Friday, January 31, 2014

23 Mobile Things PH&SG: Thing # 3: Email Marketing

Thing #3 is Email Marketing.

This is all I can say about this week's topic: It is new technology for me and it's taking me a while to learn the whole thing. I've done a couple of Enewsletters using FlashIssue and MailChimp. I sent this to 23 Mobile Things' email add and I'm a bit successful. I think. My blogging experience helped me figure the navigation and design of both apps but this is new stuff for me. Blogger is indeed old school. And yes, I feel old too. Hahaha!

But, I'm a self declared learner for life so I'll keep trying until I figure things out completely in MailChimp and FlashIssue. I can use either apps to repackage and reformat information needed to disseminate to readers in our high school library. Apart from news and updates on readers' services, I can use the Enewsletter as tool to communicate Information Literacy Skills topics. For example, an introduction to the research cycle may take one whole period to teach. That's an hour. As follow through, an e-newsletter will help me remind students on relevant concepts about the research cycle. The cool thing about sending this e-newsletter is that, I can make a mailing list and presto! The e-newsletter is sent to recipients.

I take it that there are two prerequisites here: one is learning the apps; two is the digestion of content. Oh Father Time, please be a friend!

E-newsletter using FlashIssue

Ecampaign using MailChimp

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Filipino Librarian for January 2014: Elvira Lapuz (2 of 2)

Here is part 2 of Ms. Elvira Lapuz's interview. SLIA is privileged to have her voice heard through the blog since hers is one that has been seasoned by time, professional practice and experience. May young librarians who read this post, as well as the previous one about Ms. Lapuz, find inspiration from her library and librarian story.

What is your area of expertise in LIS? 
I have been with the U.P. Library close to 23 years and I have been assigned to a number of sections and units. I was first assigned at the Humanities and Reference Section now two separate units, the Arts and Letters Library and the General Reference and Electronic Resources Section. I had a stint at the Indexing and Bibliography Section. I was the Acquisitions Librarians for more than ten years and was also assigned at the Social Sciences Library for three years. I should say that I could claim expertise in Library Management, Collection Management and Reference and User Services. 

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

More than the degree in LIS and the PRC registration and license, it should be a given that an LIS professional should be someone with keen interest in people. Librarianship despite all these ICT developments is still very much a people oriented profession. It is not one for those who are not in any way able to relate, sympathize and empathize. Short of saying that a Librarian should have the bedside manner of a healthcare professional, mindful of vocal tones, body language and has the ability to communicate and deal with all types of personalities and age groups. 

Today’s LIS professionals should also be one who could easily adapt to fast changing information technologies. Librarianship gives no leeway for those who continue to live in the Dark Ages or under the rock. There is no excuse for not being able to be in the know, be it about the current trending topic or the latest mobile gadget, an LIS professional should be someone who could embrace technology and all its benefits and tricks. 

What rewards have you reaped from being a LIS professional? 
The greatest reward that this profession has me given is the opportunity to fulfill a life-long dream of being able to travel and study outside the country. The trainings, conferences and seminars I have attended made it possible for me to visit institutions of higher learning in countries like Belgium, Austria, New Zealand, Vietnam and Singapore.  And because I was able to participate in these programs I was also able to share new knowledge to students and colleagues as I have also had the opportunities of being a lecturer and speaker in conferences and seminars conducted locally. 

I was able to fulfill academic requirements when I finished my BLS and then my MLS. I passed the licensure examination. I have had opportunities for continuing professional education and development through grants and scholarships both here and abroad. I have served in a number of professional organizations which also enabled me to do outreach and extension services.  At this stage of my career, I could say that I have reaped ALL the possible rewards one could easily think of.  

The profession has been good to me.

Note: Apart from being the head librarian at the Reference Section of UP Diliman's Main Library, she is also a Senior Lecturer at the UP School of Library and Information Studies. She earned her BLS and MLS from the UP SLIS. She is a past President of the Philippine Association of Academic and Research Librarians, Inc. (PAARL) in 2009 and Vice-President of the PLAI-NCR 2011-2012.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Filipino Librarian for January 2014: Elvira Lapuz (1 of 2)

SLIA begins another year of postings on Filipino Librarians. This January, the blog's first featured Filipino Librarian is none other than, Ms. Elvira Lapuz, Head Librarian of the General Reference and Electronic Resources Section, Main Library of UP Diliman. Here is the first part of her interview.

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. 

Everything started in Gonzalez Hall. 

It was 1988 and I was about to start my sophomore year. I was working as a Student Assistant at the UP College of Law Library, a job that gave me an early exposure to Library Work, even before I was an LIS student. It was also around that time when I realized that I had no future in Theater and the performing arts.  Being my mentor, I had to consult Prof. Vyva Aguirre on what to do next. I need to find a college and a course program that would ensure landing a job after graduation. The decision was made when I went up the 3F of Gonzalez upon her instruction. So I inquired for a slot at the then Institute of Library Science. And I should say that it was the start of a truly colorful, memorable and full of learning three years of college life. I had no difficulty integrating and finding my place at the Institute. The ILS being a small unit, it was quite easy to get to know everyone. I remember that during that time, there are more students enrolled in the graduate classes and only a handful, around 30, undergraduate students. It was easy to make friends with the other students. I get to see the same names and faces in most of my major classes. I was also very involved and was actively participating in the various activities of college based student organization. Unlike now that there seem to more organizations than the number of students, we only had then the UPLISSA (UP Library and Information Science Students’ Association) which was a student organization and also the student council. I can say that it was like a big “barkada” then. My active participation with the activities of the UPLISSA gave me the opportunity to meet library science students from other schools. We participated in the activities of LISSAP (Library Science Student Association of the Philippines), an inter-university students organization. I distinctly remember Fr. Paul De Vera, OSB as one of our faculty advisers. 

Ms. Lapuz is also a DJ in the radio show, LibRadio DZUP 1602.
Catch her on-air every Wednesday with Elijah Dar Juan and Annie Lim
We had the most brilliant professors and instructors. We studied and learned both through the traditional and modern methods. The use of computers was integrated in our courses, which during that time entitled us to some bragging rights. I would forever be thankful to one truly remarkable lady, Ms. Patricia B. Cariño. She was my professor in Information Handling and Library Management, and though for some, being in her class would be a terrifying experience, I found her teaching style very challenging. She thought us more than what was in our syllabus. I learned from her facts and details about life and living for she was one teacher who would find time to really talk to her students. As the faculty in charge of our Practicum during my senior year and as we are identifying the libraries to which we will be assigned, she asked that one very important question which somehow defined for me that path I should be taking. “Where do you see yourself working in the future?” A very simple question but it made me realize that in less than a year, I would be armed with a degree in library and information science and I should be making a decision as to which type of library I should consider applying. My reply came almost automatically. I told her I could only see myself working in an academic library, and hopefully the U.P. Library  She seemed to be very pleased with my answer and immediately made arrangements that for my Practicum, I would be assigned at the U.P. Main Library. 

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? 

Though Librarianship has always been identified and regarded as one of the less stressful jobs, the challenges that a librarian and information professional face on a daily basis seem to be never-ending. Working in an academic library was not in any way different. From the student who is totally loss in the library labyrinth to the faculty member who has ran out of patience waiting for his requested reading, the challenge of being able to provide the most efficient and effective service to clients is an everyday fare. An academic librarian could only shift from one role to the next, a teacher and instructor to a student trying to find that most elusive reference for his Literature class assignment, expert colleague to faculty members compiling bibliography and class readings, and a walking manual to library clients trying to make sense of all the gadgets and electronic resources present in the Library. 

Ms. Lapuz is a fan of Richard Yap.
See how their clothes complement each other!
One real challenge to me and I supposed to any librarian for that matter, is how to make more with less. Financial limitations and budgetary constraints make it extremely difficult to proceed and move further with what was originally included in many proposed library development plans. Librarians are expected to do budget planning that takes more than just the knowledge of how to allocate and work on expenditures, it should also provide for alternative fund sources. I have yet to hear a librarian say that he has more than enough for his Library. It seems that the Library for all its supposed importance and significant contributions to the Institutions is always the Unit that is left to fend for itself. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

What is your library concept?

My essential question to the participants of the LIS Congress 2014 yesterday was: what is your library concept?

February 14 is International Book Giving Day

Visit the website to know more about International Book Giving Day 2014.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

What Teens Are Reading

In a talk with fellow KUTING writers and probees last November 2013, I shared with them three high school libraries who collected titles of YA novels read by their students. Joy Fajardo Nera and Ann Grace Bansig sent their library's top ten YA reads based on circulation reports.

From Joy Fajardo Nera, Assumption College, San Lorenzo Makati
1. The House of Hades by Rick Riordan 
2. The Infernal Devices Series especially the Clockwork Princess  
3. The Secret Series by Pseudonymous Bosch 
4. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli  
5. The Abundance of Katherine by John Green.  
6. The Inkheart Trilogy by Cornelia Funke  
7. Life of Pi by Yann Martel  
8. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho  
9. Sophie Kinsela's books 
10. The Giver by Lois Lowry.

Top Ten List from De La Salle Santiago Zobel School (Grades 7-10) sent by Ann Grace Bansig
1. Dancing Home by Alma Flor Ada and Gabriel M. Zubizarreta (lexile book) 2. Revenge of the Whale : the true Story of the Whale Ship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick (lexile book) 3. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green 4. Looking for Alaska by John Green 5. Paper Towns by John Green 6. Ten Great Mysteries by Edgar Allan Poe (lexile book) 7. The Princess Plot by Kirsten Boie (lexile book) 8. The Wright Brothers at kitty hawk by Donal J. Sobol (lexile book) 9. This As What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer Smith 10. Let It Snow: Three Holiday romances by John Green

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Book Spine Poetry December 2013: Judge's Review (1 of 2)

Rhandee Garlitos, author and poet, sent his review and comments on the winners of our Book Spine Poetry Contest in school. He was the judge for the month of December. He had five poems selected as honorable mention (2) and 3rd, 2nd and 1st placers respectively. 
What do I look for in (found) poetry? As a poet and as a lover of books, I find the task of threading together words in order to produce an image very daunting and challenging.  But the basics remain – poetry should have the capability to hold a moment that should stun its reader, like venom that would leave an impression to its beholder, although in a positive way.  What makes this doubly tasking is to put it together in such a way that it comes out as a form that would withhold its meaning without being too cryptic.

Several of the entries stood out, and some of the entries contained some of the most arresting book titles that have seen the light of day. Though I personally feel that your library, where most of these titles where sourced from, would have carried more.  Imagine if someone started his/her poetry with one of Paolo Coelho’s – “By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept”.  I would have also wished that there would be more Filipino entries (Was it the lack of Filipino titles or the simple disinterest of the students with Filipiniana? I just wonder.) as Filipino titles would have elicited more images that would be more authentic to the Filipino experience.

Nevertheless I commend the creativity of the students who came up with some of the interesting stack of found poetry.  Some would have stood out had there been more care and restraint, but three of the entries followed what the American poet Stephen Dobyns calls “Best Words, Best Order” in poetry (I am actually quoting the title of one of his books.).  

I commend two entries here that would have merited had they been edited well.  One, “The Old Man and the Sea / Fell / After / the Fifth Mountain / Snow Falling on Cedars / Catching Fire”, would have succeeded if it were threaded properly, so that it would read like this:

Catching fire
snow falling on cedars,
the old man and the sea
the fifth mountain.

Had this been the order followed, this would have gotten my utmost attention and admiration for its stunning imagery.  Imagine Hemingway’s two most powerful adversaries (coincidentally the title of one of my most favorite books by a most respected author) being enclosed in what would be a conquest of the formidable, while at the same time it reads like a Zen poem, lush with the image of smoldering embers warming frostbit hands.

Another entry was able to gather some of the best lines/titles, but it suffered from one or two more extra (therefore unnecessary) words.  I always emphasize the need for restraint in poetry, that it should never reveal more than it should. Therefore, “Over a thousand hills I walked with you / Up the downstair case / going going / criss cross / thinking about almost everything / Piercing the Darkness / Breaking Dawn” would have been better if it read like this:

Over a thousand hills I walked with you,
piercing the darkness
up the down staircase,
breaking dawn
thinking about almost everything.

It would have personified the deadening pain of being with someone in a journey, trying to dismantle the fabric of the cold, unfeeling “darkness” from where the persona stands (up the downstairs case? or up the down staircase?), trying to break free and see the light from the chains of worrying too much.  It would have symbolized the weight of a mother’s anxiety, anticipating the arrival of her beloved (husband or child, one can choose) even as she imagines herself being in the process of going home.

23 Mobile Things PH&SG: Thing #2 Photo Apps

It's all about Photo Apps in 23 Mobile Things PH & SG this week.

I'm not a big Instagram fan and I only post in IG when I feel like it but I definitely love taking photos. So you'll find all sorts of pictures in my IG account should you visit me there or choose to follow me. However, recent upgrade in my mobile has made IG more interesting as I can use Pic Collage, post it on IG and link the post to Twitter. Twitter then sends the link to FB. Ah, social media magic!

Collage of new books posted in IG
Should you visit the 23 Mobile Things PH & SG website, you'll read about a blog entry of Hedren Sum from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He has recommended a slew of Thinking as it asks relevant questions on the use of the said technology. More than knowing how to use technology, understanding the why of using technology is just as important.

Here are my answers to the questions:

When was the last time you printed out photographs you have taken? What could be the reason behind this?

I have not printed out any of my photos. But I might. I'll Tweet and tag #23mthingsphsg.

How could your library use photographs to promote library services, events and activities?

I used Pic Collage to combine photos of new books. I sent this to our school's mailing list. By day's end, we received five book reservations!

Do you have a permission form available so that when you take photographs of clients or events, you have their agreement for those images to be used and shared online?

This is a good suggestion and I'll try this out.

How easy is it for clients to contribute digital photographs to your library collection (eg. local history)?

This question prompts me to look at the library's photo collection. For now, all are stored in digital folders and in CDs as back ups. But, yes. It is good to revisit procedures on how the community can take part in building the library's collection.

A sample of my book spine poem to entice high school kids to join the contest. Posted in IG too.

Thanks to Karryl and Joan for this wonderful initiative, and to Hedren for the content he provided in Thing #2! I had fun answering the questions.

I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends

A few backs I sent a SOS to all my social media networks. This was my message:

SOS Librarian friends: I am in need of tips, standards in the organization and preservation of architectural blue prints. Short term and long term plans for management of such records. ASAP. Send me PM please.
Amazingly, I got two replies: one from Eimee Lagrama who sent in a link on the storage, preservation and management of such records; and the other from Mercy Servida, librarian of Lopez Museum. From her reply, I was able to set a procedure for the initial care of the blue prints.

1. Determine if the blue prints are the originals as these last longer than replicates;
2. Remove the blue prints from rolled forms.
3. Straighten the blue prints by placing glass on top or any flat, heavy object;
4. Scan and/or digitize;
5. Classify and catalog the blue prints by architect, building, specifications and access points;
6. Store in space with controlled temperature and humidity.
With social media and Web 2.0, librarians can continue to grow and help each other out! Thanks Eimee and Tita Mercy!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Book Review: Modern Heroes For the Filipino Youth Series

Back in 2010, Bookmark won a Best Reads National Children's Book Award for Lub-Dub Lub-Dub, a biography of Dr. Fe Del Mundo the first woman pediatrician in the Philippines. Written by Rusell Molina and illustrated by Jomike Tejido, the book is part of Bookmark's  Great Men and Women of Asia–Children’s Series. The series brings together stories of ordinary people who've done extraordinary acts of goodness that it elevated them to heroic status. Specifically, the heroes featured in the series are awardees of the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Awards. At a time when teachers and librarians are looking for biography books for children to read, Bookmark took the brave initiative to have this series published.

And they've only just begun on this courageous venture as another series is produced for the Filipino young reader: The Modern Heroes For the Filipino Youth Series.  The series aims to present role models for young people to emulate. Each story in the series contains a central theme that exemplifies a moral value or characteristic or an exemplary incident in the life of each principal character. So it says in each of the book's blurb.

The books live up to its aims as values of bravery, courage and love of country, bespeak of the stories of Ninoy Aquino, Ed Jopson, Jaime Ongpin, Vidal Lorenzo Tan, Gen. Vicente Lim, and Jose Abad Santos. The stories of Richie Fernando, Sr. Christine Tan and Macliing Dulag would inspire young readers to look at love, service for others, determination and social justice in a new light. 

The series also features the artistic genius of Lino Brocka and Jovita Fuentes; the ingenuity and business acumen of Margarita Dela Cruz Santiago; the dedication of Fr. Eduardo Hontiveros SJ to bring liturgical music closer to church parishioners; the drive and endurance of Filipino scientists Drs. Lourdes Cruz and Baldomera Olivera Jr.; and the heart and passion of Doreen Fernandez to teaching and writing.

Written by the country's best writers and illustrated by select artists, the series is a beautiful medley of good storytelling and strong visuals. Readers young and old would definitely feel the creators' intent at putting in their best effort and talents to produce quality reading material. What really worked for me, as far as this series is concerned, is it's message of revisiting core values that would help define our identity as a nation in this age of rapid change and globalization. At a time when we're all going through problems that challenge our moral fiber, we need stories to remind us that we're capable of making the right choices no matter how difficult the odds are.

Bookmark's launching of Modern Heroes for the Filipino Youth Series Children's Books and other titles is on Feb. 5, 2014, Wednesday, 3.00PM-8.00PM at the Last Chukker, Manila Polo Club, Makati. For details check Bookmark's events-link on Facebook,

Book Spine Poetry Winners for December

In the school assembly last week, I announced the winners of the library's Book Spine Poetry Contest for the month of December. Judge of the month, Palanca award winning author and poet, Rhandee Garlitos, gave a thorough and comprehensive review and commentary. I will post his comments in the next few days.

For the meantime, here are the 1st and 2nd prize winners:

2nd Prize: When No One Understands
Maths 1001 
Academic Anxiety 
A Game of Groans

1st Prize: In the Country of Men
Things Fall Apart
Funny How Things Change
As I Lay Dying

Monday, January 20, 2014

The 2014 Reading Challenge

Because I want to debunk the myth that librarians have read everything there is in the library. Besides, reading becomes more meaningful if the individual experience of it moves to the collective.

Some faculty members joined in the reading fun too!

The procedures are easy to follow:

a. Write your book recommendation on a piece of paper with your name and grade level. 

b. Drop this in the bowl assigned to the teacher.

c. If your book recommendation gets picked, you get a token from the library.

d. Your book recommendation will be read by the teacher over a period of time.

e. She will write a review of the book which will be posted in the library bulletin board or published in the newsletter.

f. Once she’s done reading the book, teacher will pick another book from the bowl.

* Recommend books you’ve borrowed and read from the library.

2014 PBBY Alcala Prize Call for Entries

Lifted from the PBBY website. 

The Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) is now accepting entries for the 2014 PBBY-Alcala Prize.

The winner shall be given a cash prize of P25,000.00, a gold medal, and an opportunity to be published. Prizes will be awarded in an appropriate ceremony to be held during the celebration of National Children's Book Day on July 15, 2014.


  1. 1. The contest is open to all Filipino citizens except those who are related to any PBBY member up to the third degree of consanguinity.
  2. Entries must be based on any of the following, all honorable mention winners of the 2014 PBBY-Salanga Prize:
  3. Copies of these stories may be requested from the PBBY Secretariat or downloaded from the PBBY website (
  4. All entries must be original unpublished illustrations that have not won in any previous contest.
  5. All entries must consist of three (3) illustrations that are of the same size and medium. Entries do not have to be based on consecutive spreads/parts of the text.
  6. A contestant may send in more than one (1) entry.
  7. Each entry must be signed by a pen name only, preferably on a small piece of paper pasted on the back of each artwork. Entries with a signature or any identifying marks are automatically disqualified.
  8. which only the pen name of the contestant shall appear. The envelope must contain the contestant's full name, address, contact numbers, short description of background, and notarized certification vouching for the originality of the entry and for the freedom of the organizers from any liability arising from the infringement of copyright in case of publication.
  9. All entries must be sent to the PBBY Secretariat, c/o Adarna House, 109 Scout Fernandez cor. Scout Torillo Sts., Quezon City by April 14, 2014.
  10. Winners will be announced no later than May 12, 2014. Non-winning entries must be claimed no later than June 13, 2014, after which they will no longer be the responsibility of the organizers.
For more details, interested parties may contact PBBY by calling 352.6765 or emailing pbby [at]

Interested artists and illustrators can download the manuscripts.

Friday, January 17, 2014

23 Mobile Things PH & SG

Filipino Librarian Karryl Kim Sagun and Joan Wee of Singapore teamed up for 23 Mobile Things PH & SG, a self paced online course that provides discussion and interaction on 23 mobile things that libraries can use to deliver services. Scheduled to run on a weekly basis for 23 weeks, participants register, log-in and engage with moderators and co-participants in the course from all over the world. Started in 2006 by Helen Blowers, 23 Mobile Things has been replicated by librarians from different countries like Denmark, Australia and New Zealand.

Today, January 17, is the start of the first 23 Mobile Things discussion. Thing #1 is Twitter. Aaron Tay from the National University of Singapore Libraries moderates.

If you have not registered, you can still catch up. Register in 23 Mobile Things. Once you have registered, join in the conversation in Twitter by using #23MThingsPHSG.

I will be moderating Thing #10 and Thing #16. See you online!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Tag Team Interview: Dang Bagas & Aldy Aguirre (3 of 3)

Here is the last part (part 3) of the Tag Team Interview of Dang Bagas and Aldy Aguirre. Part 2 was posted last January 12, 2013">.

What is your favorite children's book or YA book?

DB: Asking me this question is like asking me to choose just one star in the universe I would like to own and keep in a jar for only me to look at. Please, please don’t force me to choose only one, cause I have lots and lots, countless lots of favorites.

Ok. Fine. I’ll choose one. And I’m choosing this one because I think this is one book that at every moment I read it presents something different and new to me like it’s always the first time I’m reading it. And so it would be a good choice of book to keep if ever I get trapped in an island with no hope of rescue. And that would be Zusak’s The Book Thief.

(Now, my other books are jealous. And they’re all clamoring for a hug.)

AA: The dream hunters by Neil Gaiman and Yoshitaka Amano, books by Shel Silverstein among others

Dang Bagas is a tinkerer – a scriptwriter, theatre artist, filmmaker, teacher, playwright, KUTING’s current president. 

Aldy Aguirre is a freelance illustrator from Q.C. He tries to create drawings and illustrations which he hopes can inspire others to also draw and imagine. He has the 2010 PBBY Alcala illustrator’s grand prize and is a member of AngINK (Ilustrador ng Kabataan), a group of driven illustrators for children.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The 2013 Students' Best Reads

Last month,  I posted in the blog a photo of a post-it board where students can write their best reads of the year and the books they wish to read in 2014. I got this idea when I attended last year's 3rd ReaderCon.

Now here is the collected data.


The brief wondrous life of Oscar Wao / by Dâiaz, Junot.
Jonathan Livingston Seagull / by Bach, Richard..
Ender`s Game, at battle school fighting is compulsory / by Card, Orson Scott.
Amulet, Prince of the Elves : Amulet / by Kibuishi, Kazu,.
Catching Fire / by Collins, Suzanne.
Eleanor & Park : You never forget your first love. / by Rowell, Rainbow.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane / by Gaiman, Neil.
The Hobbit and Philosophy
Game of Thrones, A clash of Kings : Kings & queens / by Martin, George R. R..
The Picture of Dorian Gray / by Wilde, Oscar.
The Virgin Suicides / by Eugenides, Jeffrey.
The Fault in Our stars bY John Green
Franny and Zooey / by Salinger, J. D.

Non Fiction

The expression of the emotions in man and animals / by Darwin, Charles.
Batman and Philosophy : the dark knight of the soul. -- Hoboken, N.J. : John Wiley
Long walk to freedom, the autobiography of Nelson Mandela. : the autobiography of
Nelson Mandela. / by Mandela, Nelson.
Rich dad, Poor dad for teens : the secrets about money - that you don`t learn in
school! / by Kiyosaki, Robert T.
Beowulf : a new verse translation.
The Armchair Economist : economics and everyday life / by Landsburg, Steven E.
Isaac Newton: A Biography of Choice : A Biography of Choice / by Gleick, James..The History of the World, from the dawn of humanity to the modern age. : from the
dawn of humanity to the modern age. / by Welsh, Frank.

The 2014 PBBY Salanga Prize Honorables

  • Michael de Guzman
    Reyna Elena (honorable mention)
  • Genaro Gojo Cruz
    Gaano ba Kalayo Patungong Paaralan? (honorable mention)
  • Susan Anne Alegro Quirante
    Ang Misay sa Aming Bahay (honorable mention) 
Three Authors share Honorable Mention at the 2014 PBBY-Salanga Prize

The Philippine Board on Books for Young People awarded Honorable Mention for the 2014 PBBY-Salanga Prize to writers Michael de Guzman, for his story "Reyna Elena;" Genaro Gojo Cruz, for his story, "Gaano ba Kalayo Patungong Paaralan?" and Susan Anne Alegro Quirante, for her story "Ang Misay sa Aming Bahay."

This is not the first time de Guzman and Cruz have been awarded by the PBBY. De Guzman bagged Honorable Mention in 2003, while Cruz won Honorable Mention in 2004. This is Quirante’s first award from the PBBY.

The three winners shall be awarded during the celebration of National Children’s Book Day in July 2014.

For inquiries about the contest, contact the PBBY Secretariat at telephone number 352-6765 loc. 203 or e-mail

For inquiries about the contest, please contact the PBBY Secretariat at telephone number 352-6765 loc. 203 or e-mail"

Lifted from the PBBY website

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Tag Team Interview: Dang Bagas & Aldy Aguirre (2 of 3)

Here is part 2 of 3 of the tag team interview I had with Dang Bagas and Aldy Aguirre on their book, The Little Girl in a Box (Adarna House 2013). Part 1 of the interview was posted last December 19, 2013

In the story, the box is a powerful metaphor. Readers may interpret the box into many things. As an artist, how can a "box" or "boxes" help you become better at your craft? 

DB: As a writer, I sometimes liken the box to my own limitations and to the limitations set by the industries I write for. I mean, working as a writer, there were lots of times when I felt “boxed in” or “trapped in a box” or “forced in a box”. But, and this I realized early on in my writing career, that this box can be moved, or one can work around it or shape it and color it any which way I want it to be. Doing that is certainly hard work but the only thing that should stop an artist from doing so is a lack of imagination and afterwards, determining choices that work, then determination to stick by these choices, at whatever cost.

Actually visualizing my craft as something like a box already helps me make it better cause then I know I could make it what I want it to be though I am still working on that: letting my imagination go freely, making the right choices, and sticking to these choices according to what is the best for me, and the stories that I write.

AA: A big box full of inspirations would certainly come in handy, and thinking out of my box usually helps too.

What is the story/picture book you wish you've written/illustrated? Why? 

DB:  Asking me this question is like asking me which star in the universe I’d like to go to cause there’s lots and lots, countless lots, of stories out there that I wish I’d written.

If I can name only one, I would say Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief,  because fifteen years ago, I was working on a story about the children of our epic heroes and diwatas (Lam-Ang, Bantugan, Mariang Sinukuan, etc.) discovering they’re the children of mythical gods, discovering they have powers and banding together to save the world. But real life got in the way and I shelved the story. And now, with the Percy Jackson series, I can’t write this story without it looking like a rip-off! Oh well… Yes, universe, lesson learned: heed the call of stories demanding to be written and try not to leave them behind.

If I can name more, I wish I’ve written Anne of Green Gables, The Little House in the Prairie, Where the Wild Things are, The Giver, The Story Girl, The Earthsea series, The Chocolate Factory, The Wizard of Oz, The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, Charlotte’s Web, Looking for Alaska, Tall Story, A Wrinkle in Time, Chika Chika Boom Boom, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Bridge to Terabithia, Alamat ng Ampalaya, Ang Barumbadong Bus, Coraline, Tuwing Sabado, The Graveyard Book, The Disc World series. The Monstrumologist, The Dragon Rider, The Thief Lord…

Ok, enough, there’s more, it’s a really long list, as many as the number of books in my shelves, as many as the books I’ve read and read again and again and again. And this is the same reason why I wish I’d written these stories – I have kept all of these stories close to me; I have loved and will love these stories for the rest of my life. That is the writer’s dream: that one’s stories be loved, read again and again, for years and years and generations to come.

AA: Hmm, I never actually thought of wanting to illustrate picture books that I’ve read. I think they will not be as great or the opposite, if the pictures will be different from what they are right now.

Filipiniana Online & The Digital Future of Libraries

An invite I got from the Filipinas Heritage Library: 
Greetings from the Filipinas Heritage Library!
Since 1996, FHL has aimed to be the one-stop electronic research center for Filipiniana and it is only now that we have almost realized this goal through our newest library offering: Filipiniana Online.
Filipiniana Online is an e-library of over 2,000 rare Filipiniana materials which FHL has created in partnership with Trade Channel Philippines. This online facility was produced by initially scanning the materials into PDF files (using a non-invasive book scanner) and later converting it into “flipbooks” (powered by Digizines). The platform allows the user to still have the experience of “flipping” the pages of the e-book when reading, albeit virtually on a tablet or a laptop.
It is in this connection that we are writing you. May we invite you and other teachers/ lovers/researchers of Filipiniana to join us on January 22, 2014 at 3:00 pm in the 2nd floor function room of the Ayala Museum for the launch of the Filipiniana Online? Through Filipiniana Online, we believe that having access to primary sources on culture, heritage, and history of the Philippines, will make the Filipino youth appreciate their Pinoy roots. Indeed, we think that Filipiniana Online is a hip and cool way for them to learn more about himself or herself as a Filipino.
Please feel free to disseminate this e-invite to kindred souls wishing to have access to Filipiniana anywhere, anytime. Truly, Filipiniana Online is the best way for today’s generation to have History at Your Fingertips!
Should you have questions or need clarifications, please feel free to contact us. Our landlines are:
                                                                                                                                                           &nbsp ;                   
·         759-8282 and 759-8288 local 39 (Suzanne Yupangco)
·         759-8281 and 759-8288 local 36 (Ella Gonzales)
·         759-8278 and 759-8288 local 29 (Jei Ente)
We would appreciate getting headcount so that we can prepare enough chairs and coffee.
Our warmest regards,
Suzanne G. Yupangco | Senior Manager
Filipinas Heritage Library, 6F Ayala Museum, Makati Avenue cor De La Rosa Street, Makati City 1224 Philippines
Tel: (632) 759 8282 | (63917) 854 8042 | Email: Website:

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Reading Choices of Filipino Teens

Here is the PPT I presented to KUTING during one afternoon with probee members. The lecture was part of a series for probee members who seek to develop their writing craft.

Thanks to school librarian friends from Miriam College, Assumption SanLo and DLS Zobel for contributing their top YA reads to my lecture.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Librarian-Storyteller: Ann Grace Bansig

Librarian-Storyteller Ann Grace Bansig shares her answers to my questions before we had our storytelling session in Sambat Elementary School with Sambat Trust scholars.

1. What motivated me to volunteer? 
Volunteering is my passion. It was intensified during my college days where I was a member of a socio-civic organization that visit institutions. Now, this passion is being sustained by the many volunteering opportunities in La Salle through our Social Action Office, Book mobile project and other personal endeavors. So, in short, its within me. 
2. What is my personal goal as a storyteller? 
My personal goal is to foster love for reading and develop life-long readers. It is my advocacy now to spread awareness about the many benefits of storytelling to children. 
3. What is my volunteer-storyteller experience prior to this activity? 
I have a lot of storytelling experiences prior to this activity. I usually do storytelling whenever we do Bookmobile project. I also volunteered in ATD Fourth World Philippines in the previous summers. And being a Reading major, storyelling is very essential as we advocate for a literature-based reading program.
4. What are my expectations from this experience?
I don't really expect much but I do hope that the students that we catered during the small group storytelling session realized how reading can make a difference to their lives. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Librarian-Storyteller: Martin Julius Perez

Martin Julius Perez shares his answers to my questions before we had our storytelling session in Sambat Elementary School with Sambat Trust scholars.
1. What motivated me to volunteer?
 At first I’m reluctant to join due to a busy schedule, but then I decided to volunteer. As a librarian and an advocate of reading and learning, I think I can help and contribute to this activity. I’m thankful that when I was younger, there are people who would share to me stories that inspired me and touched my life. This time, it is my chance to return the favor to the younger generation. I hope to inspire them with these little acts of mine.

2. What is my personal goal as a storyteller?
 When telling or sharing stories, I just want to put smiles in the faces of these children and to inculcate in their minds and hearts positive insights, values and lessons that will, in some way, have an impact in their lives. I want to promote reading for learning and for leisure, and to make them appreciate every story, whether it is short or long, simple or complicated. I want them to realize that in every story there’s something to learn and there’s an idea to capture for the development of their imagination and outlook in life.

3. What is my volunteer-storyteller experience prior to this activity?
I think the last time I volunteered for a storytelling activity was in an outreach program for patients of a children’s hospital in Quezon City. Also, aside from this, I love to share children’s stories to my little cousins at home.

4. What are my expectations from this experience?
I just wanted to have fun and to share what I have to these children. While they are learning, I think I will also learn from them and from their stories too.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Prayer For the First Day of the Year


O God, ever blessed and eternal
I THANK you that today you have
Allowed me to begin a new year.
Here in your presence I make my
Resolutions for the days to come.
I resolve:
To be faithful and true to those who love me
And loyal to those who are my friends,
So that I may never bring distress to their hearts
To live in forgiveness and in kindness,
That I may go about doing good.
To live in goodness and purity
That I may resist temptation and
May be a strength to others who are tempted.
To live in sympathy and gentleness,
That I may bring comfort to the
Sorrowing, and understanding to the perplexed.
To live in serenity and self-control,
That no anger and no passion may
Disturb my own face and the
Peace of others.
To live in full obedience to you and
In your perfect love, that in doing
Your will I may find peace.
O God, My Father, grant me the
Strength to keep these resolutions
All this year through Jesus Christ
Our Lord.  AMEN.

SLIA's First Post for Each Month of 2013

Keeping up with a blogging tradition, here are my first post for each month of 2013 with the first sentence of every post.

January: Happy New Year

February: I am starting February with a featured author, Ms. Becky-Santos Gerodias.

March: My, how time flies.

April: PASLI Summer Conference 2013

May: After wrapping up A Tale of Two Dreams with Bernadette Solina Wolf and sending the revised book dummy back to the press, Jomike Tejido posted a spread of our book project, My Daddy, My One and Only!

June: The 30th National Children's Book Day

July: A CURIOUS BUFFET Ang I.N.K. Group Exhibit

August: I gave a "homework" to participants of the seminar-workshop on Information Literacy (IL) sponsored and hosted by MUNPARLAS last July 19, 2013.

September: Audrey Anday has been a librarian for fourteen years now.

October: In my visit to three public schools in Batangas last weekend, I had the pleasure of meeting two teachers who are in charge of the distribution of Library Hub books.

November: November is National Books and Library and Information Services Month.

December: During the NCBD, you both said that your parents allowed you to write (MJ) and draw (Dom) at home.

This was a meme I got tagged when I started this out a few years back. So, I am tagging three bloggers: Xi Zuq, Tarie Sabido and Honey de Peralta
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