Thursday, November 28, 2013

Philippine Children's Lit Community Gives Back

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Looking for Andoy: Ngumiti si Andoy Blog Toour

I have been looking for Andoy since the year began. Every month, I am surprised of Andoy discoveries I have made. There is a lot to know and learn about Andres Bonifacio, not just his heroics, but his personhood too. There have been fora, movies, plays, an opera and a TV show about Andres Bonifacio. And here, a children's story book written by Michael Jude Tumamac and illustrated by Dom Agsaway.

This week, I participate in a blog tour on the Salanga and Alcala grand prize winning story, Ngumti si Andoy, by featuring its author and illustrator in the blog on November 30, 2013.  The blog tour started yesterday and you can head on to Xi Zuq's Nook for a schedule of posts about the book and its creators in the blogosphere.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Picture Book Month: My Essay on the Importance of Picture Books

Picture Book Month is happening till the end of the month. My essay on the importance of picture books appeared last November 23, 2013. Here's an excerpt:
When I do author visits in schools and libraries, I make it a point to cover this collaborative process in creating picture books. I think children can learn a lot from this experience especially when they are presented with activities to make their own picture books with classmates and friends. We learn better when we interact with others. In picture books and in creating them, we learn from others too!

For the whole piece, read it here.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

PLA's Call for Action: One Million and Counting Books for Libraries Victims of Calamities


ALA's Philippines Library Relief

The American Library Association has publicized its relief efforts to libraries in the Philippines that were destroyed by typhoon Haiyan last November 8, 2013.

The American Library Association is accepting donations from the United States for libraries in the Philippines. The Philippines Library Relief Fund will help to rebuild libraries and archives in the Philippines that were destroyed or damaged by the Typhoon Haiyan on November 8, 2013. Please make tax deductible donations to help rebuild libraries in the Philippines.
Visit ALA's website for more information on this relief operation for Philippine libraries in Leyte, Ormoc, Cebu and Samar.

I personally met Barbara Stripling, the ALA President, during the 42nd IASL Conference in Bali, Indonesia and she is such a strong and wonderful person. Thank you ALA for reaching out to us!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Filipino Librarian: Bily Alejo

Topnother, Bily Alejo has graciously agreed for an interview in the blog. He shares with us his dreams of becoming a librarian specializing in marketing and promotion of library services and programs. He looks up to Mrs. Venus Ibarra Guyos and Mr. Michael Pinto who both mentored him in the Univeristy of St. Louis, Tuguegarao.

Congratulations, Bily! May our tribe increase!

Degree: Bachelor in Library and Information Science (Graduated as Magna cum Laude S.Y. 2012-2013)
School/University: University of Saint Louis – Tuguegarao

* What do you feel now that you've passed the LLE, and topnotcher at that?!

When the results came out, it was really difficult for me to absorb this life-changing moment – life of a topnotcher. At first, I really did not know if I am going to ace in the exam because I wandered on the questions of the LLE. The questions were flabbergasting that for me were “Between Life and Death” questions. Now, I had survived my life’s toughest point and had been recognized as a topnotcher. I know that my success has a reason that comes from God – a reason that remains to be beautiful. If you continue to believe in what God can do to turn impossibilities into unlimited opportunities, you will be guided by His light towards the path of your success!

* How did you prepare for the LLE?

My batch mates had landed on jobs after graduation. I was in a dilemma whether to work or to prepare for the board examination. When I floated my application to one private school, I asked God for a sign that if I will not be hired, I will review for the LLE. Otherwise, I will concentrate on my work. He gave me a sign not to work and just review. So for the remaining months before the board exam, I was jammed in our house as a part-time housekeeper and part-time reviewee.

* Why did you major in LIS?

I enrolled in Library and Information Science by accident and by God’s will. Why LIS? I observed half of my classmates enrolled Accountancy and the rest on Health and Allied Sciences. I did not have any idea about the profession and that posed a challenge – a challenge to discover what is in store for me and to make a difference in our batch.

* Who are your librarian heroes?

I was about to quit and shift into another career during my schooling because I could not find myself in Librarianship. Then, I came to meet and greet Miss Venus Ibarra, now Mrs. Guyos, where I was able to find myself from her. I was inspired by her actions, personality and wisdom to continue to become a Philippine librarian. She supported me like a mother in every endeavor I wish to achieve. I sincerely thank her for the inspiration, love and support she shared to me though I was only her student. To Sir Michael Pinto for the words of encouragement to soar high and to contribute positively in the profession, a big thanks and applause for what he had done. And to many librarians who inspired me in whatever way to become the person I ought to be, I thank you so much! You already know yourselves; I don’t have to enumerate.

* What specialization or tracking in LIS do you wish to take?

My buddy professor, Mrs. Guyos, knew already what I want to become and that is to become a model. Since I am a frustrated model, I want to employ my creativity, intellect and passion into the profession through library marketing. I have a strong sense of passion for library marketing because of my experience as a project manager back in college. A model is about influence and inspiration to people; thus, marketing for me is my choice and my heart.

* What is the most pressing issue in Philippine Librarianship that needs to be addressed? Why? How can this issue be addressed?

I wish to address the stereotypes of librarians as perceived by the younger generations. If we, librarians, are aware of our actions and sensitive to what our users are thinking of us, then we could provide an immediate solution in correcting their wrong discernment and enlightening them about the profession. This is what makes Librarianship unattractive to the younger generations as a career because they do not see the significance of the profession to the society and the opportunities to become successful in life. This draws the obliteration of the growth of the number of librarians in the country which results into high demand and low supply of librarians. Librarians should join hands to make an effort in promoting and realizing the image of the profession in the 21st Century and to the future to come.

* What is your advice to LLE takers in the future and to students of LIS?

Thomas Edison, Father of Invention, once said, “Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” I am a product of difficult challenges, failures and doubts. I struggled, but I never quit. I continued to dream and trust God’s will. If I was able to make it, you too can! Always remember that despite and in spite of everything, God rewards those people who believe in Him. With God, nothing is impossible!

Sabi ni Korina Sanchez, “Balang araw wala ng batang naka-paa,” para sa kanyang Tsinelas Campaign.
Ako naman, “Balang araw wala ng library na walang librarian,” para sa aking More Librarians Campaign.

I look forward to the influx of competent and virtuous librarians in the country!

KUTING Kwentuhan: On Reading Choices of Kids and Teens

Saturday, November 9, 2013

New on the Blog: Unshelved

I discovered this cool comic strip about libraries, librarians and books. It's called Unshelved by Gene Ambaum and Bill Barnes

They have a cool website where you can view and read daily comic strips that are funny and witty. They also have books, reading recommendations and a book club. They ask for library stories so I might just send one over.

I have added Unshelved's widget/link to the blog to receive regular syndication. Should you wish to use their comic strips, check out their permission to reuse policy.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Filipino Friday (5): What do Readers Want?

It's the last Friday of Filipino Friday 2013 and these are the questions of the day:

What’s your favorite genre/reading material?
Who is your favorite author (local or foreign)?
What kinds of books would you like to see more of from local authors or publishers?
What is your favorite book from a Filipino author?

I prefer reading speculative fiction, fantasy especially. But in my line of work, I have learned to read genres I do not like. Reading has allowed me to accommodate and tolerate different world views and constructs. This is a humbling experience and it's awesome. Knowledge is out there. My respect for the reality and expertise of others grow in every reading journey. Of late, I find myself reading essays and non-fiction. This interest was actually spurred by reading fiction the past few years. Sometimes I think about the thin line that divide fiction from non-fiction. A crafty writer can turn fiction into reality and non-fiction into something wonderful and magical.

This is why I love Gaiman. And Rowling. I've started reading Nicholas Carr's The Shallows this week. His storytelling skill is amazing!

Among friends in the local Children's Literature industry, I hold Augie Rivera, Dr. Luis Gatmaitan and Rhandee Garlitos with great respect for their integrity, prolific writing and passionate advocacy to promote the industry. I am charmed by the works of Robert Magnuson, Jomike Tejido and Russell Molina. I am grateful that every year, the anthology, Philippine Speculative Fiction by the Lit Critters core group is published. Dean Alfar's short story, The Kite of Stars, is my definitive Pinoy speculative fiction. I await for Trese 6 by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo. Still, it has been an interesting experience scouting and picking up new Filipiniana published by local publishers. Eliza Victoria's A Bottle of Storm Clouds surprised me. Bebang Siy's It's a Mens World had me in stitches. Allan Derain's Ang Banal na Aklat ng mga Kumag made me reflect on the morals of myths.

As far as children's books and young adult literature in the country is concerned, I wish to see more of the later and a continued growth of the former. Format is not an issue personally, but print is still important especially for beginning readers. Why? The answer to that question is for another blog post.

My all time favorite book by a Filipino author is Manila, My Manila by Nick Joaquin. I lost my copy years ago and learned recently that the book is out of print.

I Want To Be a Fit Filipino Librarian

I weighed 160 lbs. in 2008. At 4 ft. 11 in., this was way above my normal weight. I suffered from shortness of breath when walking and climbing up stairs. I felt pain in my ankles and in my back. Getting up in the morning was a chore. I was bloated most of the time and shopping for clothes was frustrating. 

At the time, I was very active with facilitating workshops and conducting lectures on top of my full time work. Not until my husband honestly told me how being obese would lower my credibility rating did I confront the issue of weight loss. Besides, he told me of his anxiety about health problems I will face in my 40s if I do not change to a healthy lifestyle.

Listening to him, I availed of the free gym use granted to me by our school's HR department. My name was drawn out of a bowl when Gold's Gym offered free training and fitness sessions for the school's faculty and staff. I had a personal trainer who was my fitness companion. I changed my diet and committed to the gym workout my trainer planned for me. My journey to fitness and a change in lifestyle began

In eight months, I lost 30 lbs. 

Five years after, I am 10 lbs. near my weight in 2008.

This July, my physical exam results came out with the doctor's recommendation of losing 20 to 30 lbs. off. I've attempted to go back to a healthy diet and do routine walking exercises since then but it's been a difficult, personal battle. I know something has to give.

When I learned about Coach Jim Saret's FitFil programvia Janette Toral, a voice inside me pushed me to get in touch with her. For twelve days beginning on November 12, 2013 to December 7, 2013, I'll be committing myself to the Nestle Wellness FitFil Boot Camp.

What attracted me to the program is the opportunity to design my own fitness program. I hope that after finishing the 12 sessions, I'll be able to sustain an exercise regimen that fits my lifestyle and health profile. More than looking good, I chose to take care of myself because it is my responsibility. I have done this before and I know I can do this again.

If you're interested to know more about Coach Jim Saret's FitFil program,simply click the links I added above and register. There are three venues: Bonifacio Global City, Alabang Town Center and Mall Of Asia. The BGC group started last week. The ATC group will begin on Tuesday next week and the MOA group starts on November 19, 2013. What's interesting about this fitness program is that this time, I'll be joining a group. I will be with others who share the same concerns, worries and passion for a healthy lifestyle.

I'll be blogging my progress every week. I'll be posting pictures too. I'm also on Twitter via @coffeegoddes and I have an FB account. So, these are my platforms to journal my second journey, my second chance at choosing wellness.

Wish me luck!

Picture Book Month 2013 Round Up of Champions: Nov. 4 - 7, 2013

Fantastic ideas and thoughts on picture books!

Picture books are important because pictures are what initially attract a child to a book and, from there, to the whole process of reading.
Larry Dane Brimmer, Nov. 4, 2013

I am baffled that there exists the debate of “either/or” when it comes to picture books as actual books versus ebooks. It seems to me that we are talking about two very different things, and hopefully, both have their place in the world. I would love to see the ebook evolve into something that works with and/or complements the book, rather than compete with and try to be a facimile or skeuomorph of the physical book. Just as there are many ways in which the ebook can not duplicate the wonders of the physical book (i.e. trim size, page turn, tactile experience, etc.), similarly, there are ways in which the physical book can not duplicate the potential wonders of an electronic supplement to the story (i.e. animation, sound effects, interactivity,etc.)

Laura Vaccaro Seeger, Nov. 5, 2013

Picture books give the reader a chance to be a part of the story, controlling the pace by deciding when to turn the page, when to linger over a special word or sentence, when to leap ahead or jump back in the story, and when a book is really good, to turn back to page one and start reading all over again. In real life, we can’t do these things.

Daniel Kirk, Nov. 6, 2013

And because they’re picture books, the words tell only half the story. The rest is revealed by the art, which helps kids notice details in the world around them, plants the seeds for art appreciation, and teaches them to look beyond words for emotional clues with respect to communication.

Emma Walton Hamilton, Nov. 7, 2013
Picture Book Month is an international literacy initiative that celebrates the print picture book during the month of November.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Kids & Their Stories @ the 3rd ReaderCon

It's only three more days to the 3rd ReaderCon. It will commence at the Rizal Library on November 9, 2013. Dr. Von Totanes, director of Rizal Library, will open this event celebrating books, reading and literacy. This year, I'll be facilitating  a panel, Kids and Their Stories, where authors interview kids and teens who are the audience of that panel. As the theme for this year's ReaderCon proposes, What do Readers Want?, the panelists aim to know what kids and teens are reading and what they want to see on the shelves of libraries and bookstores.

This panel is beneficial to writers, illustrators and publishers of children's and YA books because the information they can get from the audience have a direct effect on their craft and on the business of publishing. But isn't this the same information we school librarians want to know and make use of too? It sounds like market research in action but having a conversion with kids can be a well of insights that can help us improve the process and content in developing the library's collection.

The PBBY will have a booth in the book reco fair at 1PM where the winning books of the NCBA 2010 and 2012 will be featured. Later on in the afternoon, winners of the Filipino Readers' Choice Award will be announced and book discussions by different book discussion groups will take place. It is going to be an exciting day for all book lovers and readers big and small.

Such activities are wonderful ways to celebrate books and reading! If you are a school librarian and you are free on November 9, 2013 attend the 3rd ReaderCon. It is a place where you can learn new things, unlearn some, and relearn a lot.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Picture Book of the Month Champions: Mike Shoulders and Bobbi Miller

Picture Book Month is up and about and here's what two champions think about picture books and their relevance.

Yes, picture books teach colors, numbers, the cadence of rhythms and rhymes, but also a love of the written word… ALL essentials for eventual success in classrooms and a good life.
                                                        Mike Shoulders, November 2, 2013 PBM Champion

 In reading such picture books, a young reader learns to appreciate the language itself. Language is more than mere words. It’s the rhythms and the patterns, the musicality of language. Studies suggest that language acquisition is keyed to youth, and likewise, we can infer, is language appreciation. Our language reflects what lives inside us: our hopes and dreams, our history and our future.

                                                          Bobbi Miller, November 3, 2013 PBM Champion

And while were at it, I ask you what you're favorite ABC-123 picture book is? What about history that's presented in picture book format? I'll tell you mine next blog post!

Picture Book Month: Read! Share! Celebrate!

“Introducing them at a young age to the imaginary world of literature can plant the seed for a lifetime of exploration and investigation.” – Mercer Mayer from his Picture Book Month Essay

                It’s time! Around the world, schools, libraries, booksellers, and book lovers are coming together to celebrate print picture books throughout the month of November. Now in its third year, the initiative is a viral phenomenon and was even featured on Thousands joined the celebration creating Picture Book Month events across the United States as well as in Australia, Hungary, India, Jamaica, the Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. Bloggers came together and wrote about their favorite picture books using the daily themes on the Picture Book Month Calendar created by Elizabeth O. Dulemba. A school in Budapest, Hungary read over 6,000 picture books during the 2012 Picture Book Month!

                The website,, features essays from thought leaders in the children’s literature community. Each day in November, a new essay is posted. This year’s Picture Book Month Champions are: David Adler, Dianna Aston, Rick Anderson, Larry Dane Brimner, Julie Danielson, Carmen Agra Deedy, Tomie dePaola, Emma Walton Hamilton, Rebecca Emberly, Sue Fliess, Zarah Gagatiga, Candace Fleming, Lee Harper, Jannie Ho, Steve Jenkins, Daniel Kirk, Jesse Klausmeier, Mercer Mayer, Bobbi Miller, Wendell Minor, Hazel G. Mitchell, Jerry Pinkney, Robert Quackenbush, April Pulley Sayre, Rob Scotton, Laura Vaccaro Seeger, Michael Shoulders, Wendi Silvano, Heidi Stemple, and Rosemary Wells.

                Support for the initiative continues with partners such as the American Booksellers Association, the American Association of School, the Children’s Book Council, Reading is Fundamental, and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators as well as industry trade journals such as Hornbook and School Library Journal. A downloadable promotional kit is available as well as certificates, posters, and bookmarks created by Joyce Wan. Brain Burps About Books Podcast, the #1 kidlit podcast on iTunes, is dedicating the entire month of November to Picture Book Month. Picture Book Month even has a new Teacher Guide created by Marcie Colleen.

                Founder Dianne de Las Casas says, “We’ve had a record number of registrations this year. I know it’s going to be an exciting celebration!”

                Join the celebration! Visit

“A childhood is enriched by the memories that reside within the covers of a favourite book.” – Rob Scotton from his Picture Book Month Essay

“Celebrate the magic that happens when words and pictures come together to tell you a story.” – Rebecca Emberley from her Picture Book Month Essay

Bookmark Collection

I have started a small collection. So.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Filipino Friday (4): This is Still Reading Right?

This Filipino Friday, the questions that must be answered are:

Do you read (or have at least tried to read) books in other formats aside from print? How was your experience with these different book formats?

Yes, I do read books in electronic format. In fact, my decision to buy an iPhone was prompted by reading on mobility. I just have to read to while away the time at the doctor's clinic; in the FX terminal; in long lines at the grocery store; or when I'm stuck in traffic going to work and back home. I find these gaps as precious reading time. Books come in handy, but, the iPhone is, handier.

In the library where I work, I have set up an e-reader and e-book collection. We have four Kindles for circulation. Each Kindle  has an assigned Dewey Decimal Classification group or division. 800 (Literature) and 900 (History) are both grouped with Fiction. I like the ease of book acquisition in a Kindle. Amazon sure knows what good service is all about. It even has a way of knowing what I order so it recommends titles very so often. I spend time, a lot of time, analyzing the content of Amazon's recommendations. So this means, I read a lot online too! I check reviews of recommended e-books not only in Amazon but also in blogs of book reviewers. With my knowledge of the library's readers' profile, preference and the school's curriculum, I decide which ones to buy. The budget for e-books has been prepared over the summer.

So, if you think librarians simply sit behind the desk all day, think again. There's a lot of cognitive activity going on behind a librarian's desk. I hope to set up a digital library collection soon but studying on a suitable app is an investment on time and money.

This year, I've read The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, The Magicians, Peaches for Father Francis, Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore, The Fault in Our Stars and a host of paranormal, erotic romance on my iPhone's and Mac's Kindle. Nothing changed for me, as far as the reading experience is concerned, except that, the sensory experience of smelling paper and feeling its texture was diminished. For deep reading that require analysis and synthesis, like non-fiction reads I do for my paper presentations, I still go for the printed format. I need to take notes, physically and manually to remember important sentences, phrases and paragraphs. Such writing from these non-fiction reads I go back to when I prepare my citations and when I actually compose a conference paper or an academic article.

I think what the digital age require of us, readers and book lovers all, is the knowledge of how to read and why we read. Purpose and function. Reading from a variety of formats can be taught and  learned but the reason for reading and the application of reading in real life is a wisdom that grows and develop over time.

A Book Exchange Project by Papemelroti

This book shelf stands outside the Papemelroti store at the Korben Place. The main building is at the corner of Chino Roces and Sct. Tobias in Quezon City. It's my favorite gift shop because the art and crafts products the store sells is very Filipino. There's a homey and rustic appeal to everything they sell there: from stationery to little cute figurines; wood crafts, paper crafts, house decors and, a recent addition, accessories!

I was in the neighborhood last week and before heading home down south, I dropped by the store to pick up a Nativity set and wall clock. What welcomed me by the entrance door was this handsome bookshelf.

I love the shelf! I wish I can have one at home.

But the idea behind the shelf thrills me even more. What kind of store owners would think of putting up a book exchange library project but those who run Papemelroti? Indeed, their creativity is not limited to arts and crafts, design and managing a store. It extends to an advocacy that these young store owners and artists feel passionate about: books and reading!

Their Leave A Book Take A Book project welcomes customers and buyers to leave a book they've read and take one in exchange. It is so cool!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Picture Book Month 2013 Champion: Tomie dePaola

Head on to the website of">Picture Book Month
where you'll read">Tomie dePaola's explanation on the importance of picture books
. Here's an excerpt that touched my heart -
I propose that Picture Books can be great art and great art makes for a great people and a great society. Perhaps this is not necessarily true, but would this attitude be so damaging? I think not.
Tomie dePaola is known among Filipino school librarians and teachers as the author of Strega Nona, The Pop Corn Book, and The Clown of God to mention a few. He whips up another magical tale in his new book Strega Nona Does It Again.

My short take on the importance of picture books will be posted on November 23. My Daddy! My One and Only (Lampara Books, 2013) a book I wrote with illustrations by the very talented Jomike Tejido, is the featured book of the day.

If you are celebrating Picture Book Month, blog or tweet about your activities. Use the hashtag #picturebookmonth. Tag me if you upload pictures and activities over at FB. You can also visit the website of Picture Book Month (PBM) and tell Dianne De LasCasas, founder of PBM, of your activities.

Read! Share! Celebrate!

Filipino Friday The Pinoy Book Drop: Where did I drop 'em?

Dropped at the Pancake House, Festival  Mall, Alabang
Dropped at the Activity center of Pavilion Mall, Binan, Laguna

What the tissue paper told the books on the shelf

November is National Books and Library and Information Services Month. Now let's do a little meme and enjoy some library humor.

Version 1
A wad of tissue to books on the shelf: You are all a lucky lot! I get noses most of the time. On bad days, well, you know I get %*$#.

Version 2
A wad of tissue to books on the shelf: Stop complaining that no one ever read books anymore but dust mites. I get mucus, sweat, tears, sometimes blood, and yes, s*$# - all the time!

Which version do you like better? Do you have your own version to share? This meme is simple: download the photo and post it in your FB wall or in your Twitter account. Then add your own version of what the tissue paper told the books on the shelf.

Have fun! Be a LAUGHrarian!

Happy National Books and Library and Information Services Month!
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