Wednesday, December 31, 2014

SLIA's First Monthly Post of 2014

In keeping up with a blogging tradition, here are the posts made at the start of every month and the first sentence for each.

February: Dear Nanay


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Filipino Librarians of the Month: The DepEd Calamba Library Hub Librarians (2 of 2)

Last Tuesday, December 16, 2014, Elinor Hemedes answered some questions about her work in the DepEd Library Hub System. This time, the blog features Myra Ortega, Elinor's partner and friend. Myra had been very persistent in inviting me to come over for a talk/training session. At last, we were able to squeeze in a schedule for this training despite a very tight calendar. I suppose we need more librarians like Myra who perseveres until she succeeds!

Myra is seated at the right. Beside me is Elinor.
1. Why did you decide to work in the DepEd library hub system? 

Security wise, I opted to grab my chance of being a member of DepEd family. I also aspired to become one. I want to help pupils and promote the love of reading. Luckily Library  Hub is a unique project of DepEd to and everything that I used to do when I was in the private institution made me realize that I have a great part of improvement and development in my present work.

2. What are the challenges you face in managing the library hub? How do you overcome these challenges?

Library hub supervision alone is really a big challenge on my part, I take it positively and I apply what I have learned in library management. I don’t see that manning the library alone is a hindrance to meet my goal.

3. What are the success stories you have so far? 

This Reading Month celebration, we invited day care centers to visit the Library Hub. We conducted storytelling. Our teachers attended such including pupils who won storytelling contest last school year base on cluster competition. Such activity may promote an essential aspect of the Library Hub and we extend the services we offer not only for public schools but to the community as well.

The Division of Calamba leads the Reading Month celebration thru competition of different category that aims to continue promoting the Every Child A Reader program, make every Filipino child a competent reader and writer and instill the love of reading among Filipino readers.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Illustrator Interview: Rommel Joson

Rommel Joson, painter and illustrator, answers three interview questions on his new book, Isang Harding Papel (EPPC/Adarana House, 2014). Authored by Augie Rivera, the book was launched last November 27, 2014 at the Museo Pambata.

November 27 is Ninoy Aquino's birthday and National Day of Reading.

a. How did you conceptualize your art for Isang Harding Papel?

Paper was always going to be a dominant element in what I was going to do with Isang Harding Papel. So I thought of using collage techniques combined with painted elements to create the art. I used a lot of texture and welcomed happy accidents in the composition. Although I submitted a storyboard for Isang Harding Papel, I deviated from it a bit by just responding to the materials in front of me.

I also included some 2 "easter eggs" in the book. The number of the bus Jenny and Lola rode in is 1081 (referring to the Martial Law proclamation) and one of the kids in one of the spreads has a Voltes V t-shirt, which was supposedly banned during Martial Law times.

Illustrations of Isang Harding Papel. Photo source:

b. What collaborative strategies did you and Augie go through for Isang Hardin?
Beyond digesting Augie's text and the initial meeting with him and Adarna, there wasn't much actual collaboration. I gave an initial storyboard sketch, going so far as suggesting a spread without text. From that storyboard, I think Augie and Adarna made minor adjustments to the text.

c. If you are a martial law baby, what memories do you have of that period in Phil history? If not, what experience of loneliness and longing helped you in illustrating the book?

I was born in 1978. I was only 7 when People Power came around. I remember a time sitting with my grandfather by the sidewalk, and a person (don't remember if it was male or female) came up to us conducting a survey on possible election results. The survey person asked my grandfather who he was going to vote for in the coming election. My lolo said "KBL" - "Kay Buyida Lang". KBL of course referred to Marcos' party while biyuda referred to Cory Aquino. I think it was a running joke at the time.

Rommel Joson's art works:
 My lolo also gave me a Marcos Bagong Lipunan coin when I was little, which I lost, sad to say. I remember that the results of the snap election were being broadcasted on TV and I caught glimpses of that. I remember kids going to school flashing the Laban sign and wearing headbands with big foam letter Ls stuck on the front.

I have always been interested in that time in Philippine history. When I went to UP to study Fine Arts, I wanted to do a graphic novel about the desaparecidos. When the offer to do "Isang Harding Papel" came around, I felt this was my opportunity to do something set around that era. I also liked watching documentaries  and learning about the conspiracies and scandals of that time, like Oplan Sagitarrius or stories about the Rolex 12. So you could say that I'm fan of Philippine history.

My paintings and other personal work has always been tinged with loneliness and melancholia, so it wasn't difficult dipping into that emotion.

e. What is your message to aspiring illustrators?
Practice everyday, draw everything, read a lot, and be professional.

Watch this book trailer of Isang Harding Papel.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Filipino Librarians of the Month: The Deped Calamba Library Hub Librarians

L-R Elinor, Zarah and Myra
Last October, I was at the Deped Calamba Library Hub for a training session on reading activities among teachers of the Calamba public school system. This reading session came after my three day stint at the 6th Rizal Library International Conference. Organized by two librarians, Elinor Hemedes and Myra Ortega, the reading session went on smoothly to the delight of the participants.

I did not lecture nor presented theories that are way too big since they all came from a week long training session by the DepEd. We just read and talked about what we read about. The teachers felt relaxed. One of the participants said, "Bitin ang training, ma'am." (The training is too short).

But at the session's core are Elinor and Myra who work together in the Deped Library Hub system of Calamba, Laguna. Both afforded me an interview for the blog. Here are Elinor's answers to the interview questions.

1. Why did you decide to work in the DepEd library hub system?

I have decided to work in DepEd because I can't let this kind of opportunity pass. Also, I wanted to experience managing this unique kind of library system.

2. What are the challenges you face in managing the library hub? How do you overcome these challenges?

The main challenge that we face in managing the hub is increasing our borrowers, only few schools are patronizing our hub. To overcome this we seek support from our schools' division management team. We also plan our activities that will highlight the services of the hub. So far, we promoted the hub by organizing a training for the teacher librarians. We hope that through the training they were able to see the hub as a reading center. The hub books were also used during the storytelling contest for the reading month. Through this teachers were able to visit the hub and utilize our collection.

3. What are the success stories you have so far?

The pupils enjoy the library visit and participating in reading activities. The hub offers fun filled activities such as storytelling and word games. They were enthusiastic when they get to choose the books they want to read during their DEAR time. And lastly, successfully organizing a training for teacher librarians for the whole division of Calamba city, then receiving lots of positive feedback from the participants after [is an accomplishment].

What's Up Our Christmas Book Tree?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Extending the Use of the Reading Passport

And then, of course, the avid readers turned in their finished passports way ahead of the rest. To share their reading experiences to the rest of the community, I clipped the passports in a clothesline on the library bulletin board. Anyone is free to read the passports. As a rule, passports must be returned to the clothesline after reading them.

Here are more ways to share the books read and written about in the passports:

a. In a book discussion, readers can talk about their passports; its contents, answers to the questions, recommended reads and their insights on the books the have read.

b. Chose the recommended reads. Pull these books out of the shelf and display them in the library. Put these book displays near the circulation counter where students, teachers and staff can see them. Think of this strategy as on the cashier counter displays, the merchandise that people would buy on the last minute.

c. Take picture of the recommended books and post these in the school's social media account.

d. Have these recommended reads featured in the school paper as well. This way, parents and other members of the community are informed of books being read by students.

e. Compile the recommended reads into a list for use in readers' advisory, reading guidance and bibliotherapy programs and services.

I like planning and implementing activities like these. There is so much you can do with information generated from readers and the books they read. There are patterns in their use of information but there are little surprises along the way too. This makes my work a really enjoyable and meaningful job!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Why #griffinsread

We are now on the third week of our reading passport activity. Overall, there are twenty students who availed of the reading passport and so far, three have finished theirs. Soon, I will be posting their passports in the bulletin board for everyone to read.

What I find beneficial in the passports is the opportunity to know my high school readers better: why they read, how they read and what book they feel good at recommending to other readers. This is data that would help me improve my collection development program and readers advisory services. I learn from my students too. Their book choices amazes me! What I identified as a senior book was read by a freshman. Never judge a reader by his or her grade level. I think this sensitivity and perception to the varying reading choices of teens prompts me to offer books that will open readers to broad perspectives and world views.

From the photos, you can say that these students who participate in the activity are indeed readers. The avid ones!

It remains a challenge to inspire the reluctant readers to visit the library, pick a book and read.

The Christmas Tree in the Library

And my dream has come true!

We have book Christmas Tree in the library!

To decorate the tree, I sent word to the school community how they can help. Here are three simple ways:

You can help decorate the tree by:

a. Writing on a cut out Christmas ball your best read for 2014 to put in the tree;
b. Making an origami star (I have a paper and pattern) to put in the tree;
c. Donating a Christmas tree decoration or trimming which you think is apt for a book Christmas Tree in the library.
I will be posting more photos of our book Christmas Tree.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Augie Rivera on Martial Law and Writing Historical Fiction for Kids

Noong Nobyembre 27, 2014 ay nag launch ang Adarna House at ang Edsa People Power Commission ng aklat pambata tungkol sa Martial Law, ang Isang Harding Papel. Ang aklat ay sinulat ni Augie Rivera at ginuhit ni Rommel Joson. Ito ay inilimbag ng Adarna House.

Narito ang aking interview kay Augie Rivera tungkol sa aklat. Sinagot rin niya ang mga tanong tungkol sa kanyang paglikha ng kwento at sa inspirasyon niya sa kwento ni Jenny.

Pangalawa mo ng Martial Law book ito. Bakit ka muling nagsulat ng aklat tungkol sa Martial Law para sa mga bata? 

Ang kuwentong ‘Isang Harding Papel’ ay base sa ilang mga tunay na pangyayari at karanasan. Matagal ko na itong naisulat at bahagi sana ng limang libro sa seryeng ‘Batang Historyador’ ngunit minabuti kong unahing ilabas ang kuwentong ‘FQS’ na ‘Si Jhun-jhun, Noong Bago Ideklara ang Batas Mililtar.’ Kaya naitago muna sa ‘baul’ ang kuwento.

Sa dami ng revisionist takes sa Martial Law at sa ating kasaysayan na naglipana ngayon sa social media, naisipan kong balikan ang kuwento. Nag-revise ako ng konti, at saka ko ito ipinasa sa Adarna House. Sila ang nakaisip na i-tie up ito sa EDSA People Power Commission dahil naghahanap daw sila ng ganoong tipo ng kuwento.

Ayun. Makalipas ang labing-apat na taon, sa wakas ay dumating din ang tamang panahon para mailathala ito bilang isang libro.

Sa pamamagitan ng kuwento, umaasa akong mapupukaw ang interes ng batang mambabasa, mag-uusisa, at gugustuhing malaman ang iba pang mga kuwento ng pakikipagsapalaran, pangarap at pagkamulat ng mga batang gaya ni Jenny sa madilim na kabanatang ito ng ating kasaysayan. Malimit nating sabihin: ‘Ang mga kabataan ngayon, walang alam sa kasaysayan. Walang sense of history.’ Madalas din natin silang sabihan: ‘never forget.’ Pero, paano nila malilimutan ang isang bagay na hindi naman nila naranasan? Ang kasaysayan ay hindi lang pagmememorya ng mahahalagang petsa, pangyayari, at buhay ng mga bayani. Bilang mga ‘Martial Law babies’ na tumanda na, at karamiha’y mga magulang na rin, tungkulin natin na ipaalam sa mga bata ang kasaysayan. Ikuwento natin sa kanila ang kasaysayan. Ipakita. Iparamdam. Sana, ang mga aral ng nagdaan ay makatulong upang mabuo ang mas maalab nilang pagmamahal sa bayan at pagmamahal sa kasaysayan.

Rommel Joson and Augie Rivera at the book launch
May personal ka bang karanasan tungkol sa Martial Law na nasasalamin as aklat? Ano ito? 

Lumaki ako noong panahon ng Martial Law. Kaya’t na-excite akong isulat ang kuwento. Isa siyang magandang pagkakataon para magbalik-tanaw sa aking kabataan, at gamitin ang ilang mga detalye at karanasan para pandagdag sa texture at nuances ng kuwento. Noong panahong iyon, masugid kong sinubaybayan ang iba’t ibang mecha o robot anime sa telebisyon. Mekanda tuwing Lunes. Daimos tuwing Martes. Mazinger Z tuwing Miyerkules. Grendaizer tuwing Huwebes. At Voltes V tuwing Biyernes. Pagkagaling sa eskuwela, nakatutok na ako sa telebisyon. Lilipad ako kasama ang mga robot, kakalabanin namin ang mga Boazanian beast fighters, at ipagtatanggol ang buong bayan… bago mag-curfew o maghapunan!

Nang biglang i-ban ni Marcos ang Voltes V sa telebisyon dahil sobrang bayolente raw at naglalaman diumano ng mga subersibong mensahe, kabilang ako sa mga batang nagalit at naghimagsik ang damdamin. May dineprive sa ‘yo eh. May biglang inalis. May biglang inagaw. At hindi mo naiintindihan kung bakit. In a way, kahit bata ka, naramdaman mo na may nangyaring repression.

Marahil, collective angst din ‘yon ng isang henerasyon. Pero kung may mga batang nagluksa sa biglaang pagkawala ni Voltes V na itinuring nilang bayani at kaibigan, may mga batang iba naman ang biglang nawala sa buhay nila. Iba naman ang kanilang pinagdaanan— namuhay at lumaki sila nang malayo sa piling ng kanilang tatay, nanay, ate o kuya, na ipinakulong dahil sumalungat sa mga isinusulong ng Bagong Lipunan.

Mas sentimental ang treatment mo ng Martial Law experiences ng bidang bata sa Hardin kumpara ng Kay Junjun. May kinalaman ba ang gender dahil babae ang bida? 

Sa palagay ko, pareho lang na malungkot o sentimental ang ‘Jhun-jhun’ at ‘Hardin’ dahil hindi talaga maiiwasan. Parehong naganap ang kuwento sa maligalig, malungkot at madilim na kabanata ng ating kasaysayan. Pero ilan lamang ito sa mas marami pang kuwento ng mga batang nagkamulat at dumanas din ng parehong hirap at pasakit na pinagdaanan ng matatanda noong panahong ‘yon.

Babae ang bida dahil may pinagbasehan ako sa kuwento— ang mga tunay na karanasan ni Jenny Cortes (na pinsan-in-law ko; pinsan ni Mike) noong bata pa siya at dumadalaw sa kaniyang nanay na isang political detainee.

 Pinili ko ang imahe/metaphor ng bulaklak para sa kuwento dahil nainspire ako sa mga wooden sculptures ni Jenny sa kaniyang unang exhibit na ‘Wall Flowers’. At dahil ang bulaklak din ay simbolo ng pag-usbong ng buhay at pag-asa.

Ano ang hindi pa naisusulat ni Augie Rivera? 

Marami pa. Mas marami pang kuwento. Mas marami pa sanang programang pambata sa telebisyon. Isang musical. Isang coming of age na pelikula. Marami pa.

The book launch was held in Museo Pambata. Kuya Bodjie read aloud the story, Isang Harding Papel

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Singing Librarian: OPM Christmas Medley

Sharing with you the mp3 of a Filipino Christmas Medley that my husband and I made. This is for our Family Day Christmas celebration with the Magis Deo Community. The mp3 is "homemade" and amatuer-ish, but, we made this with all sincerity. My husband did the arrangement and mash ups of the songs. We used GarageBand to record the song and for web access, I used SoundCloud. Of course, blogging about it in SLIA is for posterity's sake!

#griffinsread: How We Met and Other Stories

Book selfie: A grade 10 student sent this entry for the BA Lib's #griffinsread photo contest

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Throwback Thursday: National Picture Book Month Champion

Read the full article by visiting the link to the National Picture Book Month website.

National Picture Book Month continues to make waves because the picture book featured every day is not only beautiful but also lovingly made for the child reader. Librarians can get a lot of insightful articles and valuable information from authors of the featured picture books. Included in each article are common core standards (US) and activities compatible to the curriculum. Nonetheless, school librarians from all over the world will also benefit from this literacy initiative.

Reading is a right! Books are for all!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Book Selfie: #griffinsread Photo Contest 2014

Launched the #griffinsread Photo Contest in school yesterday.

I. Objective: to communicate and express one’s love for books and reading using social media and mobile apps

  1. Take a book selfie, or a photo of a book you are currently reading. That book should be a book borrowed from the BA Library.
  2. Caption the photo and send it to
  3. If your photo is selected, you earn 1 batch point for your batch.
  4. Selected book selfies will be printed out and posted on the lib’s bulletin board. Book selfies will also be posted on the school’s web page. It is the student’s option to post his or her book selfie onto Twitter or IG using #griffinsread / #booklove
  5. Teacher Librarian will ask permission from students whose photos are selected for posting onto her blog. This is to document the contest and share with other IB schools and libraries the reading and book promotion project of the Academy.
  6. Selected book selfies will be judged by a pool of respectable judges: two from the Academy and one from outside the community, possibly, a professional photographer.

II. Criteria for judging

  1. Artistic merit: composition, light and shade, balance, perspective

  1. Visual message and content:
    • Does your photo promote a positive image of books and reading?
    • Does your photo show a relationship between the reader, the book and the author?
    • Does your photo present a unique or “new” perspective on books and reading?

  1. Caption or text of the photo:
      Does the caption or text provide context and background about the book and
enriches the overall impact of the photo’s message?

III. Timeline
Nov. 25 - Announcement and beginning of contest
Dec. 15 - Last day of sending in entries
Dec. 16-17 - Judging days
Dec. 18 or 19- Announcement of winners

The library bulletin board where print outs of photos will be posted. I posted my book selfie as an example.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

TV Series: The Librarians

The 80th National Book Week at the National Library of the Philippines

 Last Monday, November 24, 2014, was the awarding and opening ceremonies of the 80th National Book Week at the National Library of the Philippines. Tradition dictates that winners of varied contests leading to the National Book Week be present for this purpose. I saw students from public and private schools when I came in that morning. Sadly, I missed the keynote speech of Ms. Ani Almario, RAP President and PBBY Gen. Sec.

On the one hand, I finally met Heneral Basa!

He read aloud stories from books he brought with him and encouraged kids to keep on reading books in their school and public libraries. Heneral Basa visits barangay reading centers in Quezon City and reads aloud to kids.

After the awarding ceremony, I had my talk about the books I have written and how the back stories of each book shaped my writing process. I did a five minute writing/storytelling activity where in two students and one teacher from Paco Catholic School volunteered to share their stories from the writing prompt I showed them.

Steph Bravo, Budjette Tan and Jonathan Ranola were speakers as well. Congratulations to the PLAI headed by Beth Peralejo, and to Jude Gorospe, Chair of this year's National Book Week festivities.

Ang Mensahe ni Heneral Basa

Nagkita kami ni Heneral Basa sa pagbubukas ng 80th National Book Week noong Lunes, Nobyembre 24, 2014 sa National Library of the Philippines. Ito ang mensahe niya sa mga bata at pati na rin sa mga nakatatanda na may kakayahang magbasa ng aklat para sa mga bata:

Para sa akin, napakahalaga ng pagbabasa sapagkat ito ang mas nagbubukas sa isip sa mga bagong karanasan at impormasyon. Mas personal din ang pagbabasa at may mas pangmatagalan na epekto. Mas malaki ang lamang ng pagbabasa kaysa sa internet at TV, mas malalim ba. 

Sa aking pananaw din, mas nagiging malikhain din at nagkakaroon ng mahabang pasensiya ang tao kapag nagbabasa. May naacquire ka na magagandang paguugali kapag ikaw ay nagbababasa. Nababawasan ang niya, mas nagiging expressive at nahihikayat na magbigay ng opinyon sa mga bagay bagay.
Maraming salamat sa mensahe mo,  Heneral Basa! More power!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Library & Reading Promo: Christmas Reading Passport 2014

So the Christmas Reading Passport was launched at Assembly in school this morining. It's easy to do.

1. Students get a reading passport from the library.
2. They borrow one book about the theme of the week.
3. They return the book a week after borrowing and they fill out a box on their reading passport.
4. They borrow another book until they complete four books by December 15, 2014.
5. Filled out reading passports will entitle them to a free frappucino on December 16, 2014.

PLUS: borrowers will get 5 book points off their book quota.

The book quota is the number of books each student is required to borrow in one academic year. There is a corresponding task or consequence for students who fall short of their book quota. Sounds harsh?

Well, at some point, reading must be required and monitored. With activities that encourage students to read, advisory and guidance on their choices of reading materials can be facilitated.

Will see how this will go by next week and the coming weeks to come.

Christmas Reading Passport

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Librarian Roles & Advocacy

Back in 2011, I conducted a workshop for school librarians as requested and sponsored by Scholastic Philippines.

I have always believed in the constant articulation of the school librarian's role and that, reading promotion is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. School librarians need to be advocates of reading and literacy.

Monday, November 10, 2014

National Picture Book Month 2014 (USA)

Dianne de Las Casas started the 2014 National Picture Book Month last November 1st. This year, each picture book featured has curriculum links included in every post. Picture books can definitely be used as teaching resources!

I am eight days late, but this is one of my blogging traditions. I am a Picture Book Ambasador!

Visit the website for featured books, authors and illustrators of children's books!

November is National Reading Month

Five Questions #1: How to Encourage Young Adult Readers to Read Books

Participants asked me five questions after my group's session at the Rizal Library International Conference last October 22-23, 2014. I will be posting these and my answers one at a time in the blog. The first one is about young adult readers and how to encourage them to read books. 
Note that I am going to include additional information on my answers. So, if you were there at the conference, reading this post is still worth your time. :-)

How to Encourage Young Adult Readers to Read Books

First, the school librarian must know who his or her readers are. Generally, there are three kinds: the avid reader, the reluctant reader, and the non-reader. The avid reader is the easiest to lure. The reluctant reader is the choosy one, undecided and at times, hesitant to make a choice because they do not know the available reading materials as well as his or her own reading choices. The non-reader as the term implies, is not at all reading either by choice (aliteracy) or by nature and nurture factor. Non-readers may have negative experiences in reading or their brain functions in a way that reading can't be easily accommodated. Non-readers are students who were not diagnosed or assessed early on of their reading disability or learning challenges.

Knowing the reading materials available for them and written for them is the next strategy to make them visit the library and read books. So, the school library's collection development program needs to be sensitive to these kinds of readers.

For avid readers, book displays and book activity announcements during assemblies, through the library bulletin board and electronic means are enough to make them read. These readers are perfect book ambassadors too! They can help spread the word that reading is fun and that it is good for you! These readers enjoy talking about the books they've read and even writing reviews about it. Since teenagers rarely listen to the adults around them, they are more comfortable with peers. Avid readers can inspire and convince the reluctant readers to read.

Presenting an array of reading materials of varied formats and genre to reluctant readers is another way to make them read. Combining books with media and technology can entice them to jump into books and reading. Book trailers, FB and Twitter post on new books, book to movie adaptations are some of the promotional techniques that can be employed. I like blending technology with printed books.

As for the non-readers, their needs are special. So I work with their teachers in creating a book list for them. With the help of teachers, I am still able to reach out to these students.

I think the key here is knowing the reader and what book he or she likes. Ranganthan is still correct: to every book a reader; to every reader a book.

And this principle has plenty to do with how you build your school library's collection.

Lastly, there is also the matter on non-fiction books and how teens conduct research. The young adult reader doing research is another topic worthy of discussion.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Filipino Friday #4: Let's talk about Diverse books

Do you think we have enough diversity in the books that we read? Are our choices enough to satisfy our different tastes? Are our writers able to present the variety of people, culture, lifestyle, interests and so on? How diverse are your reading interests, and are you able to find enough books to satisfy your reading needs? Do you think we need more diverse books?
 Among the topics in this year's Filipino Friday, this one on diverse books struck me the most. One, I had a difficult time answering the questions. Two, I really don't want to answer the questions. Not yet. And three, despite reasons one and two, my answer to the last question, do you think we need more diverse books, is a resounding YES.

We live in an archipelago. We have seventeen regions and a hundred more languages. The diversity in every province put together in one map is as tasty, sweet, colorful, and varied as halo halo. Yet, what I have been reading either comes from abroad or from Manila. Pitiful.

So I am leaving this topic here. Four unanswered questions that I will be bringing to my sleep. I don't know if I will get answers when I wake up. These four questions echo to me as a librarian. Because, really, if we have an effective, efficient and functional library system in the Philippines, I would be able to answer these tough questions.

Yet, I hope.




These four questions I'm putting on the parking lot would inspire me to search for answers soon enough.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

National Book Week 2014

As part of the activities for the Library and Information Services Month and the National Book Week, the Philippine Librarians Association, in partnership with the National Library of the Philippines and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts held a poster making contest that was opened to college students nation wide.

This year's winner was Michael Angelo Hernandez, BS Civil Engineering student from the University of Nueva Caceres- College of Engineering, Naga City, Camarines Sur. The image significantly depicts the NBW 2014 theme: Philippine Libraries: Future Possibilities.  As per tradition, the winning poster will grace the cover of the National Book Week Souvenir Program.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Librarian on TV: Ang Pinaka Malagim na Pinoy Nursery Rhymes

Here is an excerpt video of my guest appearance in Ang Pinaka as panelist last October 12, 2014.

The topic discussed that week was the top ten most disturbing Pinoy Nursery Rhymes. The show Ang Pinaka is aired every Sunday at 6.30pm via GMA News TV.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Filipino Fridays 2014 #3: Fanfiction

 Filipino Friday #3 is all about Fanfiction.

Fanfiction is pretty popular, no doubt about it, but it has been received with mixed feelings by many authors and writers. Some don’t mind it, and even welcome readers who give their own spin on their work. Some writers don’t like it at all, to the point that they contact fanfiction authors to take their work down. Others use it as a jump-off point for their own writing. 
How about you? What is your take on fanfiction? Do you read fanfiction, and if you do, what kind of fanfiction do you read? Do you write fanfiction, and why? Or are you against fanfiction? Enlighten us.
I used to read fanfiction. I stopped, because life has been too busy. I read fanfiction at the height of Twilight's popularity and during the Harry Potter phenomenon. I don't write fanfiction though, and I don't see myself writing one in the future. But I have an open view on fanfiction.

I don't see anything wrong about fanfiction. To me it is the reader's response to a book or a literature he/she loves and/or hate. I consider it a new genre, in fact, that readers and writers can further talk about and discuss. Fanfiction is proof of the powerful relationship between reader, writer and text encountered. Readers need a venue to extend the reading experience. Writing about it is one of the many ways which readers use to extend this experience.

Writers are readers too. Readers can be writers. So, even published writers can create their own fanfiction and their readers can read them on this platform. Fanfiction equalizes the reading experience. I don't see anything wrong with that. But, plagiarized work is something else.

Filipino Friday 2014 #2: Have You Ever Wanted to Write a Book?

Catching up on some blog posts. I'm beginning with Filipino Friday #2 that was scheduled last October 24, 2014.
  • As a reader, have you ever thought about writing a book? What kind of books/stories do you want to write? Or are you now a published author, and what compelled you to go fulfil this dream? How was your journey from reader to writer? How did you go about getting your book out there?
My desire to write my own books began in high school. I read S.E. Hinton and Judy Blume and dreamed of putting into words my own stories, getting published and seeing my name after the "by" line. It didn't happen until 2011 when a book I co-authored with Dianne de Las Casas was published, Tales of the 7,000 Isles: Filipino Folk Stories, by ABC CLIO in the US. It is not a novel for young adult, but a collection of folk tales. The proposal for the book project came in 2009 after my traumatic experience with Ondoy The book and my experience of writing this along side Dianne de Las Casas is a given grace. I am forever grateful.

By 2013 and 2014, I have published two illustrated storybooks under Lampara Books: Tale of Two Dreams with Bernadette Solina Wolf, My Daddy, My One and Only with Jomike Tejido and Dear Nanay with Liza Flores. Last September, Lampara Books launched my first series for early readers, Start Right Reading Series, Kindergarten Level. Again, I collaborated with Bernadette Wolf on the illustrations and design of the series.

My journey from reader to writer is a long one. I think the journey will never end. Readers will forever read. Writers will always write. The reading and writing connection continues. I have to thank my friends in KUTING (Kwentista ng mga Tsikiting) for accompanying me in the journey.  Other than my writer friends, I remember with fondness the critiquing sessions I spent with the LitCritters, a group of working writers led by Dean Francis Alfar. Writing may be an isolated act, but it should be a social and cultural endeavor as well.

I suppose it is the same with reading. When we talk about the books we read, we develop a deeper understanding of the reading experience.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Spooky Books and Spooky Sweets

One of the more interesting questions asked of me in the 6th Rizal International Conference after presenting my paper concerned reading promotion to young adults. I answered by starting off with the three kinds of readers: avid readers; reluctant readers; non-readers. Different strategies can be employed to make them visit the library and borrow books. The easiest to entice are the acid readers. 

Here is the proof.

This week, I introduced the library's Spooky Sweets Spooky Books borrowing promo. Students who will borrow three "spooky books" will get a spooky sweet. It's a one day book-reading promo that will start in Oct. 30.

On Monday, I first displayed books that fall under the horror, mystery, sci-fi, fantasy genre. Any title that would qualify as a scary or spooky read, I set it up on display. Stephen King was a default choice. Along side his book, I put up Jonathan Stroud's The Amulet of Samarkand and Rick Yancey's The Monstrumologist. The library has two PC desk I use as display area for books. I set the books there for everyone to see.

On the other PC desk, I set up Joe Hill's Locke and Key, Erin Hick's Brain Camp and G.Willow Wilson's Alif the Unseen.

After recess, four books were borrowed by two students who are avid readers and frequent borrowers of the library. I then, replenished the vacant display racks with new books. I pulled out classics like Dracula and Frankenstein; contemporary Pinoy graphic novels like the Trese series by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo; and the parody on the three wise men, Unholy Night by Seth Graham Greene. By lunch time, Dracula and Frankenstein were gone.

On October 30, reluctant and avid readers flocked the library for the books, and yes, the goodies. We had a good number. We had 25 spooky sweets this morning. At the end of the day, we only had 10 spooky sweets left. So this book promo spiked our circulation statistics today.

Locke and Key and Alif the Unseen were borrowed at recess.

The spooky sweets were made by Ms. Joan Everly Macalalad. She is the baker behind Cup N Cakes Wonderland.

The Best of Philippine Ghost Stories was borrowed too!

What I'll be doing next is to get feedback from the borrowers by having them fill out a bookmark for a quick review of the books. I will then post these bookmarks on the library bulletin board for everyone to read. It will be up there for one term. What happens to the bookmarks at end of term?

That is another story. Keep visiting the blog and you will find out what we did with the bookmarks! 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Photo Essay: The 6th Rizal Library International Conference

There is learning and insights gained from the 6th Rizal Library International Conference and they're just so many to mention. I am still distilling them in my mind. Definitely, I will blog about these insights and learning from one of the more organized conferences I have participated in. For now, these pictures will have to do.

The present director of the Rizal Library, Dr. Von Totanes, welcomes guests, participants and speakers of the 6th Rizal Library International Conference.

Hon. Lourdes David of the Board for Librarians moderated the question and answer in Session 4, which happened to be the session where I presented my paper, 
and delivered a report on the ASEAN 2015 Convergence.

In every conference held in the Philippines, I am bound to meet a friend or bacth mate from PNU.
This is Malou who is now a librarian in St. Paul University, Manila.

John Hickok of the ALA International Relations is gathering stories of inspiration and influence among librarians of the South East Asian nations. He's been to the Philippines several times over and he never tires of going back. He will be at the PLAI Congress in November 2014.

At Fellowship Night, John Hickok, Sherwood MacCaskie and Muhammad Hendrawan didn't sing along but waved along to a song sung by one of Rizal Library's staff.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Filipino Friday: Surprise, Reader!

This is already a tradition. If there's a Filipino ReaderCon, expect a Filipino Friday a month before the conference begins.
Surprise, Reader! Hello, it’s the first week of Filipino Fridays 2014! Whether it’s your first time to participate or not, tell us a bit about yourself. More specifically, tell us about your favorite book discoveries for this year. Any author you have started reading this year that you can’t get enough of? A book you didn’t think you’d like, but you ended up liking/loving? Any book series that you just have to get your hands on? Have you discovered anything new from Filipino authors this year?
 So, here goes.

My 2014 reading year can be described in one word: ROMANCE. Thanks to Tarie Sabido for introducing me to Rainbow Rowell. After reading Eleanor and Park, I read FangirlAttachments and Landline.

Another joyful reading discovery is Sophie Divry's The Library of Unrequited Love. The librarian narrator is sarcastic, snotty and very French. I read a book by a Malaysian author this year as well. Tan Kwan Eng's The Garden of Evening Mist is sentimental but honest. I love the language and the dreamy narration of the main character. When it comes to the brutal parts (setting is World War 2 in the Asia Pacific), the author's elegant handling of language cushioned me to safer landings. Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking is a memoir I thought I wouldn't like. But her way of making meaning about death afforded me a mirroring of my own relationship with my husband and my perception of life in general. It is one of those books that will grow on you as you read along.

This year I got hooked on reading more ebooks too. I have a slew of erotic romance novels saved in my Kindle reader. Cora Seton, JA Huss and Melanie Shawn are but a few of my favorite reads. As for Filipiniana titles, I loved Shine by Candy Gourlay; thrilled over Edgar Samar's Janus Silang although I stopped somewhere in chapter 4 to give in to my kids' demands that they read it first; and right now, I am falling in love with Nick Joaquin all over again. Gotita De Dragon, an anthology of his short stories, is my kind of magic realism.

Until next Filipino Friday!

Abstract: The School Librarian As Literacy Leader

I am scheduled to speak at the 6th Rizal Library International Conference on Friday, October 23, 2014. I will be sharing the paper I wrote about school librarians and literacy.

This is the new abstract of the paper.

The School Librarian as Literacy Leader

The 21st Century presents plenty of opportunities for the school librarian to assume leadership roles. One of these roles is that of a literacy leader. As a literacy leader, the school librarian can influence members of the learning community, particularly its young readers, develop a lifelong love of books and reading. By planning and implementing a variety of literacy programs appropriate for them, the school librarian contributes to the literacy skills development of young learners. The school librarian further supports the learning goals and objectives of the school in this manner.
This paper fleshes out the scope of literacy leadership functions that a school librarian is capable of doing. The school librarian as a literacy leader creates and communicates a vision of literacy to teachers, the school leadership and parents, and follows through with the techniques and strategies for it to become a reality. School library standards, academic papers and research based articles are used to amplify this leadership role thus, making the school librarian a valuable member of the learning community.

Five school librarians are interviewed to provide examples and models of literacy programs implemented in their respective libraries. These school librarians are involved in planning and implementing literacy programs in their school libraries. Networking and collaborating with students, teachers, staff, school leaders and parents make a big difference in fulfilling literacy leadership roles. Assessment and evaluation, tracking of students’ literacy growth, and budgeting are identified as challenges and areas for improvement. In conclusion, a school librarian is a literacy leader when he or she lives out a genuine love for reading and believes that lifelong learning is not a set of skills to be mastered but a philosophy to be actualized.

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