the list of winners.)
6. Stage your own Best Reads event with parents, teachers and students. Remember to focus on Filipino books for children and young adults!
7. Invite parents, school officials, teachers and other members of the learning community to talk about books they grew up with.
8. Drum up this year's theme by showcasing Filipino books that exemplify: Masayang Magbasa sa Sariling Wika.
9. Publish or display (online or in the school paper) reviews of Filipino storybooks by students.
10. Read a Filipino children's book or YA novel.

Please remember that the NCBD celebration is not exclusive to PBBY. We would be very pleased to hear news of your NCBD celebration in your community. Send us a note or photos of your NCBD 2012 events and we will feature them on our blog and website. You may also request a poster from the PBBY secretariat (3526765 local 203/120).

Thank you very much. Happy National Children’s Book Day!


Zarah C. Gagatiga
PBBY Chair

Friday, June 15, 2012

Dear SLIA: School Library Instruction Part 2

Once again, I got a question on how a school library instruction program can be developed. The question came from the librarian of Ateneo de Davao University, Madame Carmen B. Migalbin. She is the head librarian of the Grade School at ADDU. We met during the IASL Regional Conference in Bacolod.

This is her question:

...we,  librarians and English teachers are revising our Library Instruction Program. Can you share some ideas of  library skills or lessons to be included in each grade level? Baka, you have some good reference in mind. This is one of the topics I wrote in the evaluation after the Bacolod seminar.

I received the same question sometime in January of this year from Ms. Angelic Bautista, but hers focus more on the preschool level. Anyway, it is the same concern. In the digital age, library skills instruction/Information Literacy Skills Instruction is needed more than ever.

My reply to Madame Carmen will follow soon.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Storytelling Workshops: Sacred Heart School & Learning Links Academy

The past week had been really hectic with workshops and preparations for the ASDAL Conference. After the Sa Aklat Sisikat Gurong Kaakbay Pilipinas Conference at the Ateneo de Manila University, I conducted two workshops on storytelling for preschool teachers.

It is always a joy to be with preschool teachers! Preschool education still holds its magic for me. After so many years of being away from early childhood education, I go back to share with preschool teachers stories and varied techniques of storytelling. I did mention in a previous post that I started out as a preschool teacher and then, moved on to set up the Early Education Department Library at Xavier School, Greenhills. Those were days!

Thanks to Rowie Juan-Matti for the invite to do the workshop in Sacred Heart School Malabon and to Luisa "Teacher Nenen" Castro for the duplex workshop in her school, Learning Links Academy.

With teachers of Sacred Heart School Malabon
Teacher and sisters share their personal stories.

Teacher Jocs of Learning Links holds up her T-shirt art

Tools of the Trade
With puppets and outputs of the day

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The 32nd ASDAL Conference

Below is the abstract I sent to the organizers of the ASDAL Conference. ASDAL means Association of Seventh Day Adventist Librarians.
Title: Being Relevant in a Time of Constant Change

The paper presents landmark contributions of school libraries from the 20th century to the present time. It explores factors that shaped modern school library services and identifies researches, projects, strategies and trends that school librarians had undertaken to advocate and promote the important role that libraries play in the learning community. Examples of school library services and programs from local, national and international settings are included as well as personal success stories of library users from across the globe. The paper ends with insights and ideas in keeping the school library relevant in a time of constant change.
It is my first time to deliver a plenary to an international audience at that. I am nervously excited.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Bibliotherapy @ the SAS Gurong Kaakbay Pilipinas Conference

It's Day 3 of the SAS Gurong Kaakbay Pilipinas Conference at the Science Education Complex, ADMU. The morning began with Audie Gemora as plenary speaker on Theater and Art. Teaching involves performance and yes, dramatics. After this, teachers went ti their breakout sessions/workshop for the morning.

 Part 1 of my Bibliotherapy workshop ended a forty-five minutes ago and the input session involved activities that exposed teacher participants to reading, writing, speaking and listening activities with in the context of my topic. The participants will be back at 1:45 for the second half of the workshop where they will actually do developmental Bibiliotherapy.

 Day 2 of the conference proved to be a workshop fiesta on writing stories and the teaching of reading and writing skills. Thanks to my friend, Dr. Luis Gatmaitan who sent a text message saying that the experience had been a delight for speakers and participants. Children's Literature connoisseur Lina Diaz de Rivera and poet Rayvi Sunico gave plenary speeches and workshops were led by leading writers of Filipino stories for children and expert literacy teachers.

This morning, participants of my workshop came in all smiles because of two things: 1) happy that Day 3 of the conference is upon them; and 2) optimistic at the promise of another insightful day.
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