Saturday, June 29, 2013

Celebrate NCBD: Join KUTING

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Celebrate NCBD: Sandosenang Sapatos

I have reserved tickets for me and my family to a matinee show of Sandosenang Sapatos, a musical adaptation of Dr. Luis "Tito Dok" Gatmaitan's wonderful children's book. This is our way of celebrating the 30th National Children's Book Day. Our kids, Nico (16) and Zoe (12) have all grown up reading Tito Dok's books and Sandosenang Sapatos is a personal favorite. As a parent, I intend to direct them to another experience of literature of another form. The children's book they loved and read as little kids has been adapted into a musical.

What conservations we would have after seeing this musical!

I am excited for Tito Dok; for my kids to watch the musical; for the musical to take flight and soar! The hubby is looking forward to the show as well because Noel Cabangon, one of his favorite musicians, composed the music and directed it too.

For inquiries on reservations, blocked screenings for schools and big groups, get in touch with:

Juan Lorenzo Marco
Marketing Staff - Tanghalang Pilipino
Project Head - Sandosenang Sapatos and Tanghalang Pilipino TV


Cultural Center of the Philippines
2/F Production Design Building, CCP Complex
Roxas Blvd. Pasay City

Telephone Number: 832-1125 local 1620-1621
Mobile Number: 0935-378-4781/0999-884-9624

* Dr. Luis Gatmaitan is the sectoral representative for writers in the PBBY (Philippine Board on Books for Young People)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Celebrate the 30th NCBD 2013!

Last year, I posted in the blog photos of learning communities who celebrated the 29th National Children's Book Day. PBBY also issued a letter with suggestions to celebrate NCBD.

To refresh your memory, here is the link to the photos and the activities mentioned in the letter.

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.
This year, continue to celebrate NCBD! The NCBD poster has five activities that parents, teachers, libraries and school communities can do. For free posters, call the PBBY Secretariat at 3526765 local 203/120. This week, I will feature more ways to celebrate books, reading and the NCBD 2013!

SLIA's Dear Librarian Reply: Ang Epekto ng Teknolohiya sa Aklatan

Heto ang aking reply kay Augie Ebreo, librarian ng Batangas University.

Hi Augie! Sabi sa research, ang mga kabataan ngayon edad 0-25, ay mas pinipiling magbasa ng ebooks at ibang babasahin na digital. Ang grupo ng mga kabtaang ito ay tinatawag na digital natives. Ang sabi rin sa research, wala namang pinagkaiba ang comprehension skills na ginagamit ng mga tao pag nagbabasa ng book or ebooks/digital content. May isa pang research na nagsasabi na mas madedevelop ang language at verbal skills ng isang bata kung iba't-ubang uri ng instructional materials ang kanyang ginagamit sa pag-aaral at sa pang araw-araw na gawaiin.

Kung ito ang sinasabi ng makabagong researches, ano ngayon ang implikasyon nito sa ating mga librarian?

a. Kailangan may serbisyo ang library kung saan ang aklat at ebooks/digital content ay available para sa lahat ng uri ng learners. Hindi pwedeng books lang, or virtual/digital content lang. Kailangan, balanse ito at naayon sa context ng library users. Kung gayon, kailangang makilala ng librarian ang users nya at maplano ang pag angkat at pagbuo ng isang library collection.

b. Tingan kung sino-sino ang gumagawa ng ebooks at digital content at kung ito ay kayang basahin ng library users. Kung minsan, mas-friendly ang aklat dahil natural ang hitsura nito kumpara sa ereader na isang gadget. Mayroong digital divide na tinatawag, at naniniwala ako na nangyayari ito dito sa ating bansa na ang iilan lang maynkayang bumili ng ereaders at ang makaka-access sa technology ay ang mga may kakayahang bumili nito.

c. Aklat man o ebook/ereader, kailangan ng user education at information literacy skills training ng gagamit. Dito papasok ang role ng librarians at libraries. Dahil ang pagbabasa at literacy ay karapatan, role ng librarians ang mag bigay ng access sa mga aklat/ereaders para sa komunidad. Role din ng librarians na turuan ang komunidad na gumamit ng aklat/ereaders.

d. Dahil sa pagbabago ng kaisipan at pag gamit ng information at kaalaman, dapat, patuloy na natututo ang librarian.

May gagamit pa rin ng aklat. May gagamit rin ng ebooks/ereaders. Pero, ebook man or traditional na aklat, magbabasa at magbabasa ang mga tao. READING remains. Skilled reader ba ang librarian? Kailangan, skilled and competent readers ang librarian para skilled and competent readers din ang library users.

Friday, June 21, 2013

When Libraries Rock and Rule!

This summer, I helped organize a library-museum-bookstore trip for the faculty of our high school. It was a lot of leg work but it was worth the time and effort. Our first trip was to the Ateneo University Press and the Rizal Library.

Librarian Angie showing us how it's done.
The press is on sale till June 29 so do come and buy books! Needless to say, we had good buys and got big discounts. I bought for my own consumption this book by Dr. Michael Asis, I am Because We Are. This is a book I can share with my family as well as couple friends in the Magis Deo community.

In the afternoon, we headed to the Rizal Library. We were welcomed by Tommy dela Cruz, our librarian tour guide. He did the usual rounds of the library tour but it was the Microfilm collection that took our breath away. The ALIW office was just as impressive as they hold original documents of manuscripts, passports, diplomas, etc. of women writers who've inspired and influenced many young women, particularly, to pursue their own dreams. To me, it was the Jose Garcia Villa exhibit that made me giddy. Villa was a big part of my college years studying literature and English at PNU. It gave me goosebumps reading his comma poems in his own handwriting.

 Majority of the teachers in the group were first timers in Rizal Library. Now they have an idea where to go should our small collection in the school library could not meet their specific information needs. Thank you Rizal Library for coming up with user friendly visitor guidelines. We hope to come back despite the distance from where we live (we're southerners) because there's so much more to see and discover in "your" library!

Next week, we are off to the Asian Development Bank library and the Lopez Museum and Library in Ortigas. We've schedule another book trip to Fullybooked, the UP Press and the Filipinas Heritage Library. Vacations and summers are usually spent in beaches and far off island retreats. Museums and libraries are tour destinations too. Here's hoping that more libraries and museums grow and develop for cultural tourism!

Here we are at the pictorial site.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

SLIA's Dear Librarian: Epekto ng Paglaganap ng Teknolohiya sa Aklatan

Last year, Augie Ebreo, librarian from the University of Batangas, asked me of my opinion on the effects of technology to libraries today. 

Mam pwede po makabasa ng inyong view sa epekto sa library ng patuloy na paglaganap at pag-unlad ng teknolohiya. May posibilidad po ba na bumaba na ang bilang ng mga gumagamit ng books o tuluyan ng malusaw ito. Salamat po.
Translation: May I ask your views on the effects of technology to libraries. Is there a possibility that book use will be non-existent in light of the rapid technological changes? Thank you!

I will post my reply to him next week.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

An Author's Journey: Annie Pacana Lumbao on Writing for Children

Children's book writer, Annie Pacana Lumbao, writes about her inspiration and her creative process on her book But That Won't Wake Me Up (Adarna House, 2010). The article is published in the May 2013 issue of Good Housekeeping (GH).

There's a mention of my name and a quote I made from the forum on Children's Literature by Ang INK last February 2012. It was a pleasant surprise to find Ms. Lumbao's email regarding this write up. Sometimes I wonder what happens to participants after attending a forum. Ms. Lumbao apparently was inspired to start writing for young adults.

The 30th National Children's Book Day is just around the corner. PBBY will be awarding the Salanga and Alcala to two new young artists who are venturing into content creation for children. May young people like them be inspired to pursue this challenging and noble art.

My gratitude goes to the editor of GH, Ms. Lola Abrera. Photo credits to Ms. Annie Pacana Lumbao

Monday, June 17, 2013

Filipino Librarian: Eimee Rhea Lagrama

With LibRadio co hosts, Annie Lim & Elijah Dar Juan. Photo from Ms. Rochelle Silverio's blog,
The blog has two Filipino Librarians featured for the month of June. Ms. Karryl Kim Sagun was featured last week.

This week, we have Ms. Eimee Rhea Lagrama from UP Diliman. She's one of the voices behind LibRadio which is aired every Wednesday at DZUP.

Read her LIS journey below.

a. What's your lib story? Describe how you made the choice of majoring in LIS and what was college life like for you as a LIS major. You can cite challenging stories and success stories while studying the course.

Like many ILS students during my time (eons ago, when my college was still called the UP Institute of Library Science), I took my pre-LIS course elsewhere.  It was a running joke among us students that before you can get into ILS you have to come from another college.  Nowadays, more and more incoming freshies take Library and Information Science as a matter of choice, as opposed to a matter of fate.

I was an Engineering student (Dad’s choice), but I hated it so much that I started working on shifting to another course on the 2nd sem of my freshman year.  I really wanted to shift to MassComm, and I thought I didn’t make the cut (I did, but that’s another story), which led me to SLIS and I haven’t looked back.  Years later, who would’ve thought I would get a Kapisanan ng mga Broadkaster sa Pilipinas license without taking a single course in the College of Mass Communications.

I guess the most challenging issue for me as an undergrad was explaining to the people around me what this course is, especially to my parents who at first thought it was a waste of money. (pinag-aaralan pala yan?) Of course now, they think otherwise and would be the first to defend me when people say those things out of ignorance (Excuse me, ang anak ko librarian sa UP, pinadala pa sa Madrid para mag-aral!). 

b. What has been the greatest challenge you've faced so far as a licensed and working librarian? Why do you say it's a challenge?

I have been very fortunate that the work milieu I am in recognizes the importance of our profession, unlike in private companies where you have fight to make an impression in the workplace. 
Despite this, working in a State University means that budget is always a problem and you have to make do with what you have.  There is a huge disconnect with what is taught in the academia and what exists in the real world with regards to what should be and what there actually is.  The bonus though is that we librarians in UP get to be creative and resourceful.

Currently, I am the secretary for Philippine Librarians Association, Inc. – National Board.  It’s rewarding to be part of the professional association for librarians, but we (as a collective) are facing so many issues, it’s so daunting at times. 

With my duties at work, teaching at the UP-SLIS and being in PLAI, my greatest challenge right now is finding the time to...go jogging around the UP Oval. (badum-tish!)

Fiesta de San Isidro in Madrid.

c. What is your area of expertise in LIS?

Since I started working in UP, I’ve been connected in one way or the other with the Filipiniana Collection, first, as a librarian for Filipiniana Books, and later on, heading the Special Collections and Archives.  Safe to say, I know this collection like the back of my hand.  I enjoy doing reference work and research for faculty members, though this can be an occasionally dirty work (literally) .

In addition, as one of the regular hosts for LibRadio: Librarians sa Radyo (heard on DZUP 1602 KHz,an AM Radio show we’ve been doing for almost four years now), I’ve become really immersed in marketing and promotions for the library.  But even before this, I’ve already been doing PR since we host a lot of events in the library and collaborate with various colleges in the university.

d. What do you think are the requirements and preparations necessary for becoming a LIS professional?

Aside from education and training, experience is one of the best mentors you can have.  But the experience will be made even more meaningful and profound if you have people who will look after your career.  In my case, I was fortunate to have Mrs. Arlante and Mr. Tarlit as my mentors.  Through the years they were nudging me in my career path.

e. What rewards have you reaped from being a LIS professional?

One of my best experiences was being a becaria  (scholar) at the Archivo Historico Nacional in Madrid for 9 months.  I learned a lot of things, seen a lot of places, made a lot of friends and learned how to speak Spanish.  It comes in handy when I’m reading old documents and rare books.  Some people have asked me to do some translation work, which I’ve done gratis.  They’ve given me food, small gifts and one time, a bunch of roses as a token of gratitude. Everyone in the library thought I had a secret admirer.

Cliche as it may sound, I find it euphoric when a researcher’s face would light up when I help with their research.  I’ve mentioned before that being a librarian is a lot like being a detective; and successfully closing an investigation makes me feel like I’ve won a case.

I think I’ve been watching too many episodes of Law and Order.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

DepEd Advisory: Celebrate National Children's Book Day!

The count down to the 30th NCBD begins! Today is Day 30 and here's the DepEd Advisory to celebrate National Children's Book Day nationwide!

Happy Father's Day!

Jomike Tejido is at it again!

He made an e-greeting card for Mother's Day using the illustrations he made for our book project. Father's deserve one on this special day!

My father is a retired public school teacher. I did not see him bring home test papers to check or lesson plans to make at home. He is very good at time management. He was a strict teacher, a disciplinarian. What I remember most was his big table in his classroom. It was made of wood, very sturdy and smelled like baked bread. I did visit him in his shop in school and watched him plant vegetables in the school garden along side his sixth grade students.

To my father and my husband, and all the fathers in the world, Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Libraries for the Young (Repost)

Exhumed an old piece for an old book project that is rising like the phoenix.

A Letter From Tita Pilar is a piece I wrote in 2005 or 2006 (?). It helps to reread an old composition. Taking a step backward to jump two steps ahead. I hope.

A Letter From Tita Pilar
By Zarah Gagatiga

My dear nephew,

So you have indeed taken the path less trodden. When I heard the news that you have graduated from university with a degree in Library Science, I was greatly surprised. I thought your mother was only humoring when she broke the news that you have in fact applied for a

job in the local public library. And she even boasted that you have great dreams of helping children and teenagers in the community.  I thought you would have shifted to engineering or computer science, which is gaining quite a popularity among newly graduated high school students,

by your sophomore year.  But, you proved me wrong. So now, allow me to be blunt.

Only a few dare venture into the world of children and young adult library services in the country. For this, I admire your bravery and courage. You must be made of some stronger stuff to be in this place where support and funding is close to nil. There must have been a divine

inspiration that prompted you to take on a role deemed by many as irrelevant or non-existent.

In the corporate library, there is glamour. In the academic library, prestige. In school and public libraries, there are still so many things to be done. That’s why I tip my hat to you for making the choice, however, enthusiasm and idealism can only take you to a certain level. The academe may have prepared you well with theory and practice for the work that is ahead, but real life experiences on the job will be the true

test of your mettle.

Am I beginning to frighten you? Don’t be.

My intent is to help you anticipate the challenges that you will eventually face as you practice the profession. Honestly, there will be roadblocks and obstacles along the way. But once you’re able to overcome, if not, to accept and to learn how to deal with them you will discover how fulfilling it is to be working for kids and teens. I will not delay any longer. You may find out that these ten tips

are far from inspirational. They are more like a survival guide, actually, particularly for the young librarian starting out.

So, here we go.

  1. You have many clients in the public library. But since you dream of serving children and young people, prioritize them. The collection, the services, the programs and the environment you provide them must be suitable to their developmental and learning needs. In the school, its vision, mission and goals, the curricular and extra-curricular offerings must all be taken in consideration when developing resources and in planning and implementing programs and activities. The same can be said in the public library however, there is the demand to continue and strengthen such services and programs to adults and senior citizens. 

  2. In library school, you were taught how to catalog; to analyze and organize the collection; to conduct readers’ services; to prepare indexes and bibliography; to manage information and facilities – the works. These are all good and very practical indeed. Then again, there are tasks to meet a bigger goal that is universal to school and public libraries. Such tasks are means to an end. Your job, as librarian, is to function as agent of life long learning. It is essential that when you facilitate library services, your young users can derive meaningful experiences from it.

  1. In the school library, you have teachers, administrators, parents and staff. In the public library, you have local officials, civic groups and community volunteers. All are members of the community, but they are your partners as well. Collaborate with them to reach your young clientele. Teachers and parents can be requested to tell stories on a weekly or monthly basis. Invite administrators and local officials to the library as resource persons to kids and teens. Civic groups may help in fund raising and book drives. Volunteers can keep technical and clerical work at bay. Running a library is a Herculean task and you need all the help you can get. Who ever said you have to do it alone?

  2. Seek support from the administration and local officials. Most of them are not fully aware of what we can do. They can be clueless on how important our contribution is to the development of literacy for children and young adults. It’s not their fault, but if you don’t act early enough, then you’re to blame. They are the stakeholders and you have to make them see that libraries are not merely buildings and books. Buildings may rise and books may come in truckloads, but without a librarian to plan, implement and manage programs for children and teens, will they come to use the building or read the books? Let them know that we matter by gaining and winning their good side. Some are actually well meaning enough to grant your request for a new room or a bigger reading area; additional computers; bigger budget; approval and support for library programs. Take the risk. It is worth it.

  3. Continue to grow in the profession and in related fields of discipline. Pursue graduate studies. Join professional organizations, not only in librarianship but also in allied fields like computers and information technology. These are buzz words that pose a challenge to the way we do things in the library. Learn it! Ours is a dynamic discipline. Changes in the profession is fast, rampant and at times, uncompromising. Equip yourself with the knowledge and skill needed to adapt to these changes. 

  4. Strengthen communication skills. And I mean all facets – speaking, listening, reading and writing. Your library users must understand you and you must understand them. You must relay to your stakeholders what your vision and goal are for the library. The message you want to impress upon parents and community members must be clear and sincere. On library work, if you look at its cycle and flow, it is really about communicating with people. What we do is a means to an end. Cataloging a book is not simply for records purpose or for posterity. Circulation work is not all about statistics and reports; nor is it utterly about charging and discharging of resources. Selection and acquisition is not merely choosing books and resources that are cute and nice. What has these functions to do with communication? That I will leave for you to answer and discover. You don’t expect me to tell you everything, do you?

  5. Avail of grants, local ones and those that are available abroad. Let me remind you of the three tenets in library management – budget, content and people who use the library. Budget is the most important among the three. Often, there is shortage of funds. If worse comes to worse, there is none at all. Then again, tenacity and resourcefulness can get you the budget that the library deserves. Patience and perseverance will aid you in raising funds and seeking grants. Tenacity. Resourcefulness. Patience. Perseverance. Such are the qualities of a leader. It is not enough to be brave. 

  6. Manage time and human resources very well. Ah yes. You will get tired. You will feel burn out. So, relax. Leave the work at the library at day’s end. Focus your energy on matters that are truly important. Classify work as urgent, ASAP, important, critical, priority. Sit down and plan a three-year development plan. Evaluate it and communicate reports to staff and administration. Strategic planning is necessary for special projects like Book Week celebrations, installing a new service like a computer area or viewing and exhibit room. Delegate the work if you have people under your wing. Make it a team effort. Involve them in the planning as well as in the implementation of projects and programs. Library staff needs training too, so it’s not only you who must grow professionally and personally.

  7. Read. Read anything. Read everything. You’re a librarian. If you cease reading, then it’s a sign to change careers.

  8. Know when to hold on and when to let go. Pick your battles. Learn to say no. Be flexible. Bend a little at times and yes, compromise. It may cause you pain, but you will live. And that is essential, because you need to last another day.

These are all I have to say to you, my dear nephew. It is a mouthful. Did I give you indigestion? Well, eat it like an elephant - piece by piece.

With love and concern,

Tita Pilar

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Filipino Librarian: Karryl Kim Sagun

For this month of June, Karryl Kim Sagun shares with us her LIS journey. She is a librarian at the Rizal Library and has been practicing the profession for nearly three years now. In that short span of time, Ms. Sagun has been invited to speak at national and international LIS conferences. She graduated BLIS from UP Diliman and holds a Master in Technology Management.
a. What's your lib story? Describe how you made the choice of majoring in LIS and what was college life like for you as a LIS major. You can cite challenging stories and success stories while studying the course.

People often mistook me as a shiftee when I was a college freshman (how dare they, I was only fifteen then!), but LIS was my first choice when I took the UPCAT. I am one of those pure-bred LIS majors in our community.

It was my Dad who convinced me to take the course, perhaps he thought that I am fit to be a librarian as he observed me, as early as sixth grade, put my own version of accession numbers on my Archie comics before I “loan them out” to my friends (and yes, I also gave them library cards and issued due dates). My high school friends thought otherwise, though. They said I’ll be one heck of a crazy librarian, should I really end up being one. But hey, look at me! As prim and proper as a librarian should be! HAHAHA!

Success stories? I guess finding a mentor in the School of Library and Information Studies helped me a lot. I love my profs, but it was Atty. Vyva Aguirre (who was Dean at that time) who I consider as my mentor in SLIS. She gave me really good advice (especially during thesis writing).

Perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of being an LIS major is explaining to people what LIS is. Back then, it wasn’t as popular, and the course is also enjoying a better reputation today than it did when I was a student. It didn’t help that my lola (grandmotehr) thought I would die a spinster because of pursuing LIS! Nanghinayang siguro siya sa genes namin! Hahaha!

b. What has been the greatest challenge you've faced so far as a licensed and working librarian? Why do you say it's a challenge?

Well, being a licensed and working librarian years after graduation! When I started working for Ateneo in 2010, it was my first time to really practice the profession. I finished BLIS in 2007, and I used to work as a copyright associate in a fashion publishing company, and then a sales coordinator for medical books. In Ateneo, I had to conduct marketing activities to promote the different sections of the library. Mrs. Lourdes David, who was Director of the Rizal Library then, had to have me rotated in all the sections of the Rizal Library in the course of two months, including technical services—and my, my, to say that my cataloguing skills have gotten really rusty would be an understatement. 

c. What is your area of expertise in LIS?

Marketing. I don’t think I’m as good in any other aspect of LIS, really. Although I’m really enjoying reference work, as I have recently been tasked to be part of the reference team in Rizal Lib. 

d. What do you think are the requirements and preparations necessary for becoming a LIS professional?

Service orientation, attention to detail, and a little bit of crazy. Having a mentor wouldn’t hurt, either. 

e. What rewards have you reaped from being a LIS professional?

Erm, doughnuts, cupcakes, and cups of coffee from happy customers! Haha! Hmm, on a more serious note, I have experienced things I don’t think I would have experienced should I have chosen a different field. The best ones would be being presented with opportunities for travel and research, and gaining a lot of awesome friends along the way. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Looking for Andoy: Andres Bonifacio Descendant

This is Vicente "Kuya Teng" Antonio. The woman beside him is his wife, Ligaya "Ate Gaya" Antonio. I know them from Magis Deo, a community of encountered married couples in the Ignatian Spirituality. Kuya Teng and Ate Gaya are our batch mates in the Marriage Encounter Weekend that my husband and I attended in 2006. Over the past seven years, we have been companion couples to each other; praying together and for each other as we go through the challenges of family and married life.

What has Kuya Teng got to do with my blog post today?

Well, Kuya Teng is a descendant of Andres Bonifacio. His mother, whom we call Inang, is still very strong and lucid. It would be grand to get a genealogy from Inang. I think I have to do it soon while Inang can still talk about her family's history and her connection with the revolutionary hero.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The 30th National Children's Book Day

And so we begin another year of the National Children's Book Day. The poster says it all. Begin a reading revolution!

Celebrate NCBD at home, in your school and community. Let me know how you plan to drum up NCBD this year. Send me photos and brief descriptions of activities. I will devote a blog space for your feedback and stories on the NCBD.

Thanks to Kora Dandan Albano for a marvelous job illustrating the poster!

This year is Andres Bonifacio's sesquicentennial celebration so PBBY's battle cry: Basa, mga kapatid!
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