Friday, November 30, 2012

Librarian as Nun

Sis Zyra, Sis Zarah, Sis Lucy, Mother Superior Soledad, Sis May and Sis Jang

Once in a while I get involved in group performances. On Sunday, our marriage encounter community, MAGIS DEO, will be celebrating its annual Family Day with the theme, Igniting the MAGIS. Part of the celebration is for each sector to present a musical number. For our sector, we're doing Sister Act 1 and judging by our costumes, we do look the part, eh?

Alfred, Ambeth and Andres Bonifacio

30 November is a national holiday being the commemoration of  Andres Bonifacio's 149th birth date. A bio pic, Supremo, produced by Alfred Vargas will be shown on 30 November at SM Fairview cinemas. The same movie is included in the line-up of indie films in this year's Cinemanila at Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Festival date begins on 5 December and ends on 11 December, 2012.

Here's the trailer of the movie.

Producer, Alfred Vargas, also plays Andres Bonifacio. He's a very good looking Andres Bonifacio, if you ask me. In the book cover of Prof. Ambeth Ocampo's Looking Back 5: Rizal's Teeth Bonifacio's Bones, the Great Plebeian looks more like Apeng Daldal than a handsome revolutionario. I grew up knowing and recognizing this artist's rendition of Bonifacio that littered many history textbooks I used in school.

Who is the artist of this Bonifacio illustration? Another iconic image I am curious about that's related to Bonifacio is the cedula ripping one where Katipuneros wear red pants and white shirt. The red pants is a dead giveaway in battle. Why use the ominous color? More questions surface as I read Prof. Ocampo's article on Bonifacio. He was home schooled and read voraciously. Where did he get his books? Gifts from friends? Donations? Is Bonifacio a book thief? Now that would make a good story in speculative fiction genre, ano? The librarian in me wonders. The writer in me is tempted to begin this story out and see how it develops.

Books bought from the NBDB initiated book exhibit at SM Megatrade Hall

In 2013, the nation celebrates Bonifacio's 150th birth year. PBBY's Salanga Prize will be given to a story on Andres Bonifacio come July as we celebrate the 30th National Children's Book Day. Let's prepare early for this historic event.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

John Green Recommends

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Q & A on Supplementary Materials in the Classroom

With permission from the interviewer, I'm posting the set of questions she sent and my answers.

1. Why is it important for a teacher to use supplementary materials in the classroom?

Information and knowledge are not confined in textbooks. Supplementary materials (to me, it would mean teaching tools, instructional materials, AV teaching aids, etc.) offer a wide range of ideas, concepts, perspectives and ways of creating and communicating information and knowledge. Using supplementary materials challenges teachers and students to go beyond the prescribed curriculum. So, it's like putting into practice the learned concepts, skills and values in real life.

There are many sources of information and knowledge and these come in various formats. I think teachers need to continuously learn how to use these formats and media in teaching, as well as, identify effectively information and knowledge they can use in instruction.

You may look for this longitudinal study online, What Reading Does for the Mind by Anne E. Cunningham and Keith Stanovich, that discuss the effects of providing a variety of instructional materials (print, non-print, AV, online resources, social games, etc.) to students. One of the results is that, by exposing students to different learning and instructional resources would lead to the development of strong verbal and linguistic skills. Language is a cognitive process, so thinking skills are strengthened when teachers use many tools for teaching alongside sound pedagogy.

I use this research often in my talks among librarians to encourage them in building a collection that adheres to different learning styles and providing library services and programs to teachers that would challenge their pedagogical beliefs, assuming that, teachers still subscribe to old and routine methods.

2. What guidelines/criteria should a teacher follow in choosing which ones to use?

a. Knowledge of student/learner - Teachers must know who their students are. And they need help to be able to know them - parents, guidance counselor, school leaders. It takes a village to raise a child, so goes the African proverb.

b. Curriculum and context of the learning community - This will help the teacher, and those helping him/her teach well, get in touch with internal resources and external ones.

c. Pedagogy - There are specific instructional aids and teaching tools that match a particular teaching approach, technique, method and strategy.

3.  What are the today's limitations to your choices of supplementary materials available today in your subject area?

As a school librarian, budgetary constraint is a limitation. To remedy this problem, I source out from outer libraries in the academe, public, corporate and government agencies. Interlibrary loan and library consortia are ways to fill the resource gap as well. There are many online resources, but students need models and guides to use them responsibly and effectively. I still feel that, we need more print materials in the mother tongue and local knowledge. For example, our school is in Binan, Laguna. I am building a Filipiniana collection, but I feel I need to start developing a collection that has info and knowledge on Binan as a city and Laguna as a province. Our school may be an IB World School, but global education and international mindedness begin with an understanding of local history and local knowledge.  The issues and problems that affect the world are the same in the local and national levels.

This would mean, I need to develop a strategy to start a library collection that touches on these concerns. By collection I mean physical, virtual and intellectual kinds.

4.  What are your particular favorites among supplementary materials you have used?

Print format - I like recommending to teachers good fiction that has the theme of their unit of study. I also suggest creative non-fiction to ease big concepts in the content areas. Literature mirrors life :-)

Online formats - EBSCO and Project Muse are current favorites

I'm using Prezi for my presentations in class. I think I'll be a Mac user forever because the apps and ease of use that it offers is just right for a busy person like me.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Preview of a New Book Project

Ink studies by Bernadette Solina Wolf

The same illustration in water color

Friday, November 23, 2012

Online Readings: Curiosity and Teaching with Technology

Did you ask a good question today? This idea may be the only sure way to educational reform, so "they" say. Read Curiosity Here There Everywhere

Connect. Create. Explore. Steps to global education begin with connectedness Global Connections.

Sound pedagogy, admin support and a strong IT backbone remain the awesome threesome in successfully integrating tech in instruction. Be a 21st century teacher by being a 21st century learner

Happy reading! Happy weekend!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Story of Our Libs

Nothing thrills me more than to hear news of younger librarians carrying on the storytelling torch for others to follow the path, or better yet, pave new roads for more librarians to conduct regular storytelling sessions in their learning communities. Ann Grace Bansig and Darrel Manuel Marco, school librarians of De La Salle Santiago Zobel, will be conducting a storytelling workshop on December 8, 2012 at the Quezon City Public Library.

Details in this poster below:

Quality Books Exhibit

I got an invitation from the National Book Development Board via email --

DepEd and  NBDB Set Quality Books Exhibit--open to everyone, no entrance nor registration fees.

In celebration of Philippine Book Development Month, the Department of Education and the National Book Development Board are holding a first-ever exhibition of Highly Recommended Supplementary Materials on Nov 27-28 at 10am -5pm at the Mega Trade Hall 1. SM Megamall. The exhibiton will feature about 1600 awardwinning book titles and other books endorsed by the NBDB. About 20 publishers are participating.

These were gathered from the National Book Award winners and finalists, National Children's Book Awards, Gintong Aklat Award winners and finalists, Madrigal-Gonzalez First Book Award winners, Carlos Palanca Memorial Award winners, MAN Asia Literary Prize Filipino winners and finalists, NBDB Quality Seal Textbooks, and Highly Recommended Books selected by the Metrobank Foundation Network of Outstanding Teachers and Educators (NOTED). Copies of the list of quality books which will be updated yearly will be available.

The event is meant to help teachers and administrators from both public and private schools in selecting Philippine titles for supplementary reading and library collections. There will also be lectures on Textbook Development in the Mother Tongue, Translating Textbooks, Teaching with a Local Cultural Perspective, and Choosing Supplementary Materials and other related topics. National Artist Virgilio Almario leads the roster of speakers. DepEd will be represented by Sec. Armin Luistro and Usec Francis Varela.
All are welcome to attend. The exhibit and the workshops are free of charge.
For more info, call the NBDB at 920-9853, 929-3677, 929-3887 or visit 

I got the invite from the chair of the NBDB herself so I feel compelled to go. I'll think I shall enjoy myself.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

An Early Christmas Gift to Self

Monkey and Turtle by Bernadette Solina Wolf

And, for an early celebration of the 30th National Children's Book Day (July 2013).

Reading Choices

Browsing the books on display
My kids are now of the age when they can choose books and reading materials on their own. When we're at the mall, we drop by a bookstore to browse and buy books with in the allotted budget. When I bring them books I borrowed from the library, they choose the ones they like according to book cover (yes the adage Don't judge the book by its cover does not apply), title, genre and author. It will take time for their selection criteria to change and grow.

I am patient. What I can do for them now is to provide them with the reading materials and a literacy rich environment. This is not easy but, it is included in the word, parenting.

Their school had a book fair recently. What an opportune time to exercise this choice of reading, and yes, buying. So, after both kids asked of their book budget they set off to the rows and rows of books displayed by National Bookstore.

At the book fair, they met classmates and friends who were there for the book party. I also met my kids' high school librarian, Mr. Marlon Salinas, who invited me last week for a talk and mini-workshop on Creative Writing with grades 9 and 10. More on that next post.

With HS Librarian, Mr. Marlon Salinas

Nico picked up Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief, while Zoe bought two activity books on puzzles. Last night, Nico told me, "Ma, the book is better than the movie."

Of course. It has always been that way.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Start Up Bibliotherapy Collection

I visited the Adamson University Library last month and, lo and behold, discovered their Bibliotherapy Collection. This shelf has books on self help, Psychology and Philosophy. There are fiction books as well that carry themes of personal success and struggles.

Reading the poster attached on the shelf, I suppose the collection is a spring board for readers to explore more books. This way, readers are invited to engage in ideas and information that will lead them to a deeper understanding of life and, as the poster puts it, to cultivate a culture of research.

I pulled out one book. Coelho's By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept is a favorite. The piece of paper that's inserted in the book happens to be a feedback and response form. The reader fills this out and submits this to the librarian. For doing this, the reader has a chance on winning a prize.

 Browsing the book I came upon the page where a line goes "To fall in love is risky..." Written beside it, in blue ink is the word: SOBRA. In English, the word means, too much.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Citing of Sources and In-Text Citations

Information Literacy Session: Citing Sources and In-Text Citations
Grade 11 TOK (Theory of Knowledge)

15 November - TOK Class A
16 November - TOK Class B
*Both 1st periods

What idea do I want the 11s to bring with them after the session:
Avoid plagiarism by citing your sources and citing in-text

What IL skill do I want the 11s to apply across subject areas: Engagement and extraction of relevant information from sources (read, listen, view, take notes, reflect, summarize)

Procedure (for Teacher Librarian to do):
1. Present IL topics: Citations and In-Text Citation
2. For students: Generate as many questions as you can about the topic. Focus on what you want to know about the topics.
3. Show Cite is Right video -
4. Game: Plagiarism Quiz -
5. Go back to the questions generated by students at the start of class and check if these questions were answered by the activity they just finished doing (video and game).
6. Put on parking lot unanswered questions.
7. Short lecture on in-text citation: Ten Things to Remember when Citing In-Text (from MLA Handbook)
8. Show samples of in-text citations.
9. Distribute handout on in-text citation.
10. Go back to parking lot and check for questions that were answered through the short lecture

Instructional Materials:
MacBook / LCD / post its / Parking Lot photo / In-Text Citation Handout

Cite is Right Video -
Plagiarism Quiz -

The Modern Language Association. MLA handbook for writers of research papers. New York: MLA, 2009.

Prepared by  Zarah C. Gagatiga / Teacher Librarian 8 November 2012

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Library Display: The Reading Table

My reading and library promotion strategies are in a roll!

Apart from sending recommended reads to the school community, I set up a table by the circulation counter. This table has selected readings from the Teacher Resource collection. Book covers have a special appeal. Then again, never judge the book by its cover thus, the annotated list of suggested good readings for the term.

Another book display I worked on last term was the graphic novels table. The low table in the reading area where couches  for easy reading are stationed has graphic novels splayed over it. Twice a month, the graphic novels are replaced by newer ones or those up on the shelf. Students read them at the library. And yes, they borrow the graphic novels too.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Take Time to Read

Teachers will always say they have no time to read. Some alibi, right?

I'd rather take the excuse, so many books, so little time to read because it means that the interest to read is present in the person saying so. We are in a day and age when reading, like library use, needs promotion.

Promote reading by creating interactive library bulletin boards and displays. Use Twitter and FB to post quick reading responses on books read. Regularly send out short but substantial emails to the faculty of new titles and recommended reads. Below are five titles from our library's Teacher Resources.

1. Why the Universe is the Way it Is? by Hugh Ross - examines the complexities of the universe and ties them with the Scriptures. More philosophy than physics, it would lead readers to reflect on the purpose of humanity.

2.The Excellent 11: Qualities Teachers and Parents Use to Motivate, Inspire and Educate Chidlren by Ron Clark - is intended to inspire teachers, parents and allied professionals who work with children. Eleven stories that speak of the essential 11s are featured in the book.

3. Positive Discipline: A Teacher's A-Z Guide - The title says it all :-)

4. Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman - Our brains are capable to do both kids of thinking as identified by Kahneman, but when to use fast thinking and slow thinking is the highlight of the book.

5. A New Culture of Learning by Douglas Thomas - a book on educational technology for today's teacher on instructing and facilitating learning to the net generation.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Ebook Collection Development for School Libraries

Before jumping on the ebook bandwagon, think things over and draft a strategy for developing an ebook collection for your school library. I am sharing what I've whipped up for starting out an ebook collection in the library.

Why an ebook collection?
1. Experiment on a new business model in acquiring digital content for the library that adheres to a required budget allocation.
2. Offer new services to a market that is young, fickle, media induced and tech savvy.
3. Expand the library’s collection, thereby, addressing the clamor on information access for all and at all times (as possible).

What to consider?
1. License agreement containing terms and agreement, restrictions and scope of access.
2. Business model may be by lease or perpetual access.
3. Fees/budget may vary according to choice of business models: one book/one user, subscription, multi-user, simultaneous unlimited use, print on demand, pay per use.
4. Purchase by consortia. Plus: increase buying power. Minus: libraries have different needs
5. Evaluate vendors and analyze cost, especially among and between vendors

Ebook vendors / Third party solution:

FolletShelf  -
OverDrive -
Project Muse -

* FolletShelf and EBSCO can provide demos. With the changing landscape in epublishing and new business models that publishers implement, it is good to request for demos as needed. Schedules of demo are indicated in the websites.

* Project Muse orders on ebooks can be made but, license agreement must be checked and referred to for further study and evaluation.

* Tech requirements for ebook access via ereaders ℅ Tech Dept. and Finance (purchase and insurance matters).

* Ereaders (Kindle/iPad) can be used as storage devices for ebooks. Allot one ereader for a collection: References, General Collection, Fiction and Teachers Resources

* Explore other means of developing a digital collection: file server where pdfs can be saved, organized and retrieved / Google Docs as database for pdfs / collection of web resources.

* Draft a set of rules and guidelines for ereaders use / ebook selection and purchase must be reflected in the collection development program and policy.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

IFLA 2013: Call for Posters on Intergenerational Literacy

79th IFLA General Conference and Council: Future libraries: Infinite Possibilities
Singapore, August 17-23, 2013


Programme: Intergenerational Literacies: textotechno

The IFLA Literacy and Reading and Information Literacy Sections are seeking proposals for  a joint programme to be held at the IFLA Conference in Singapore in August 2013.

The challenge of new information and learning landscape can lead to all sorts of information gaps. One of them is a gap between texto and techno generations which can cause intergenerational isolation and separation. The program will showcase innovative and effective library programmes that intend to bridge this gap.
Proposals are requested for as many as ten tabletop presentations which will be given simultaneously. After an opening plenary keynote address, audience members will rotate to three different fifteen-minute presentations of their choice.  Presenters will therefore be asked to repeat their presentation three times for three different sets of people. 

Proposals chosen for presentation will be specific about how libraries and/or associations have tackled issues related to texto and techno literacies in their particular setting, thus developing intergenerational literacies, dialogue, digital inclusion and social cohesion. They should be grounded in theory, research, and/or practical applications.  Because these projects will be presented in an informal, small group setting, speakers should plan some visual accompaniment such as a poster that can be set up on the table.  Presenters may also want to bring brochures or flyers to hand out.  People submitting successful proposals will be asked to write a brief paper summarizing their library programme or project  for publication in the IFLA Proceedings.  All chosen presenters will be listed in the official Conference programme.

Proposals in English are required, and should provide the following information:
    Name and institution of speaker(s)
    Brief biographical information
    Proposal title
    Brief (300 to 500 word) description of project and presentation format
    Language of presentation

Proposals should be sent to Elena Corradini (Secretary of the Literacy and Reading Section) at  HYPERLINK "" by November 30, 2012. Please indicate "IFLA Proposal WLIC 2013" on the subject line. Finalists will be notified by December 15, 2012, and will be expected to submit final versions of their papers in one of the official IFLA languages by May 15, 2013.

For more information, please contact Leikny Haga Indergaard (Chair of Literacy and Reading Section) at:  HYPERLINK ""   

Please note that it is the speakers’ responsibility to find funding for their participation.

Book Discussion for Librarians

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Trese 5 Book Tour

Trese 5 is part of the Trese series by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo published by Visprint.

Photo source:

Teachers' Library Packet

At the start of the academic year, I was given a short session by my Head of School to present to teachers the basic and fundamental services the library can offer them. I whipped up a Teacher's Packet that sets the basic information on information access, available database, ways to work collaboratively with the librarian and recommended reads.

At the start of the second term, I'm scheduled to join in the departmental meetings of teachers with their academic coordinators to revisit use of library resources, and in a way, audit existing instructional materials and information that can be used for teaching and instruction.

This goes to show that the development of library programs and the evaluation of library services is a communal effort. The librarian needs to reach out and touch base with library users to improve its collection and systems of operation. Below is the library packet I've prepared for teachers.

The Beacon Academy Library
Teachers’ Packet
AY 2012-13

And so it is written, in the MYP Subject Guides --
Librarians have an overall view of the curriculum and, in particular, of students’ IL needs and LL skills (philosophy/belief system) development. It is important to involve librarians in:

* unit planning
* resourcing units
* planning for, and mapping, ATL skills
* promoting academic honesty (including such skills as referencing)

The Beacon Academy library staff aims to work with you, collaboratively, this academic year in the teaching and learning process. The library’s physical, virtual and intellectual doors, and windows, are open wide for your access to a variety of learning resources and ideas.

Access to the library collection

Library hours: 7:50 AM to 4PM
BA Library Web OPAC :

Online Subscriptions:
The Day -
Username: *****
Pword: *****

Project Muse -
*Access provided via Beacon Academy ISP

World Book Online

What’s new this year?  4 KINDLES! We’re starting an ebook collection :-)
Kindle 1 - Fiction
Kindle 2 - Philo, Religion, Social Sciences, Languages
Kindle 3 - Math, Sciences, Tech
Kindle 4 - Literature and History

DVD/CD/VCD  Collection - Open shelf / Instructional and Institutional

Teacher and Teacher Librarian Collaboration
* Request for resources (print, digital, resource person, interlibrary loan, access to other libraries)
* Building of a reading list for your unit or subject content (bibliographic info arranged in MLA style)
* One-on-one consultation with the TL re: resources on units of study (student and teacher)
* Small group research @the library (guided and/or independent)
* Class orientation and ATL integrated sessions / Library link lessons

Recommended Reads for PD (Professional Development)

1. Enhancing professional practice / by Danielson, Charlotte.   Alexandria, Va. : Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, c2007 TR 371.102 DAN

2. Revisiting professional learning communities at work / by DuFour, Richard,   Bloomington : Solution Tree, c2008 TR 371.207 DUF

3. Stirring the Head, Heart and Soul / by Erickson, H. Lynn   California : Corwin Press, 2008 TR 375.000979 ERI

4. Positive discipline   New York : Three Rivers Press, c2001 TR 371.50973 POS

5. The Excellent 11 / by Clark, Ron,   New York : Hyperion, c2004 TR 371.102 CLA


A learning community reads. A reading community learns

The Beacon Academy Library seeks to involve the learning community in its bi-monthly Recommended Reads service.

Aug and Sept - Hello! Goodbye! Hello! is about beginnings, change and adaptation. 

Oct and Nov - The Book of My Life challenges us to look at the books/reading materials
that made an impact at how we see ourselves, others and the world.

Dec and Jan - Family, Fiesta and Festivities prompts us to think of books that speak of family
        cultures, celebrations and holidays. You may want to consider books and reading
        materials that discuss Family Literacy.

Feb and Mar - Anything goes. Really. Feel free to recommend any book or reading material :-)
April and May - Taking it easy. It’s summer time, and yes, the reading is easy.



Monday, November 5, 2012

The Drawings of Kora

This one is for Kora Dandan Albano who is selling her art works for a very, very good cause. Got wind of this info from her Facebook account so when I learned she was selling I immediately reserved one of her Ampalaya artworks. This is an original drawing from the best seller Alamat ng Ampalaya by Augie Rivera, published by Adarna House. Ampalaya is such a character, but, Kora's red hot sili (pepper) is a scene stealer. I have always wondered what that pepper knows that the reader does not.

Interested to buy Kora's art works? Go to her FB page, Kora Dandan Albano, and check out the photo section.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Picture Book Month 2012

It is November and the calendar is full of literary and literacy events. There will be a Read Lit District affair in Manila come mid-November and it promises a host of popular literary celebrities from here and abroad. Thanks to the National Book Development Board's (NBDB) untiring efforts of bringing readers, writers and lovers of words together, Manila is fast the becoming the new literary events place of this generation. Let's just hope that the sparkle and glimmer of celeb writers who will visit our shores will reach the regions. Perhaps technology can do that. With social media and the Internet, what is not possible these days?

Speaking of which, a US based literary and literacy event is taking place this whole month of November as well. And, thanks to Facebook, I am reminded to blog about it!

It's Picture Book Month!

Dianne De Las Casas, one of the founders of Picture Book Month has consistently been posting updates over at FB. Visit the website for details. There's a theme to talk about and discuss every week for as long as it concerns picture books! Also, there's a long list of authors and illustrators who speak and advocate the creation and readership of picture books.

Why are picture books important?

Dear me. I learned to read through picture books. My kids learned to read through picture books. And I bet, there are lucky kids out there who are learning how to read through picture books. By saying this, we look at reading not just a way to comprehend the written word but a skill set to derive meaning out of pictures, images and visual metaphors. Picture books are a trampoline for young readers so that they'll be able to tackle difficult materials and media in the future.

We're preparing kids for reading and for LIFE. Let's add picture books and the reading of it in their daily diet!

Jose Aruego & Albert Gamos Tributes

Last September, the UP College of Education Reading Department, otherwise known as REGALE, conducted the annual MILES, Manhit Institute of Language Education Seminar series, in honor of Jose Aruego and Albert Gamos, two dearly departed Filipino illustrators for children. The tribute is in part of the Weavers of Magic forum of MILES.

 PBBYers, Karina Bolasco, Ani Almario and yours truly gave tribute to Albert Gamos and Jose Aruego respectively. Dr. Lina Diaz de Rivera spoke well of Jose Aruego too, given that she personally knows him and has studied and taught about his works.

Russell Molina, Jomike Tejido and Robert Magnuson gave a talk on their craft and body works to the delight of participants and smitten fans.

Aruego and Gamos, both known for their unique and exceptional skills as well as wholesome personalities, paved the way for Filipino children's illustrators. There are many talented ones to continue on what they've started out. Here's hoping that they remain humble and sincere as their illustrious lolos.
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